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Is it easier to write a program in Fortran 77

 
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Mark_G



Joined: 07 May 2012
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Is it easier to write a program in Fortran 77 Reply with quote

Is it easier to write a program in Fortran 77, than in Fortran 90 ?, and further what is better:
- to convert Fortran 77 to C using f2c or
- use the Fortran 77 to 90 Conversion, and is in this case the possibility of further conversion to C + +?
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PaulLaidler
Site Admin


Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 5044
Location: Salford, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fortran 77 is almost entirely a subset of Fortran 90 (and later standards). Having said this, even simple programs can take advantage of features introduced in Fortran 90.

If you are starting from scratch then there is no point in writing in Fortran with a view to conversion to C/C++ (or anything else) later. Java, Visual Basic, C++ and C# are all worth considering.
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1683
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on whether you have any programming experience at all.

If you are like me, and programmed in Fortran 66 and then Fortran 77 for many years, the later Fortrans seem alien and difficult to get to grips with. It is possible to write very functional programs entirely in Fortran 77. If you master Clearwin+, then you can write Windows applications that are not only functional, but look and feel like the native Windows applications that they are.

Not only that, but you have the alternative with FTN95 to do your Windows interface in Visual Studio (i.e. for .NET)

Later Fortran versions (90, 95) allow for some different styles of programming, but Clearwin and .NET interfacing are equally practical. I consider 77 to be easier than 90/95, but that is largely a function of my experience, and the fact that 77 is simpler. The downside of the simplicity is that some features that are supposed to be easy in 90/95 are difficult or not possible in 77. (I say "supposed to be" because I have been told so, but have never tried it for myself, not because I doubt it).

If, on the other hand, you have the intention of creating a C++ program, why are you starting with Fortran?

Note that in the FTN95 package there is a perfectly adequate C compiler, and this is (among other things) usable with Clearwin (although the "manual" is written for the Fortran user, there is a help file which explains the different calling conventions).

Machine translated source code may work, but it is hellishly difficult to maintain - or to enhance. What you want to achieve may well determine the route you follow: for some tasks Excel is the best.

Eddie
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