Fortran Marketing Theme

Just throwing this out there.

At the Fortran BoF at SC23, the topic of how to best market Fortran came up.

I was thinking that a really great theme to use in Fortran marketing materials
would be “Steam Punk”.

This is because “Steam Punk” often represents cutting-edge/future tech but in the style of the early 20th century.

“a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction”

This reminds me of Fortran, where we can still compile codes written in 1978, but also is a very modern language that allows compilers to compile code capable of massive parallelism and GPU-offload.

What do people think?

I am sure one of those AI image generators could come up with some pretty nice steam punk style Fortran logos/flyers :slight_smile:

– Ron


I never heard this term ‘Steam punk’.
Can you please share some pictures or basic themes here? Would be interesting to see how does it represent Fortran.


You can see some examples of the style here:

Although a simple google image search will show more.

As I said - its is an art style that blends very old tech with cutting-edge/future tech.

I think that the blend of old and new is a perfect analogy for Fortran.

– Ron


This link has so cool artistic pictures. I like that idea!

In my recent post about Ada Byron/Lovelace and Babbage’s machine, I used the term “retro-futurist” as I am not used to the more English “steam punk”:

Reading both Menabrea and Byron’s papers is fascinating. Imagine that Babbage had successfully build completely his Analytical Machine, one century before the World War 2. That thought is vain as it did not happened, but I can’t help thinking about it. How computer science would have developed? What impact would it had on the history of the 19th and 20th centuries? Probably I have already read some comic strips with such retro-futurist scenario, but it is fascinating to play with such an idea. Would a language similar to Fortran be born a hundred years sooner? The compiler would probably have been far too slow, as multiplying two numbers with 20 digits was expected to take three minutes with Babbage’s machine! But many technologies could have developed faster, for the better and the worse…

Babbage’s machine and FORTRAN have at least two things in common: being pioneering inventions and… punched cards!

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“Retro-futurist” reminds me of e.g. Przemek Debowski’s art which would also be a cool style


Retro-futurist iconography can use the science fiction styles of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, inspired for example by the Astounding Stories magazine covers (or Amazing Stories), or original books covers. See also: Cover Gallery

In the middle of the 2010’s, the NASA has published many retro-posters:

In comic strips, the retro-futurist stories often happen in the 19st century (Industrial Revolution in Europe).

But it could be also in Ancient Greece: I can easily imagine linking Fortran and the Antikythera mechanism in a strange picture, even with Archimedes of Syracuse (maybe its inventor)! Any other great ancient civilization will of course also give interesting results.

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In 2021, I wrote a post about Fortran popular imagery. Ten years ago, you would have still found a lot of punched cards and IBM 704 in Google Images when typing “Fortran”. The situation has now much improved. But thinking that a young generation of Fortran developers could create a new imagery (steam punk, retro-futurist or other), using the new AI generative tools sounds quite exciting!

Concerning the Science-Fiction of the 50’s, I can imagine the advanced martians of Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles (1950) using Fortran, by telepathy…

The first known computer (analog, of course) didn’t run Fortran, but there is an… analogy here. On the other hand, the mechanism is extremely complex, while Fortran isn’t. Still, the “F” logo with the characteristic big crossed gear of the mechanism in the background sounds great to me. I guess it’s retro-futuristic enough.

(I don’t like the term “steam punk” much, it is overused in video games.)

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After seeing the discussion about here about the rabid white rabbit being the mascot of fortran i want to pitch a (stupid) marketing idea, because one of my favourite Fortran jokes is from Matt Groening and David X. Cohen’s “Futurama”:

One of the main characters, Bender, is an Old robot, always on the verge of being scrapped beacuse it’s obsolete, that is seen in several episode reading punched cards to be given instructions. In the very first episode, he is seen drinking a beer branded “Olde Fortran”

There’s even an episode with a juxtapostion of Bender with a new, modern robot that is going to do everything better and faster, and yet Bender and the other scrap-metal robots save the world and fix global warming (Can fortran do that? that would be great)

PS: For all of you that don’t know futurama, give it a try. It’s incredibly smart for his stupidity, lot of smart nerd jokes and even a theorem was proven in order to make the story checks.


Some firms can also make a good Fortran marketing, like for example DSI with its EE Modeling System (EEMS) software:

with technical arguments and nice pictures showing a modern computing center.

P.s. Their open source code was already referenced by @Beliavsky in his New Fortran projects thread.


I think the Wikipedia article on “IEEE 754 extended” needs its section “Language support” extended, because it does not mention Fortran even though some Fortran compilers offer 80-bit reals. Certainly gfortran does and g95 did in Linux systems. Do any other Linux Fortran compilers? Or any Fortran compiler at all for other operating systems? I am not offering to edit that Wikipedia article myself because I don’t have the necessary information.