MINUTES of a meeting

held on Thursday 6th July

1972 at B.C.S. Headquarters,

29 Portland Place, London

W1 at l0.30 am.

Present:    Mr. J.S. Gatehouse (Chairman)   G.E.C.

Mr. P.D. Bond                   Philips Industries

Mr. H.W. Bradley                C.A.D. Centre, Cambridge

Mr. R.L. Butchart               D.T.I.

Mr. J.C. Cullen                 B.P.

Dr. A.C. Day                    University College, London

Mr. P.J. Hammond                B.P.

Mr. I.D. Hill                   M.R.C.

Mr. I.D.K.Kelly                 A.I.A.Computing, Ltd.

Mr. D.J. Maisey                 I.C.L.

Mr. R. Mankin                   Olympic Computer Services

Mr. D.H. Marwick                Heriot-Watt University

Mr. K. St Pier                  G.E.C.

Mr. B.H.Shearing                Alcock Shearing & Partners

Mr. D. Winstanley               Birmingham University

Mr. D T Muxworthy (Secretary)   Edinburgh R.C.C.


for         Mr. E. Bodger                   IBM Information Services Ltd.

Absence:    Mr. R.E. Day                    Edinburgh R.C.C.

l.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES    The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday l9th        ACTION

                                                     April 1972 were approved.

2.  MATTERS ARISING        The Chairman reported that volunteers had filled all

    FROM THE MINUTES       the vacancies for file-project examiners and that

                                                     the City and Guilds Institute had expressed its


3.  REPORTS FROM THE       a.  Diagnostics Working Party. No-one had offered

    WORKING PARTIES            to chair this working party; the invitation

                                                             to do so remains open.                                  All

                                                     b.  Extensions Working Party. Mr. Shearing reported

                                                             that the pattern of meetings described at the

                                                             previous Group meeting had continued and that the

                                                             working party continued to comment on the latest

                                                             ANSI Fortran sub-committee proposals. The problem

                                                             of type CHARACTER was occupying much of the sub-

                                                             committee's time.

                                                             Asked if there was anything with which the working

                                                             party did not agree, Mr. Shearing said that the

                                                             overall impression was one of ad-hoc solutions

                                                             (to genuine problems) which resulted in an

                                                             irregular language; there was a danger that the

                                                             new standard would not be implemented.

                                                             The Group secretary was to attend the July

                                                             meeting of XJ3 as an observer.

                                                     c.  Free Format Working Party. Mr. Marwick

                                                             introduced the draft reports "Free Layout of

                                                             Source Code" and "Free Format of Data" which

                                                             had been distributed to members of the Group

                                                             during June and which had been sent to certain

                                                             members of the ANSI X3J3 sub-committee as a

                                                             personal contribution. The principal differences

                                                             from earlier documents from this working party

                                                             were concerned with data. The Chairman expressed

                                                             the thanks of the Group for Mr. Marwick's work

                                                             and complimented him on the high standard of the


                                                             There followed a detailed discussion on the

                                                             content of the reports which is summarised in

                                                             Appendix A to these minutes; as a consequence

                                                             of the discussion Mr. Marwick is to make

                                                             certain revisions.

   d.  Small machine Fortran Working Party. This

                                                             working party was not discussed in detail because

                                                             of lack of time: it was thought that there

                                                             was a possibility of reviving the working party

                                                             with different terms of reference, e.g. to

                                                             include compiling techniques, and those interested

                                                             were asked to formulate their ideas on this matter

                                                             with a view to discussing it at the next Group


4.  OTHER BUSINESS         a.  Mr. R.E. Day had advised that a cheaper, non-

                                                             residential fee was available, although not

                                                             advertised, for the conference "High Level

                                                             Programming Languages - The Way Ahead" and

                                                             further that the timetable had been rearranged

                                                             from that shown in the publicity leaflet.

                                                      b.  The Secretary advised that Mr. F.A. Martin

                                                             (ref. minutes of 16.12.71 section 6a) had, as

                                                             part of a technical teacher training course,

                                                             written a report, "An Assessment of the Facilities

                                                             for learning Fortran IV by Self-Tuition". This

                                                             lists over fifty Fortran textbooks and makes

                                                             detailed assessments and comparisons of forty-one

                                                             of them. It was hoped that the report would be

                                                             submitted for publication in the Computer

                                                             Bulletin or Computer Education.


                                                      c.  The Chairman had been informed by Dr. Murchland

                                                              of P.T.R.C. that he was compiling a catalogue

                                                              of Fortran programming aids.

                                                      d.  The Chairman drew the attention of the Group to

                                                              draft ISO standard 1672 - "The Hardware

                                                              Representation of Algol Basic Symbols". This

                                                              indicated problems associated with multi

                                                              character symbols.

                                                      e.  Dr. A.C. Day advised that his book, "Fortran

                                                              Techniques" would be published this summer and

                                                              that the University College London Fortran

                                                              video-tape course was available and was

                                                              marketed by Lux; the prices varied from £325

                                                              for certain educational establishments to

                                                              £1200 for commercial organizations.

5.  DATE OF NEXT           The next meeting will be held on Thursday September

    MEETING                21st 1972 at 10.30 am in the Council Room, BCS





Section l         A compiler should not be obliged to accept free format source

in order to be deemed standard-conforming.

"Column" margins, with a default, should be defined.

Multi-statement lines should not be allowed.

Sections 2,       The statement terminator and continuation convention should

      3,4         be redefined; if possible no new symbols should be

introduced and the definition should be medium-independent.

Section 5         This section may logically be divided into matters of Fortran

code and of keyboard-to-compiler communication and the latter

should appear in an appendix to the report.


Sections 2,3      The READ and WRITE statements with an undefined format label

were not approved.

The READ, PRINT, PUNCH statements were present only because

the corresponding formatted input-output statements had been

approved for the new standard.

The WRITE *,list was queried as there is no corresponding

formatted statement.

Section 4         Complex and logical data forms should be explicitly defined.

The description of data-items should be made medium-independent

if possible.

Some simplification would follow if contiguous commas were

not allowed.

Sub-paragraphs (v) and (vi) should be removed and comment made

in an appendix that use of such symbols would inhibit any

future use of arithmetic expressions as data.

Section 5         There should be a means of writing character strings with

enclosing apostrophes (for re-input).