[J3] Fortran annex to 24772 and the work with WG23 on "Guidance to Avoiding Vulnerabilities in Programming Languages through Language Selection and Use"

Vipul Parekh parekhvs at gmail.com
Thu Jan 23 13:04:36 EST 2020

On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 11:49 AM Dan Nagle via J3
<j3 at mailman.j3-fortran.org> wrote:
> Under the heading of "old business",
> JoR will look at the Fortran annex to 24772; this is the work
> for the joint meeting with WG23.

Dan and anyone working toward the joint meeting with WG23,

Would you know the process to get better clarity on the work with WG23
and how J3/WG5 intends to follow up on the stated Implications?

By implications, I mean items such as the last one from Fortran.58
Implications for Standardization in WG5 document N1965 which states,
"Identifying, deprecating, and replacing features whose use is
problematic where there is a safer and clearer alternative in the
modern revisions of the language or in current practice in other

With this item,

-  What will "deprecating" mean in the context of Fortran standard if
such an implication remains in the output of this joint work with

-  Fortran standard has "obsolescent" and "deleted" but not "deprecated'.

-  And there are some aspects in the Fortran standard that are clearly
"problematic" such as
   * implicit typing and how this nasty, nasty, nasty "legacy"
persists through new scopes introduced starting Fortran 90 such as
   * and the indescribably reprehensible "implied SAVE" (c.f. sections
53.1 and 53.2 in WG5 document N1965)

- What will "replacing" mean in the context of Fortran standard?

With certain "is-it-a-feature-or-is-it-a-bug" in the Fortran standard,
there appears a strong resistance to deletion on the committee when
the very few like me trying to retain a role for Fortran in industry
would very much prefer deletion.  This preference is only due to
continued experiences with negativity and relentless ridicule fostered
by FORTRAN and its "legacy" with implicit typing and implied SAVE
which leads to powers-that-be signing off on codebase after codebases
to move away from Fortran to other programming languages.

Without deletion, I don't quite see how one ends up "replacing
features", I only see "adding features" to the language but then
status quo with continued vulnerabilities in user codes facilitated by
continued processor support.  That is,.until senior leadership in
enterprise(s) wield the axe and shift the whole damn code away from

Can the joint work with WG23 lead to further discussion of these
concerns when it comes to the future direction of the Fortran

Vipul Parekh

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