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New Contributor I
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Question on Fortran History

Steve:

I have always wondered why MS dropped MS Fortran? 

John

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Black Belt
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Microsoft realized that they

Microsoft realized that they'd have to put a lot of effort into PowerStation Fortran in order to even get to full Fortran 90, and they did not consider Fortran a key part of their business. They were happy to let DEC take on their part of that market and offered that when we asked about licensing Visual Studio. The Digital Visual Fortran product was DEC's compiler and language libraries, with source code from Microsoft for QuickWin, Windows API declarations and samples.

Steve (aka "Doctor Fortran") - https://stevelionel.com/drfortran
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New Contributor I
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Powerstation was interesting

Powerstation was interesting -- no where near as good as these modern versions

Why did Intel take on Fortran? 

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New Contributor I
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//---------------------------

 //-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            // Permanently set to 3 - no I forget why

            retQ = 3;

            //
            //-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Very late night humour on a very old variable that controls program flow - interesting what we find years later

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Black Belt
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First, the MS change was in

First, the MS change was in the DEC days. I don't know when Intel started with its own Fortran compiler, but I do know that DVF/CVF was routinely beating it in benchmarks, and that is probably a large part of why Intel acquired the DEC Fortran team from Compaq. DEC had a very long history of popular Fortran compilers, back into the early 1970s.

Intel does Fortran because Fortran is important to a large swath of its processor customers, and most of the large system sales wouldn't happen without a top-notch Fortran. Consider that both AMD and Nvidia are developing their own Fortran compilers - Fortran is mandatory for HPC.

Steve (aka "Doctor Fortran") - https://stevelionel.com/drfortran
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New Contributor I
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Steve:

Steve:

Thanks for the note.  I remember using a Digital? Fortran on a main frame at work in 1981 to run USC Berkeley Software.  I cannot for the life of me remember the exact brand, but they ran Stardyne as well?  

HPC computing is the way of the future, the issue now is storage of the results.  

Fortran just needs a nice GUI. 

 

John

 

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Black Belt
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In 1981 the only Digital

In 1981 the only Digital Fortran you might have been using was VAX FORTRAN on VMS. I don't recognize "Stardyne".

I find the Visual Studio GUI just fine for Fortran, but there's also Code:Blocks, which is popular.

Steve (aka "Doctor Fortran") - https://stevelionel.com/drfortran
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New Contributor I
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My apologies, I meant the

My apologies, I meant the development of a GUI for a Fortran program for Windows or UNIX program in Fortran. 

It was not to bad in MS DOS you could use screen commands to provide a simple interface. 

I like VS -- it is very good. 

Stardyne is the oldest commercial FEA program if I understand correctly.  

 

 

 

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New Contributor I
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MS Fortran was not able to

MS Fortran was not able to resolve EQUIVALENCE statements used in many large programs developed on IBM MVS with Fortran H/extended.

The Lahey Fortran compiler was much better and, with it, we (computer dept in a large engineering company) succeeded in porting Fortran applications from mainframe to PC.   

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Black Belt
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There are multiple options

There are multiple options for adding a GUI to Fortran programs. Two commercial libraries I know of are Winteracter (multiplatform) and GinoMenu (Windows). Intel Fortran on Windows has QuickWin, and of course you can use pretty much the full Windows API. I've also created UIs in OpenGL that work on Linux.

MS Fortran was unreliable in many ways, though it had its fans. If you ignored all the F90 features it worked reasonably well, but Microsoft's heart wasn't in it.

Steve (aka "Doctor Fortran") - https://stevelionel.com/drfortran
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New Contributor I
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Dear Steve:

Dear Steve:

Thanks for your response.  I am not trying to be difficult about Fortran, it is the second best language in the world after LISP - but LISP is very slow and has a steep learning curve, actually if you treat Fortran like LISP you can get reasonable to read programs.

Those two interfaces have a steep price. 

Yes I remember struggling mightily with Powerstation in developing a Water Resources program. It was cursed.

The beauty of competition is that it has brought us a legacy of languages, the  horocrux is when MIT Introduction to Computer Science is taught in Python, one wonders at the results of competition.  

But at least there is always Fortran. Fast dependable and fast.  Although if we go back to Dewdney implementation of SOUP in ScAmer in the 1980's. in Computer Recreations, He wrote it in Basic, it worked well but very slow, but porting it to FORTRAN ran into problems with finding a random number generator that did not repeat was a real issue at the time - even Box Mueller was a problem.  The article is an excellent read, it is inside the attached zip file. it is just fun to play with a bit like a RPi. 

Interestingly the Intel Fortran Person on this site, was interested that Fortran would run on a NUC.  It does nicely.

Really it is Fortran on GPU's that are the future of the world.  

Happy New Year. 

John

 

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New Contributor II
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Re. GUIs: I develop GUIs for

Re. GUIs: I develop GUIs for my Fortran programs using Qt, but that does force one to get some familiarity with C++.  The Fortran is built as a DLL.

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New Contributor I
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Steve:

Steve:

I was sitting coding this morning and I remembered the company we used in about 1982 to run the Fortran programs was a Control Data office in Australia that sold services.  They had the first daisy wheel printer in the building and we did all our letters on it. 

Their Wikipedia entry makes interesting reading.

John

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Moderator
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Control Data Cybernet sold

Control Data Cybernet sold compute timesharing services. There were many offices around the world that provided access to printers and graphics devices (think Tektronix CRTs) for their customers.  And don't forget card readers and card punch machines. 

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New Contributor I
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Dear Barbara:

Dear Barbara:

CDC in Australia allowed me to transfer the tapes my boss had bought from UC Berekley - Powell's group - structural analysis programs, ULARC, AXISHELL and Tabs.  I could never get TABS running.  I enclose the original files here. 

Then I moved to the Compaq Portable and Fortran 1986: 3.31 - the Powerstation versions that replaced 3.31 had a lot of problems compiling the Powell Code, it was not till Intel Fortran that those problems went away. 

We made a lot of money doing analysis with AXISHELL and ULARC, both good programs. 

 

Thanks for the reply.

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New Contributor I
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Quote:Barbara P (Intel) wrote

Barbara P (Intel) wrote:

Control Data Cybernet sold compute timesharing services. There were many offices around the world that provided access to printers and graphics devices (think Tektronix CRTs) for their customers.  And don't forget card readers and card punch machines. 

 

I used both CDC services and services from HoneywellBull in the Netherlands in 70s which probably disappeared long time ago. We had terminals (including Tektronix) in our office which were used to connect to  to these service companies. I guess one could say we used to use cloud services! The interesting thing was the OSs and disk drives they utilized.

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New Contributor I
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CDC formed the base for the

CDC formed the base for the Cray Computers and Citigroup I think -- it makes interesting reading. 

 

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