The history of programming begins with two languages with two completely different philosophies and goals: Fortran and Lisp. Both languages come from Academia, but from two opposite fields: on one side we find physicists and engineers interested in numeric computations to be run in the most efficient way to solve concrete problems of physics/engineering; on the other side we find matematicians interested in algorithmic research trying to solve abstract problems like symbolic computation, theorem proving, artificial intelligence and related topics.

Both fields had first class brains and the result of their effort were Fortran, which is still - after fifty years - the reference point for numeric computation, and Lisp, which is still the reference point for metaprogramming techniques. Both languages had and still have and enormous success in they market niche and will be probably still be us one hundred years from now. Nevertheless, both Fortran and Lisp are nowadays languages of small visibility, since their niches has become very small and far away from what we mean as mainstream programming today.

« Fortran and Lisp »

A quote saved on Aug. 14, 2018.


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