(j3.2006) (SC22WG5.5764) [ukfortran] RE: RE: Units of measure

Damian Rouson damian
Fri Jul 8 10:52:18 EDT 2016


Without weighing in on the specifics of the units proposal and partly because the discussion feels lopsided, I?ll simply note that Mathcad's units-handling capability was the top reason I chose it over MATLAB when I was doing consulting work earlier in my career (mostly accident investigations) and when I was teaching mechanical engineering at a different point in my career. ?Both Mathcad and MATLAB are platforms for interpreted languages, but such packages have almost completely eliminated the teaching of compiled languages in most undergraduate engineering and science curricula so it?s worth having their capabilities on the radar. ?

In my original discipline of fluid dynamics, units are rarely used in scientific research (most codes study dimensionless forms of the basic equations), but they are indispensable in engineering practice. ?Fortran serves both communities. ?I would guess that most computational fluid dynamicists in academia or government labs are writing scientific research codes, while most in industry are writing engineering software (e.g., finite element software). ?

On a related note, my impression from both survey data and lots of anecdotal evidence suggests a disconnect between what compiler vendors are hearing about users? interests and what users are saying when they?re not talking to vendors. ?It is quite often the case that there is demonstrably high interest in a feature that, for reasons I can?t discern, the vendors are not hearing from their users. ?I?ll make that the subject of a different email.


On July 8, 2016 at 6:56:42 AM, Anton Shterenlikht (mexas at bris.ac.uk) wrote:

On 08/07/2016, Van Snyder <Van.Snyder at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:  
> Nobody got fired. The $300 millions of taxpayer money was not recovered  

Van, I have some interest in your proposal, but  
I think you should stop using this story as a motivation  
for it, because it's having the opposite effect.  
You posted enough negative information about the  
management of this project, and of your organisation  
more generally, for me to conclude that  
this story is one of a management failure,  
and little to do with programming.  
Speaking as a mechanical engineer, it would be wrong,  
perhaps immoral, to lobby for O-rings with a capacity to report gaps,  
just to mitigate potential management failures,  
similar to the one that led to the 1986 Challenger disaster [1].  


[1] http://history.nasa.gov/rogersrep/v1ch6.htm  
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