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New Contributor I

Sometimes, when you are sitting waiting for the computer to complete a task, your mind wanders. 

This morning I had a problem with my 1TB drive being full. 

It should not, but for some reasons the smart synch on dropbox was downloading files, I had not requested. As usual one can blame the computer gods or a useless operator.  A wise old man told me that they were the same and fighting city hall was useless.  

Anyway, turning off dropbox and deleting the directory recovers 0.5 TB. Then I pondered, my first hard drive was 20 MB in about 1987.  I mean I could fit most of the programs I still use today, on the 20MB, but I need something 50,000 times bigger today.  

I had a quick look at a 2TB SSD and it is 250 dollars, given the COVID economic mess and other things it is cheap.  But my 20 MB drive cost about 100 dollars in 1987, so a 2TB drive set in 1987 would have cost 10 million dollars. 

MS Fortran 3.03 would fit on a 5.25 inch floppy drive, so it is small program, now if I look at ifort it is either 4 or 2 MB for the two flavours and yet IFX is only 1.2MB. 

I wonder why the compilers have grown so, I mean it is still a basic compiler with X86 instruction set. 

Anyway just wondering about Intel Fortran. 





Screenshot 2021-10-15 123903.png



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4 Replies
Black Belt Retired Employee

Much larger language, much more sophisticated code generator.  I have a slide I like to show people:


Size of Fortran standard through the yearsSize of Fortran standard through the years

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New Contributor I
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Honored Contributor II

Rather than write a long answer look at it is an interesting read.


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Black Belt

JNichols said, "now if I look at ifort it is either 4 or 2 MB for the two flavours and yet IFX is only 1.2MB. "


Those are the sizes of the compiler drivers,  which parse the command line options, and manage the compilation and linking processes. The compilers proper, which parse your source code, generate object code, etc., have "fortcom" in their names, and they are each about 50 MB in size.