Fortran's Market Share 
Author Message
 Fortran's Market Share


Quote:

>All of the language market share research that I keep finding on the net
>mysteriously omits fortran (the most recent one that I found included
Smalltalk
>and I know there are more Fortran users than Smalltalk users (and no it
didn't
>explicitly say anything about being an OO language survey).  Why is COBOL
always
>included but not Fortran?

>What is it?

>10,000?
>100,000?
>300,000?
>500,000?
>???

>--

>Gary Scott


> http://www.*-*-*.com/

I also would like to know Fortran's market share. I believe Fortran is mainly
used by academicians/researchers. Those people are usually more conservative
and don't buy hypes. On the contrary, users of C++, Java, and the like are
driven by the hypes created by the media.

Like it or not, COBOL is still used by business.

--
T.S. Lim

www.Recursive-Partitioning.com
______________________________________________________________________
Get paid to write a review! http://www.*-*-*.com/



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Quote:
>I also would like to know Fortran's market share.

Fortran's market share in the advertising billings may be near zero, as the
marketing is probably done entirely in house by the vendors, using web sites
and solicited mailing.

Quote:
>Fortran is mainly
>used by academicians/researchers.

Maybe engineers and financial analysts?  It's a stretch to include them in the
above.
Tim Prince



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Quote:

> I also would like to know Fortran's market share. I believe Fortran is mainly
> used by academicians/researchers...

Have no idea, however you may want to draw your own conclusions from
this piece of trivia. Last year http://netlib.org had over 25 million
visitors -- not bad for a site whose lingua franca doesn't even make the
honorary roll of some two bit market researcher.

btw, academia is now busy playing "Nintendo Science" with shrink wrapped
toys  translated from netlib code. Who knows, perhaps half of those hits
are by the copy wizards of Matlab et al!?

--
B.Voh



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Quote:
> >Fortran is mainly
> >used by academicians/researchers.

> Maybe engineers and financial analysts?  It's a stretch to include them in the
> above.

I believe virtually all climatology and weather forcasting is done in
Fortran.

Dan Kidger



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Quote:

> > >Fortran is mainly
> > >used by academicians/researchers.

> > Maybe engineers and financial analysts?  It's a stretch to include them in the
> > above.

> I believe virtually all climatology and weather forcasting is done in
> Fortran.

> Dan Kidger

Every US Geological Survey model code I've seen has been in Fortran
(usually 77).  There may be other languages used, but I haven't run
across any...  Also applies to EPA models I've encountered.

Jim

--
=====================================================
James F. Cornwall, Tech. Ass't, US Geological Survey        

=====================================================



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

I heard recently (from a member of the Fotran committee) that
it's difficult to get any statistics, but the total usage of Fortran
may now be at an all time high.  As a percentage of the total
computing language market, Fortran has shrunk (and may
be continuing to shrink).  But that's because all of the new
application directions (communications, entertainment,
commerce, etc.) are written in other languages - and they're
bigger industries than any Fortran has ever tackled.

So, the use of Fortran could actually have been monotonically
growing all the while, and it just appears to be shrinking because
other languages have grow so much faster.  How would such
a statistic be verified (or disproven)?  Even people that use
Fortran heavily might feel that it's unstylish and resist participating
in a survey about it.

--
J. Giles



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Quote:

...trimmed...
>So, the use of Fortran could actually have been monotonically
>growing all the while, and it just appears to be shrinking because
>other languages have grow so much faster.  How would such
>a statistic be verified (or disproven)?  Even people that use
>Fortran heavily might feel that it's unstylish and resist participating
>in a survey about it.

Not to mention the fact that in my experience, most Fortran users do not
consider programming their primary profession or training.  Instead, they
are trained in a scientific or engineering discipline such as Physics
or Mechanical Engineering.  So surveys of "programmers" are likely to
miss them altogether.

Working from a different direction, consider the issue of vendor licenses.
HP has a large number of current support contracts for Fortran licenses (I
suspect the exact number might be considered business competitive
information, so I won't disclose it).  But that number tells us little about
the number of current users who write Fortran code.

How many of these licenses are on machines where Fortran is only used to
compile programs provided by third party applications?  How many are on
single user work stations?  How many are on multiuser servers with active
program development?  And how many are on machines where it was part of the
package deal and Fortran has never been used on that machine?
You might investigate a scientific sampling throughly, but that still
could provide a misleading picture, depending on how you phrased
your questions.

From informal conversations with customers, their interests span the gamut,
from those who want all the latest F95 features, plus OpenMP and other
language extensions, to those who just want their old Fortran77 (of various
dialects and extensions) to just keep working.  If I wanted to bias the
results of any survey, even with carefully designed questions, I only
need to preselect who the questions will be sent to.  Even without
a malicious intent to bias the results, the way I pick my sample will
have a strong impact on the answers that are received.

To give some examples of different user communities:
(1) Supercomputer users vs Workstation users
(note that I know that supercomputer users also use workstations,
 I mean by Workstation users those who can get all their work
 done on their personal workstation)
The former will have an interest in parallel programming extensions.
The latter won't.

(2) Research labs vs production shops
The former is more likely to have those interested in Fortran90 to aid in
their application development, while the latter is more focussed on whatever
always worked, cause they 'have a job to get done now'.

(3) Different branches of science and engineering
Some are more inclined to shift to Fortran90 than others, perhaps
because of the actions of opinion leaders within their discipline
5 years ago.

So broad surveys of Fortran users attitudes are perhaps less useful than
targeted surveys of particlar types of users.

- Patrick McGehearty



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Quote:

> I heard recently (from a member of the Fotran committee) that
> it's difficult to get any statistics, but the total usage of Fortran
> may now be at an all time high.  As a percentage of the total
> computing language market, Fortran has shrunk (and may
> be continuing to shrink).  But that's because all of the new
> application directions (communications, entertainment,
> commerce, etc.) are written in other languages - and they're
> bigger industries than any Fortran has ever tackled.

this makes sense. what with all those "legacy" engineering
applications, one would expect the number of Fortran users, programmers,
or apps to follow an exponential asymptote at worst. its not like
there is lots of discretionary budget money to rewrite working
programs in a different language.

Quote:

> So, the use of Fortran could actually have been monotonically
> growing all the while, and it just appears to be shrinking because
> other languages have grow so much faster.  How would such
> a statistic be verified (or disproven)?  Even people that use
> Fortran heavily might feel that it's unstylish and resist participating
> in a survey about it.

I think its not so much that Fortran programmers won't participate,
its that they are busy getting stuff done and may not even be aware
of the online Fortran "community". most of the folks I work with
wouldn't know what "comp.lang.fortran" meant. another factor, at least
here at NASA Langley, is that the computer center is no longer
in the "Fortran business" for the most part. any survey of
the computer center staff will not reflect the majority of the
work going on here. there is a cultural gap between research engineers
and the application programmer worlds. engineers tend to stick with
what works, whereas professional programmers are always trying
to stay current and marketable (which used to mean C++, now Java).

-------------------------------------------------------------------

"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics" -- Benjamin Disraeli
"...and benchmarks" -- Garry Hodgson
-------------------------------------------------------------------



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Quote:


> > I heard recently (from a member of the Fotran committee) that
> > it's difficult to get any statistics, but the total usage of Fortran
> > may now be at an all time high.  As a percentage of the total
> > computing language market, Fortran has shrunk (and may
> > be continuing to shrink).  But that's because all of the new
> > application directions (communications, entertainment,
> > commerce, etc.) are written in other languages - and they're
> > bigger industries than any Fortran has ever tackled.

> this makes sense. what with all those "legacy" engineering
> applications, one would expect the number of Fortran users, programmers,
> or apps to follow an exponential asymptote at worst. its not like
> there is lots of discretionary budget money to rewrite working
> programs in a different language.

Hmmm. An interesting theory, however, I doubt that there are many new
projects being started in Fortran, whilst older projects do occasionally
die or get replaced. My personal experience is that I *maintain* fortran
but most of the development I am asked to do is not in fortran.

Your mileage may vary...

----

  "I can barely speak for myself... let alone the CTSU!"
  "Help! My computer's falling apart!! The operating system's in 32 bits!"



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Some years ago I filled out a market survey by Lahey that asked, among other
things, "Do you write programs for other people to use?"  I have always wondered
what response they got.  I was pleased that they were knew users like me existed,
since almost all the advertising and documentation for fortran compilers seems to
be aimed at programmers.  When I learned fortran, people who wrote fortran were
called "users."   "Programmers" wrote assembler or job control language.  I really
wonder what a survey would show today.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

Quote:


>> > I heard recently (from a member of the Fotran committee) that
>> > it's difficult to get any statistics, but the total usage of Fortran
>> > may now be at an all time high.  As a percentage of the total
>> > computing language market, Fortran has shrunk (and may
>> > be continuing to shrink).  But that's because all of the new
>> > application directions (communications, entertainment,
>> > commerce, etc.) are written in other languages - and they're
>> > bigger industries than any Fortran has ever tackled.

>> this makes sense. what with all those "legacy" engineering
>> applications, one would expect the number of Fortran users, programmers,
>> or apps to follow an exponential asymptote at worst. its not like
>> there is lots of discretionary budget money to rewrite working
>> programs in a different language.

>Hmmm. An interesting theory, however, I doubt that there are many new
>projects being started in Fortran, whilst older projects do occasionally
>die or get replaced. My personal experience is that I *maintain* fortran
>but most of the development I am asked to do is not in fortran.

I think that most Fortran projects were started because someone
decided to do them, not because they were asked to. What they
were asked to was to solve a given engineering, scientific, or
whatever problem. They decided to write a Fortran program to solve
the problem, and there it was...

And Fortran programmers don't read c.l.f. In their minds, c.l.f. is for
Fortran experts. A month ago, I offered to give a talk on Fortran
optimization here. With about no advertising, 25 people attended,
none of them knew about c.l.f., C-Fortran language wars or even that I, in the
same building, was active writing utilities and discussing about the standard.
And none of them would call him/herself a programmer.

Michel

--

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Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share


Quote:
> Ooofff... what a relief to read this thread!  I am a faithful lurker here
at c.l.f,
> and after the relentless bombardment of CS types who make you feel guilty
if you
> don't use the language-du-jour, it's refreshing to find out that the
number of
> people working in Fortran is greater than 14.

> OK, I'm 44 years old, I'm decrepit, and yes, what am I still doing writing
software
> instead of having my graduate students do that for me?  But still, I enjoy
working
> in the research trenches, and I need programming tools.  *Tools*, which
means
> "means", not "ends".  I get brownie points for research results, not cool
> programming.  So I use whatever tools make me most productive, taking into
account
> the learning curve.  So far, tools means: Matlab 4 for prototypes, Fortran
for real
> stuff, Maple for algebraic manipulation.

> I work in an aerospace engineering department, and the vast majority of
software we
> write here is in Fortran.  The only problem is that nobody seems to be
teaching
> Fortran to undergraduate students anymore (all the UG computer instruction
is in
> the hands of CS types, or CS wannabees), but having grad students learn
Fortran is
> no big deal.

> STOP
> END

Either that, or CALL EXIT.

The fact that the CS department doesn't want to teach Fortran should not be
a big problem.  In fact, it can be an good thing because they would teach it
all wrong.  You can turn the situation to your advantage, though, by
offering an UG class in Fortran in your own department.

At UCSD, the AMES (Applied Mechanics and Engineering Science) Department did
just that, with excellent results.  In fact, it was a class that the faculty
really enjoyed teaching, because it required no preparation - any professor
could teach the class with his eyes shut, practically on autopilot.

One benefit of having your own class is that you can teach the students how
to quickly and easily put together programs that work, and solve real
problems.  We all know that the real agenda of the CS department everywhere
is to bury all software production underneath a mountain of pointless and
endless design specifications that turn even a simple issue into a
Kafkaesque odyssey.  Their primary intention to make computers inaccessible
to the average user in any direct sense, thus forcing all users to pay CS
"experts" and "specialists" to do the work instead.

What they're really trying to do is turn the clock back to the days before
Fortran, Cobol , and Basic, and to eliminate user-written code.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share

snip

Quote:

>What they're really trying to do is turn the clock back to the days before
>Fortran, Cobol , and Basic, and to eliminate user-written code.

I hope we don't go back to:

01100001100001100001111100011
11110011111000000111100111001

Jim Klein



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share


Quote:
>The only problem is that nobody seems to be teaching
>Fortran to undergraduate students anymore (all the UG computer instruction is in
>the hands of CS types, or CS wannabees), but having grad students learn Fortran is
>no big deal.

That's not true here - all our students learn Fortran (but get exposed to a
bit of C and C++ as well).  This diversity may be a good idea, but it
probably means they don't learn any language well enough to be proficient
at it.

And as others have pointed out, most Fortran gets written by engineers or
scientists.   Around here that still happens, with only a small defection
to more fashionable languages such as C++ or Java.

I've put on a Fortran77-to-Fortran90 conversion course a few times, and
got 25 - 30 takers each time.  But I doubt if any of them knew of the
existence of comp.lang.fortran or the fortran90 mailing list either
(before I told them).   People like that don't get counted in statistics of
language use.

--
--
Clive Page,
Dept of Physics & Astronomy,              
University of Leicester.                  



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Fortran's Market Share
Show some guts, man!  Learn how to toggle in a bootstrap!  ;-)


Quote:

> snip

> >What they're really trying to do is turn the clock back to the days
before
> >Fortran, Cobol , and Basic, and to eliminate user-written code.

> I hope we don't go back to:

> 01100001100001100001111100011
> 11110011111000000111100111001

> Jim Klein



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 
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