[J3] nailed to the church door

Dan Nagle danlnagle at mac.com
Mon Jun 15 11:17:50 EDT 2020


I feel compelled to comment.

Temperance of expression promotes tolerance of hearing.
Tolerance of listening promotes temperance of expression.

We work by consensus of experts.  Perforce, we are all experts
in slightly different areas.  We must respect each other to function.
We must respect our joint goal, of making a better Fortran.

The future of Fortran requires, as the sequence of retirements continues,
that younger members be recruited.  That, in turn, means that Fortran
must be an attractive language, one that is worthy of further development.

It follows as well that the committee must appear to be an attractive place
to work, a rewarding place where one's contributions will be appreciated.
In many cases, the choice to work with Fortran is made by an individual,
who may well be young when choosing.  The standards of youth are in force.

Whether rightly or wrongly, the choice to join is made based on expectations.
Some demographics have had undeserved difficulty pursuing careers in STEM areas.
This is well documented.  Without regard to fault, our whole-hearted welcoming
of any interested party is important for Fortran's future as a language.  It is
also important for our society to appear fair to all comers.

We use our resources, meetings, lists, documents, and archives, to further
our joint goal.  Our resources are branded, both with Fortran's name,
and with ISO/ANSI/INCITS's names.  Non-technical discussions, wherein the fact
of underrepresented demographic groups is smugly dismissed, appear dismissive
of those groups as individuals.  This is directly contrary to our goal of consensus.
It attacks the breadth of our consensus now, and the longevity of any consensus
for Fortran into the future.  We must expect that others, whose names are associated
with our product, will object to disrespectful commentary that might reasonably
be associated with them.

Non-technical, disrespectful, political commentary has no place in a technical
experts' discussion list.  This is not censorship; it is a demand for good manners
to further our sometimes difficult technical work, and gain the best value
for the compiler purchaser's money that we can.

The tired argument that technical committees should not concern themselves
with social factors is patently refuted by the observation that social factors
determine the uses of technology.  Technology is social.  Technologists are social.
Experts have social roles.  The choice to use Fortran, or not, is social.

We welcome all comers.

That is my comment.


Dan Nagle

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