(j3.2006) 007 formatting

Malcolm Cohen malcolm
Wed Mar 7 19:10:49 EST 2007

Bill Long said:
> I'm not sure about WG5 drafts, but for the J3 drafts, I certainly want
> to retain the line numbers. We've debated this before and always came to
> this conclusion.

Au contraire, we've never seriously considered paragraph numbers.

> The reality is that the official standard is pretty irrelevant.

I don't agree.

> All actual uses are of the final draft, so there is never
> any confusion even if the layouts are slightly different.

Not so - it has caused confusion in the past.
Not everyone who is interested in Fortran is on J3.

> The precision of citations enabled with line numbers is highly
> desirable, especially for longer paragraphs.

While I agree that line numbers give extra precision, and that
precision is desirable, it is also desirable to be working on the
same document that gets standardised.

My conjecture is that the loss of precision by using paragraph numbers
instead of line numbers would be manageable, and balanced or more than
balanced by the virtue of using the same document throughout
processing.  That's a conjecture, not an assertion.  But I think it
is worth exploring.

........................Malcolm Cohen (malcolm at nag-j.co.jp), Nihon NAG, Tokyo.

More information about the J3 mailing list