(j3.2006) (SC22WG5.5769) RE: Other languages with unit support

Van Snyder van.snyder
Sun Jul 10 15:41:28 EDT 2016

On Sun, 2016-07-10 at 14:22 +0000, Bill Long wrote:
> On Jul 10, 2016, at 12:04 AM, Van Snyder <van.snyder at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:
> > On Sun, 2016-07-10 at 04:38 +0000, Whitlock, Stan wrote:
> > 
> >> I echo Bill?s sentiment ? you need to stop crying in the wilderness
> >> about units.  The majority is unconvinced, you lost the argument,
> >> please stop beating a dead horse.
> > 
> > You guys asked for evidence that people want support for units checking.
> > I did a little bit of checking and found a little bit of evidence.  Now
> > you tell me to shut up.  When I find more, instead of saying "shut up"
> > will you start shouting?
> I can see a positive outcome of the exercise.  You have uncovered two
> free packages, CamFort for Fortran and tuoml for C++, that provide
> units support.  Assuming that NASA is as concerned about units as
> we?ve been led to believe, these will certainly be required
> immediately and the NASA problem is solved.  So the committee can
> finally stop discussing units and move on.  Thanks, Van, for providing
> final closure on this issue.

I also found five languages that support units.  So somebody else is
interested.  Maybe the guys who invented F# or Fortress never asked the
Fortran committees for unit support because they never developed really
serious science or engineering software.  They might have thought their
toys were adequate to solve their toy problems.

It's not finally closed until I can be confident that every preprocessor
that supports units does it the same way.  Even if the packages are
free, I have to install them.  I doubt any one of them will work on an
entire program if pieces of it use one syntax from one preprocessor and
other pieces of it use different syntax from a different preprocessor.

The draft TS proposal now in N2113 includes the words from C++ TSs that
say "this was never part of a standard and might not ever be part of a
standard."  Let's publish it, so that preprocessors can at least say "My
product conforms to the TS."

This still doesn't address the problems inherent in using preprocessors
or directives that aren't integrated with the processor.  Using source
debuggers becomes more tedious and expensive because line numbers are
different.  It's not obvious the decrease in cost inherent in increased
reliability is more than the increase in cost imposed by the inability
to use debuggers effectively.

> Cheers,
> Bill
> > 
> > 
> > 
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> Bill Long                                                                       longb at cray.com
> Fortran Technical Support  &                                  voice:  651-605-9024
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