BRITISH COMPUTER SOCIETY FORTRAN MEETING
MINUTES of a MEETING to "Discuss the
formation of a Specialist Group for the
FORTRAN language: standards, restrictions
and recommended extensions", held in BCS
Headquarters, 29 Portland Place, London W.1.,
on Tuesday, 6th January 1970 at 10.45 a.m.
PRESENT: Mr J. Gatehouse (Convenor)
Mr B. H. Shearing
Mr D. T. O'Leary
Mr J. P. Holland
Mr L. I. Brown
Mr A. J. Payne
Mr K. O. Hallinan
Mr A. D. Johnson
Mr R. Butchart
Mr I. A. G. Snowball
Dr A. Colin Day
Mr P. Bradly
Dr A. H. De Borde
Mrs B. Swann
Dr I. C. Pyle
Mr K. Normington
Mrs M. M. Barritt (Secretary)
The meeting was arranged by Mr Gatehouse.
Mr Gatehouse explained how the impetus to convene the meeting had
arisen. His own company (G.E.C./English Electric) were considerably
expanding their use of FORTRAN and so had started to look at what
standards might be laid down, in doing so they became aware that
there was no forum for the exchange of information on standards news,
proposals and requirements in the United Kingdom.
It was suggested to Mr Gatehouse that it would be appropriate to
form a specialist group of the British Computer Society for the
FORTRAN language. The purpose of this meeting was to explore what
support might be expected for such a proposal.
It was agreed that a specialist group should be formed.
Mr Gatehouse was invited to be Chairman and Mrs Barritt to be
Secretary. Mr Gatehouse accepted the nomination for a year and
Mrs Barritt accepted, with the reservation that her location in
Scotland would support having a second secretary nominated with
residence in England. It was further suggested that the second
secretary, Mr Bradley, could always conveniently act as Vice-Chairman
for the first year. The main aim of these arrangements was to avoid
any meetings being held up due to difficulties experienced in
travelling in adverse weather conditions.
FORMALISING A discussion on formalising the objectives of the group took place.
OF One of the immediate background factors was stated to be the
OBJECTIVES imminence of the 1970 revision of the ASA standard. It was felt by
some members present that the collation of information and views
of relevance to the ASA revision should be given very early
consideration by the group.
OBJECTIVES The objectives of the group were formally agreed to be:
(a) to form a focus in the United Kingdom for work concerned
with establishing and maintaining FORTRAN standards.
(b) to work in association with national and international
PROGRAMME The following programme of activities was then devised against
OF these objectives:
ACTIVITIES (1) Analyse existing ASI standards for Basic FORTRAN and FORTRAN.
(2) Review implementation against (1) in regard to syntax and
(3) Collating Users' requirements and proposed solutions.
(4) Recommendations to standard Bodies as a result of (1), (2)
(5) Dissemination of information on FORTRAN standards.
It was agreed that Mr Gatehouse would write to ASI to advise them ACTION
that a BCS FORTRAN specialist group is being formed and to ask, in Mr Gatehouse
particular, for communication on documentation and information on
It was decided to start some immediate work against the programme ACTION
of activities, in particular, Dr Ian Pyle would collate information Dr Pyle
against item 1 and present an Interim Report at the next meeting. ACTION
Mr Shearing (Alcock Shearing & Partners) and Mr D. T. Muxworthy Mr Shearing
(Edinburgh Regional Computing Centre) would similarly proceed with Mr Muxworthy
an Interim Report for presentation at the next meeting against
item 2. Members would write to Mr Gatehouse regarding item 3 and
again, dependent on the response, a preliminary statement on 3 would
be available for the next meeting.
FUNDS FOR In response to the Secretary's enquiries, Mr Gatehouse established
SPECIALIST the normal procedure for financial support, namely, that the
GROUP British Computer Society makes available to a specialist group,
funds of £50 per year to cover incidental expenses. It therefore
became clear that members would need to be able to fund their own
travelling expenses to the meetings and those present agreed that
provided the meetings were not too frequent this would be feasible.
However, the point was made that if the work subsequently entailed
special travel against a formal specified project, then
Mr Gatehouse would make representation to Mr John Nicholson, the
Secretary to the Technical Committee, regarding the position of
the British Computer Society funding, before any such project
DRAFT FOR The Secretary agreed to draft for comment at the next meeting a ACTION
BCS contribution intended for the next British Computer Society Mrs Barritt
DATE OF NEXT The date of the next meeting (to discuss the first documents)
MEETING was fixed for Tuesday, 17th February, 1970 at 10.45 a.m. at
29 Portland Place, London, W.1. A formal meeting will also be
held on 7th April, to which interested parties will be invited
through the Bulletin.
ADDENDUM TO The following is a list of headings under which Dr Pyle proposes
PROGRAMME OF to produce his Interim Report:
Data type and manipulation
Flow of control within routine
Connection between routines
Error detection and handling
Environment for compilers and object programs
Manner of defining Standard.