Fortran FAQ 
Author Message
 Fortran FAQ

Last-Modified: 95/3/01

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions. The "author", as
is the custom, has appropriated posted responses as seemed apt. I have
tried to leave attributions in, as correctly as possible. To anyone
who has been offended by omission or otherwise, my apologies. I shall
give priority to corrections regarding attribution.

No one takes responsibility for any of this text, neither the employer
of the "author", the "author", friends of the "author", pets of the
"author" nor anyone else.

Your mileage WILL vary.

A good place to look for FAQ's is:, /pub/usenet

If you have comments/suggestions/edit proposals please send them to me

encourage others to make better FAQ lists, so I can retire this one.

summary of changes:

Whole FAQ reworked to consolidate information and shorten it. Thanks
to Michael Metcalf for his help in this rewrite.


Q0) How should one spell fortran/Fortran?
Q1) Is Fortran 90 a Standard? Where can I get a copy of the Fortran
    90 Standard? How about electronic copies?
Q2) What Fortran 90 compilers/translators are available?
Q3) I have heard of fortran "lints"; what are they, and where can
    I get one?
Q4) "Why do people use FORTRAN? C is so much better"
Q5)  [deleted]
Q6)  Where can I get "foo" (some random package)
Q7)  Where can I get a free (FORTRAN 77) compiler?
Q8)  What is the best (FORTRAN 77) compiler for a PC?
Q9)  How does Fortran 90 relate to FORTRAN '77 and what is Fortran 90?
Q10) My compiler is mis-behaving; who enforces the standard?
Q11) What are good books on Fortran?
Q12) Are there pretty printers for FORTRAN? Flowchart generators?
Q13) Why are there aimless debates?
Q14) How do I call f77 from C (and visa versa)
Q15) What constitutes good FORTRAN style?
Q16) For whatever reasons, I want to translate my Fortran into C.
     What tools are available?
Q17) For whatever reasons, I want to translate my existing C code
     into Fortran. What tools are available?
Q18) What is preprocessing, how can it help? How can it hurt?
Q19) How can I convert an existing FORTRAN 77 program to the free form
     source of Fortran 90?
Q20) Who creates these silly standards anyway?
Q21) How can I read my VAX binary data somewhere else?
Q22) My F77 program compiled ok on a <system1>, but gives me heaps of
     syntax errors on a <system2>. What's wrong?
Q23) My F77 program ran ok on a <system1>, but on a <system2> it just gives
     me strange results. What's wrong?
Q24) Is there a WEB for Fortran (and what is WEB anyway)?
Q25) Where can I find coded BLAS (and what are coded BLAS?)
Q26) How common is DO ... END DO?
Q27) Where can I learn more about the history of Fortran?
Q28) Fortran text editors?
Q29) What are ENCODE and DECODE statements, and how are they translated to
     standard Fortran? How can I convert numbers to character strings
     (and vice-versa)?

Q30) Tell me about Parallel Fortran dialects, what are they, etc.
Q31) Where can I find a f90 tutorial or course?
Q32) Where can I get mathematical software?
Q33) What is the best Fortran for...
Q34) [deleted]
Q35) What Interval Arithmetic packages are avaliable?
Q36) f90.faq from Michel Olagnon
Q37) f90 "market" announcement from walt brainerd

Q0)  How should one spell FORTRAN/Fortran?

    FORTRAN is generally the preferred spelling for discussions of versions of
    the language prior to the current one ("90"). Fortran is the
    spelling chosen by X3J3 and WG5. In this document a feeble effort
    has been made to capitalize accordingly (e.g. vast existing
    software ... FORTRAN vs. generic Fortran to mean all versions of
    the standard, and specifically the modern dialect, ISO 1539:1991).

        There was an effort to "standardize" on spelling of programming
        languages just after F77 became a standard.  The rule: if you say
        the letters, it is all caps (APL); if you pronounce it as a word,
        it is not (Cobol, Fortran, Ada).  See, for example the definitive
        article describing Fortran 77 in the Oct 1978 issue of the Comm.
        of the ACM.  The timing was such that FORTRAN got put on the
        standard itself, though many always after that have referred to
        it as Fortran 77.  Of course, there are those who think it is not
        truly Fortran if not written with all caps.

<ed note>

        ISO 1539:1991 and its ANSI counterpart X3.198-1992 consistently
        employ the spelling "Fortran" to refer to the language being
        defined. Reference(s) to the older version employ "small caps"
        for the "ORTRAN" characters.

Q1)  Is it a Standard? Where can I get a copy of the Fortran 90
     Standard? How about electronic copies?

Fortran 90 was adopted as an International Standard by ISO in July, 1991.
It was published by them as ISO/IEC 1539:1991, and is obtainable directly
for 185 Swiss francs from

          ISO Publications
          1 rue de Varembe
          Case postale 56
          CH-1211 Geneva 20
          Fax. + 41 22 734 10 79

or from:

American National Standards Institute
Attn: Customer Service
11 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212)642-4900 8:45-4:45 (EST)
Fax: (212)302-1286

    2 Park Street
    London W1A 2BS

    Burggrafenstrasse 6
    Postfach 1107
    D-1000 Berlin 30

    Tour Europe
    Cedex 7
    92049 Paris La Defence

   1200-45 O'Connor
   Ontario  K1P 6N7

You can obtain copies for $225 through:
        Global Engineering Documents
        2805 McGaw Ave.
        Irvine, CA. 92714
        (714) 261-1455
        (800) 854-7179

In accordance with an official agreement with
the International Standards Organization, Unicomp
is now able to distribute electronic versions of
the Fortran 90 standard: "ISO/IEC 1539 : 1991,
Information technology--Programming languages--Fortran".

The money received from this effort will go partly to
fund ISO activities and partly to recover the costs
incurred by Unicomp in preparing and typesetting the
standard document.  The prices are set by ISO.

The document can be obtained in three versions:

1.  An ASCII version suitable for viewing on a
    computer terminal using any kind of editor.
    Cost: USD 125.

2.  A postscript version with a license allowing
    the purchaser to print n paper copies.
    Cost: USD 125 + 10n.

3.  Complete source in ditroff with macros and
    software to extract and create the annexes.
    The source constitutes a fairly high level
    marked-up document; for example, each program
    beginning and ending is marked and there
    are few low-level typographic commands such
    as size and font changes.  Cost USD 1000.

I am quite enthused especially about version (2).
If you want to have 10 copies for your organization,
and it costs $10 to make a printed copy, then the
cost to make the 10 copies would be $125 + $200,
or just $32.50 per copy, which is a substantial
savings over purchasing paper copies.

Versions (1) and (3) will be accompanied by a
license restricting use to one CPU and prohibiting
copying, except for backup purposes, etc.  The
version (2) license will prohibit distributing
any of the printed copies outside of the purchasing

If you have special requirements, such as wanting
to distribute a copy with each version of your compiler
or using the source as a part of your documentation,
we can make special arrangements, subject to the
approval of the ISO.  Please advise me of your
requirements and we can work up a proposal together.

ISO and Unicomp think this will provide the oft requested access to
the standard in electronic form. This is the first time this is being
tried, so we hope that organizations will be careful to observe the
rules and encourage the continued availability of this and other
standards in electronic form.

Payment can be made by Visa or MasterCard, or with
a check on a US Bank in US funds.  We <unicomp> will accept
a purchase order only if the amount is $500 or more.

Walter S. Brainerd; Unicomp; phone: 505-275-0800.

;;; Additional note. X3J3 working papers are often available via ftp.
           , directory x3j3.

Q2) What Fortran 90 compilers/translators are available?

the Meiko CS-2HA.

Cray Research has a  native compiler that is being
marketed by them and Visual Numerics for workstations, starting with

DEC has been shipping a native compiler, including HPF, from June 1994.
It is for OSF/1 AXP, with OpenVMS AXP and probably Windows NT AXP
following. It has no plans for VAX systems.

Native compilers for Sun, RS/6000, SGI, MIPS and, soon, x86

Fujitsu is marketing a native Fortran 90 Workbench for Solaris 1.1

HP has stated its intention to enhance its Fortran compiler progessively
to include all f90 features.

IBM has been shipping its optimizing, native compiler for the RS/6000,
xlf Version 3, as of 31 December, 1993.

Lahey has been shipping a native LF90 compiler for DOS since 29 August,

Microsoft is working on a compiler, release date unknown, for

Microway NDP Fortran 90 for 386/486, Pentium and 860 is available
(tel. (508) 746-7341).

A compiler is available for most unix platforms, VMS and PCs (including

the first f90 compiler, released in 1991. The current version is 2.1.

NA ...

read more »

Sat, 23 Aug 1997 03:47:47 GMT  
 Fortran FAQ

Hi everybody,

I am doing a research on the maintainability of a software system.  We had
defined a quantitative measure that reflects the maintainability of a software
system; i.e, the ease with which the system can be maintained, in relation to the
service rendered by the system.  In order for the measure to be meaningful, it
must be possible to assess it at the time when the system is delivered.  For this
purpose, it is necessary that the maintainability of the system be statistically
correlated to product features that can be observed at delivery time, on the
source code (e.g, cyclomatic complexity, software science measures, ...).

My work consists in collecting data about the maintenance history of software
systems and its relationship to observable metrics of the source code; following
this phase, I must then analyze the data to derive statistical relationships.

For the above mentioned goal, I am using a software tool called PCMETRIC.  It is
a PC-based software analysis tool, limited to some programming languages (C,
Pascal, DBASE, Fortran and Cobol).

I am looking for program source codes written in one of the above mentioned
programming languages in order to use them with PCMETRIC.  The size is at least
1000 LOC.  I also need to know the effort (in person-months or man-hours) that
was spent during the development phase, as well as the average effort that was
also spent during the different modifications.  The type of application is not

Finally, I would appreciate any kind of help from anyone in that manner.  If you
should need any further information or clarifications, please do not hesitate to
send me an e-mail at my address, mentioned below, as soon as possible; I would be
very glad to have your consideration for my request.


Ramsy Cheaito.


 Department of Computer Science       |
 Ottawa, Ontario                      | Tel.  :  613 - CH RAMSY  (Home)
 Canada                               |          613 - 562 5800  x6822 (Office)

Wed, 03 Sep 1997 05:10:50 GMT  
 [ 3 post ] 

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