Fortran is a strange language. For example, you can pass a function to a function, but you can’t return a function from a function, so functions are halfway first-class objects. And you can only pass a function as an argument if that function was defined in a different module. If the function was defined in the main program, it’s an “internal function”, and this somehow makes it ineligible to be passed as an argument, though it is indistinguishable in any other circumstance.

This language really needs to be redesigned.

5 Replies to “Fortran”

  1. Do you hate Fortran as much as I do?
    Oh and I give you (from the wiki page):

    * “The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.” —Early FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers[7]

    * “Consistently separating words by spaces became a general custom about the tenth century A.D., and lasted until about 1957, when FORTRAN abandoned the practice.” —Sun FORTRAN Reference Manual

  2. I’m kind of getting used to Fortran, just as I don’t have to use it anymore.

    At some point I was shocked to realize that I really like Java. Unfortunately, Java is incredibly slow for exactly the things that Fortran is fast. I wish Java were fast.

    Maybe now that it’s free software it’ll get faster.

  3. Hmm – that’s what you think – apparently Fortran will always haunt you, somewhat like a semi-serious stalker. I do agree, Java is lovely. However, it does seem that it is only lovely if you have more memory than sense.

    But nothing beats functional programming – you should try it. ML or Haskell – both really cute and much, much more useful. But I’m sure you’ve either done tried them or have better things to do… xxx

  4. Show me a functional language with fast, concise array arithmetic and I’ll show you….

    well I don’t know what I’ll show you. Something.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.