Fortran

Writing a commandline tool in Fortran

Here I want to show you how to write a commandline tool in Fortran. Because it is much better than its reputation — most of all in syntax. I needed a long time to understand that — to get over my predjudices — and I hope I can help you save some of that time.1


  1. After I finished my Diploma, I thought that Fortran is this horribly unreadable 70th language. I thought it should be removed and that it only lived on due to pure inertia. I thought that its only deeper use were to provide the libraries to make numeric Python faster. Then I actually had to use it. In the beginning I mocked it and didn’t understand why anyone would choose Fortran over C. What I saw was mostly Fortran 77. The first thing I wrote was "Fortran surprises" — all the strange things you can stumble over. But bit by bit I realized the similarities with Python. That well-written Fortran actually did not look that different from Python — and much cleaner than C. That it gets stuff done. This year Fortran turns 60 (heise reported in German). And I understand why it is still used. And being an ISO standard it is likely that it will stick with us and keep working many more decades. 

Surprising behaviour of Fortran (90/95)

1 Introduction

I recently started really learning Fortran (as opposed to just dabbling with existing code until it did what I wanted it to).

Here I document the surprises I found along the way.

As reference: I come from Python, C++ and Lisp, and I actually started to like Fortran while learning it. So the horror-stories I heard while studying were mostly proven wrong. I uploaded the complete code as base60.f90.

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Willkommen im Weltenwald!
((λ()'Dr.ArneBab))



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