Thanks for that interesting bit of information.
I tried to include a few words in my post to hint I wasn't saying that Fortran was the FIRST high-level language, or necessarily the first practical one, or the maybe the first widely used high level language. It was an example of an early high-level language that was part of a revolution in the field. C compilers weren't the first to do any optimization, and SQL wasn't the first declarative language. As you said, modern C compilers rewrite the code in ways that would have been unimaginable in Fortran's heyday.
> > With C, we got optimizing compilers that totally rewrite the specification
> We didn't.
Technically, we did. With this paycheck, I got gas. I got gas. With my last paycheck, I also got gas. With my paycheck a year ago, I got gas. Still it's true that "with this paycheck, I got gas"
Am I being pedantic? Of course. That's my job. I'm a programmer. Ccompiler->provides_optimizer == true.