Doctor Fortran says “Better SAVE Than Sorry”

In this issue, Dr. Fortran takes on another less-understood feature of the Fortran language, the SAVE attribute.

Back in the “good old days” of Fortran programming, when lowercase letters hadn’t been invented yet and we strung our core memory wires by hand, programmers knew that local variables lived in fixed memory locations and, of course, took advantage of that, writing code such as this:

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Hey! Who are you calling “obsolescent”?

Steve Lionel, DVF Development Team

Dr. Fortran didn’t receive any appropriate questions for his column this time, so he’s going to take on a topic that is sure to raise a ruckus each time it is brought up in the comp.lang.fortran newsgroup: Obsolescent and Deleted Features.

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Ask Dr. Fortran

Dear Dr. Fortran,

I know this program who seems to be OK, but he is a little different from all the other programs. (Just between you and me, he is a legacy program. Don’t let that get out. It would not be politically correct.)

He started out life written for the IBM 1130 Disk Monitor System with 8k of core storage. He was written in 1130 FORTRAN. The original documentation gives direction as to which switches on the computer must be flipped to invoke certain options. But he is still alive and works well. We still add things to him. He lives on PCs now.

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