Is Fortran still being used today?

If you're wondering whether Fortran is still used today, the answer is yes. Despite being one of the oldest programming languages, Fortran has remained in use for over six decades in scientific and engineering applications. Originally developed by IBM in the 1950s, Fortran is a general-purpose, compiled imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing.

While many programmers have predicted its demise, Fortran is still used in high-performance computing and is evolving to keep up with changing technologies. Fortran code has a valuable legacy in critical software systems like weather prediction, hurricane or storm surge prediction, and traffic monitoring.

One of the primary reasons Fortran is still used is that it is faster than other programming languages like C in processing giant multidimensional matrices for scientific purposes. This niche is where Fortran beats all comers after 60 years of compiler development. So, if you're considering learning a programming language for scientific computing or engineering applications, Fortran is still a relevant and useful language to learn.

Is Fortran still being used today?

The short answer to the question "Is Fortran still used today?" is yes. Fortran, which is nearly 60 years old, is still frequently used in the scientific and technical fields because of its rapid processing of complex mathematical calculations.

For many high-performance computing applications, such as weather forecasting, storm surge forecasting, and traffic monitoring, Fortran is still the language of choice. It is the perfect option for these kinds of applications due to its capacity for handling enormous volumes of data and carrying out complex calculations swiftly and precisely.

Fortran remains a vital component of the programming world, despite years of predictions to the contrary from some programmers. Fortran has even experienced a comeback in popularity in recent years, with some developers attributing this to the language's simplicity and use.

Of course, Fortran has its difficulties. It can be more challenging to learn than some of the more recent programming languages accessible today because it is an older language. Additionally, it might not be the greatest option for some applications, such as the creation of mobile apps or websites.

Overall, though, Fortran is still a useful tool for many programmers, and the fact that it is still used in applications for science and engineering speaks to its continued relevance and significance in the field of programming.

History of Fortran

Early Development

Fortran, an abbreviation for "Formula Translation," is a high-level programming language used for applications in science and engineering. It was initially created by IBM in the 1950s to address challenging mathematical issues. The first high-level programming language, Fortran, completely changed how scientists and engineers used computers in their work.

The language was created to be simple enough for humans to read and write, which makes it simpler to program intricate mathematical algorithms. When Fortran's initial release came out in 1957, the scientific community took to it like a duck to water.

Fortran 77

In 1977, the Fortran programming language underwent a significant update with the introduction of Fortran 77. Character data types and the capability to apply structured programming techniques were just two of the many new features it brought. For many years, Fortran 77 was the most used version of the language, and some legacy systems still employ it today. Fortran 77 is still used in many technical and scientific applications, including nuclear simulations and weather forecasting.

Fortran 90 and Beyond

The 1991 release of Fortran 90 was a significant improvement to the language. Numerous new capabilities were added, such as dynamic memory allocation and enhanced support for arrays and loops. Modules were another innovation made by Fortran 90 that helped programmers organize their code more effectively. The language has had several revisions since then, including Fortran 95, Fortran 2003, and Fortran 2008.

Fortran is still utilized in a variety of scientific and technical applications today, especially in disciplines like computational fluid dynamics and weather forecasting. Although Fortran has lost ground to alternative programming languages in terms of popularity, it is still a vital tool for many researchers and scientists.

For individuals working in specialized industries, it is a significant resource due to its lengthy history and a large library of legacy code.

Is Fortran still being used today?

The answer is yes if you're wondering if Fortran is still useful in today's society. Fortran is still widely used in a variety of fields and applications and is still a top choice for legacy code, high-performance computing, and scientific computing.

Scientific Computing

Even now, Fortran is still frequently used in scientific computers, particularly in disciplines like engineering, physics, and chemistry. Fortran is an excellent candidate for these activities because it can manage big datasets and carry out challenging mathematical operations, which are required for many scientific applications.

High-Performance Computing

In high-performance computing, where the ability to handle enormous volumes of data and carry out difficult calculations fast and effectively is highly desired, Fortran is also used. Fortran is still a common choice for applications that need a high level of performance and efficiency, and it is still used by many supercomputers.

Legacy Code

Legacy code is another factor in why Fortran is still in use today. Fortran was used to create many older systems and programs, many of which are still in use today. Although newer programming languages have appeared, Fortran is still used by many organizations for their legacy systems and applications.

In conclusion, Fortran is still in use today and is still a common option for legacy code, high-performance computing, and scientific computing. Even if newer programming languages have arisen, Fortran is still a great option for many applications due to its capacity for handling massive datasets and carrying out complex mathematical operations rapidly and effectively.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fortran


A language designed specifically for high-performance computing is called Fortran. It has been around for more than 60 years and has gone through numerous revisions, giving it a dependable option for many applications in science and engineering. The following are some benefits of using Fortran:

  • An essential feature for scientific computing is exceptionally strong built-in support for numerical calculations and array manipulation.
  • Faster program execution and efficient memory use are made possible by simple array syntax.
  • Long code lifespan is ensured, which is crucial for sustaining legacy codes.
  • Coarrays' intrinsic distributed-memory parallelism enables effective parallel processing of big data sets.


Fortran has numerous benefits, but it also has certain disadvantages. The following are the drawbacks of using Fortran:

  • Since it is primarily used for scientific and engineering purposes, Fortran is not a general-purpose language. For other kinds of applications, it might not be the ideal option.
  • Fortran has a bad name for being challenging to learn, especially for beginners in programming.
  • Finding solutions to particular issues is more challenging because the language has fewer libraries and tools than other languages.
  • Fortran code can be challenging to update and maintain, particularly if it was created using an earlier version of the language.

Despite its disadvantages, Fortran remains a popular choice for scientific and engineering applications due to its performance-centric culture and specialized features.

Is Fortran a Dead Language?

A computer language called Fortran has been around for more than 70 years and was first presented in the 1950s. Fortran has a devoted following among scientists, engineers, and researchers who rely on it for its quickness, effectiveness, and dependability despite its antiquity.

Fortran is far from being a dead language, despite what some people may believe. In truth, Fortran is still widely used in a variety of technical and scientific fields, such as computational fluid dynamics, nuclear simulations, and weather forecasting.

Because Fortran is a compiled language, meaning that the code is converted into machine language before being executed, it is still widely used today. Because of this, Fortran programs are speedy and effective, which is crucial for scientific and engineering applications that need to process massive amounts of data quickly.

Fortran's continued use can also be attributed to the scientific and engineering communities, where it has a long history of use. Fortran is still widely used for legacy systems and applications, and switching to a more modern language can be difficult and expensive.

Overall, even if Fortran may not be as well-known as it once was, it is still an essential language for many applications in science and engineering. Consider learning Fortran if you work in these sectors to benefit from its quickness and effectiveness.

The Future of Fortran

Fortran is still a useful programming language today despite its advanced age, particularly for applications in science and engineering. Fortran is still used by many legacy systems, and it has a substantial body of existing code that would be expensive or challenging to replace.

Fortran's future, however, remains uncertain. There are worries that the language can become obsolete in the future, even if there are still a lot of people that use it and contribute to its development.

The fact that Fortran is less well-known than other programming languages like Python and Java is one explanation for this. As a result, Fortran will have fewer learning and development tools available, which may make it less appealing to aspiring programmers.

Another issue is that Fortran might not be able to meet the requirements of contemporary computers. Although the language has changed over time, parallel computing—which is crucial for many applications in science and engineering—was not part of its initial architecture.

Despite these difficulties, many programmers still have hope for Fortran's future. Others are creating new libraries and tools to make it simpler to use Fortran in new applications, while some are working on new versions of the language that are more suited for contemporary computing.

Fortran's future will depend on the community of programmers who use it to continue to promote and develop the language. It seems conceivable that Fortran will continue to be useful for a very long time if enough people use and develop the language.