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Submitted by on Dec 20, 2020

The equal sign or equality sign (=) is a mathematical symbol used to indicate an equality, invented by Robert Recorde in 1557. In equations, the equal sign is placed between two (or more) expressions that have the same value. In Unicode and ASCII, U + 003D = EQUALS SIGN (HTML =).

In mathematics, the equal sign is as a statement of simple facts in certain cases (x = 2), or creates a definition (make x = 2), a conditional statement (if x = 2…), or universal. Represents the logical equivalence (x + 1) 2 = x2 + 2x + 1.

The first significant computer programming language that used the equal sign was Fortran’s original version, FORTRAN I, designed in 1954 and implemented in 1957. In Fortran, “=” acts as an assignment operator. X = 2 gives the value of X 2. This is a bit like using “=” in a mathematical definition but with different semantics. The expression following the “=” may be evaluated first and refer to the previous value of X. For example, increase the value of the allocation X = X + 2 X by 2.

The usage of rival programming languages ​​was pioneered by the original version of ALGOL, designed in 1958 and implemented in 1960. “As a conditional usage of mathematics. The equal sign was reserved for this usage.

Both usages remained common in various programming languages ​​until the early 21st century. Like Fortran, “=” is used for assignments in languages ​​such as C, Perl, Python, awk, and their descendants. However, “=” is used for equality rather than an assignment in the Pascal family, Ada, Eiffel, APL, and other languages.

In some languages, such as BASIC and PL/I, the equal sign is used to mean both assignment and equivalence, which are context-sensitive. However, in most languages ​​where “=” has one of these meanings, another character, or sequence of characters, is often used for the other meaning. Following ALGOL, most languages ​​that use “=” for the equal sign use “: =” for assignment, but APL uses the left-pointing arrow with its special character set.

Fortran uses the four characters “.EQ” and until the release of FORTRAN IV in 1962, the equality operator (which can only compare expressions to zero using arithmetic IF statements) There was no. Test for equality. Language B introduced the use of “==” in this sense. It was copied by its descendant C and most of the language after “=” means an assignment.