Talk:John Backus

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FORTRAN[edit]

Though I admire brief things your bio on John Backus is far, far too short. The modern computer combined with John Backus' FORTRAN language is one of "THE" inventions of the 20th Century as noted by the National Academy of Sciences. The computer was marvelous, but with out the 'high level' language of FORTRAN it would have been a gee-whiz thing. Requiring days and weeks of laboriously entering long strings of numbers (without error) to do the simplest things. FORTRAN, or FORmula TRANslation, allowed any mathmetician or scientist to use ordinary equation type english language to solve problems. The FORTRAN compiler would then translate that into tons of machine language to run on the various computers (90% IBM) of the day. This freed the scientist to pursue scientific things rather than laboriously learning and using machine language. I could go on and on. The invention of FORTRAN was one of the first steps to make the computer useful, other steps, and people would lead us to the supremely useful PC of today.

comments from Harry Porter - I was nearby in the early days.

You are right of course, we have many articles that are way too short. It's just a case of waiting until an interested and knowledgeable contributor comes along. If that's you in this case, please go ahead and expand the article :) -- sannse 21:16 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

--- I would venture to say that the Backus-Naur Form was much more important in the grand scheme of things than even FORTRAN was. Not to take anything away from Backus' breakthrough and useful language (ground stations controlling satellites launched into orbit in 2006 still use FORTRAN code!), but sooner or later, he or someone else would have come up with a scientifically-oriented programming language. The Backus-Naur Form (or Notation) he and Peter Naur built, created a standard which freed computer scientists to create compilers and interpreters for all kinds of new languages. The creators of COBOL (1961), BASIC (1965), PL/1 (1970s), C, PASCAL, etc. all benefitted from this huge advance. 00:41, 21 March 2007 (UTC)Raryel



When was FORTRAN invented? --Hirzel 21:37 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

1954. 02:50, 21 March 2007 (UTC)Raryel

Great resource for info on Backus[edit]

Check it out: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/19/obituaries/20cnd-backus.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin His NYTimes obituary (Bjorn Tipling 01:44, 20 March 2007 (UTC))

Full Article on the Life of John Backus[edit]

Full Article on the life history of John Backus (Not an Obituary) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/business/20backus.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

--Root Beers 03:22, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Where's the rest[edit]

This article should state "from 1960 to 2007, nothing at all is known about his whereabouts or doings". Really. I'm serious.Wjhonson (talk) 21:35, 6 August 2013 (UTC)