Fortran Wiki
Ralph Johnson

Fortran was my first programming language, back in 1973. I programmed in it off and on during my undergraduate days. My last big Fortran program was a circuit simulator. I like to say that I learned recursion from Fortran, because one of the first programs I wrote outside of class was a Fortran program that depended on recursion, and when I understood why it was never going to work, I understood recursion.

I didn’t look at Fortran again until about 1990, when I was teaching a course on programming for scientists and engineers. It used Fortran 77, and I was pleasantly surprised how much Fortran had improved. We use Macs, and did a lot of simulations that produced graphical output. I enjoyed teaching the course.

In the early 2000s, I got invited to work on FLASH, an astrophysics simulation used for modeling exploding stars. They contacted me because of my work on OO design and on refactoring, and wanted me to help them make the software more reusable. The system was implemented in Fortran 90, which I could see was a big improvement over Fortran 77. However, I found the state of the art in tools for Fortran to be sad, and decided to build a refactoring tool for Fortran. This became the Photran project. Photran is an Eclipse plugin that turns Eclipse into a Fortran IDE.