Doctor Fortran in “IMPLICIT Dissent”

“GOD IS REAL, unless declared INTEGER.” That’s the only Fortran joke I know, the basis of which is one of the oldest (mis)features in the language, implicit typing. As it has been since The FORTRAN Automatic Coding System for the IBM 704 (1956), variables whose names start with the letters I through N are implicitly INTEGER, all others are implicitly REAL. (In ur-Fortran, these were called “fixed point” and “floating point”.) The earliest Fortran didn’t have type declarations at all, nor the IMPLICIT statement. I think it safe to say that no other Fortran feature has caused programmers more trouble, yet it remains a “first-class” feature today. Some people want to change that, though the approaches vary. Let’s explore.

More

Subscribe to Doctor Fortran

Subscribe to Doctor Fortran

 

Loading