(j3.2006) (SC22WG5.4192) WG5 Las Vegas Feb-2010/J3 m191 minutes 10-144

Bill Long longb
Wed Feb 24 14:17:08 EST 2010

Craig Rasmussen wrote:
> On Feb 23, 2010, at 2:32 PM, Van Snyder wrote:
>> The only way to make Fortran attractive to young people is to keep  
>> it on
>> a track to becoming and remaining a modern language, or, better yet,  
>> to
>> offer unique features aimed at reducing the cost and increasing the
>> reliability of engineering and scientific computing that aren't  
>> offered
>> by any other significantly-used language.  If we stop development now,
>> even if only for a ten-year hiatus, the perception of Fortran as an
>> irrelevant fossil will only be re-enforced.
> Why do you say ten-year hiatus?  Do you consider F2008 to be  
> insignificant?
>  From the perspective of my employer, it is much more important that  
> compilers universally (or pretty much so) implement the standard than  
> for the standard to outpace vendor compilers that we use.  Since we  
> use Pathscale and PGI compilers (in addition to other vendors  
> represented on J3), it is pretty clear that LANL developers are more  
> interested in performance than features.

Just to play devil's advocate, often developers do not push for features 
because they don't know the features exist.  That said, performance (of 
their code as it is currently written) is often #2 on the priority list, 
close behind getting the "right" answer.  New features come into focus 
when there is a major rewrite of the code, which happens a lot less 
frequently than runs of the current version.    Sometimes new features 
can promote better performance, so it is not necessarily either / or.

Regarding vendors like PGI, they will implement what the customers with 
money want implemented. Conformance to new standards is not their top 
priority. They only recently made it up to f95 + the allocatable TR.  If 
you want f03 or f08 features, you have to demand them as a customer. 
Doing so would be a service to the wider community in better enabling 


> Just another data point to consider.
> -craig
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Bill Long                                           longb at cray.com
Fortran Technical Support    &                 voice: 651-605-9024
Bioinformatics Software Development            fax:   651-605-9142
Cray Inc./Cray Plaza, Suite 210/380 Jackson St./St. Paul, MN 55101

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