Minutes of a meeting held on

Friday, 9th November 1973 at

BCS Headquarters, 29 Portland

Place, London W1 at 10.30 a.m.

Present:           Mr B.H. Shearing (Chairman)     Alcock Shearing & Partners

Ms E. Aylmer-Kelly              University of York

Mr P.D. Bond                    Philips Industries

Mr A. Bruce                     Government Communications

Mr F. Chambers                  John Harwell D.P. Ltd

Mr P.A. Clarke                  Rothamsted Experimental Station

Mr J.C. Cullen                  B.P.

Dr A.C. Day                     University College London

Mr D. Ellison                   University of Manchester R.C.C.

Mr J.C. Gilbert                 University of London C.C.

Mr P.J. Hammond                 B.P.

Mr J.P. Holland                 Tunnel Cement Ltd

Mr T.D. Palmer                  Compower Ltd

Mr K. St.Pier                   GEC Computers

Ms J.A. Smith                   A.W.R.E. Aldermaston

Mr P.J. Vyse                    Honeywell I.S. Ltd

Mr D. Winstanley                University of Birmingham

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


for absence        Mr T.L. van Raalte             A.W.R.E. Aldermaston


1.    APPROVAL OF        The minutes of the meeting of the 27th July 1973

MINUTES            were approved.

2.    MATTERS ARISING    The Chairman was waiting for the November edition        BBS

FROM THE MINUTES   of FORTREV, the working document of the American

Standards Fortran subcommittee X3J3, before

discussing its publication with the editor of the

Computer Journal.

3.   BCS MISCELLANEA     The attention of the meeting was drawn to the


a.    The Standards Committee of the BCS has forwarded a

copy of a Proposed Extended Mathematical Symbol

Definition for Interchange.

b.    The IFIP congress in 1974 will be held in Stockholm

from August 5 to 10 and will include the MEDINFO


c.    Contributions to 'Computing' from members of the

group on topics related to Fortran are welcomed.

Articles should be about 1000 to 1500 words long

and payment is made at the rate of £20 per thousand

words published.

d.    Datafair produced a profit of £20,000 for the BCS.

e.    The BCS Library is not to be run down.

f.    A 'Computer Systems and Technology' Conference is to

be held in London on October 29 to November 1, 1974;

abstracts of contributed papers must be submitted by

January 7.

g.    The list of BSI committees on which the BCS is

represented which was printed in 'Computing' of

August 9, 1973 was apparently not intended to be

exhaustive (the Programming Languages Committee

DPE/13 was omitted).

h.    The IEE are to hold a debate on the motion, "That

this house believes that computer systems are not

organized for the benefit of the customer" during

the first half of 1974.

i.    A new BCS specialist group is being set up; it is

called "Human aspects of computer management".

j.    The BCS Objectives Review Committee held its first

meeting on November 6. Its terms of reference are

to define the short and longer term aims and

objectives of the BCS and to make recommendations

to Council at the April 1974 meeting. Written

contributions are welcome and may be addressed to

the chairman of the committee, G. Morris, or to the

Secretary of the Group, who is a member of the


k.    Yet another error~ridden Fortran algorithm has been

published in the Journal (August 1973 pp 273-276)

and the Chairman and Secretary are to pursue the BHS/DTM

matter. Messrs Day and Winstanley offered to

referee the language aspects of algorithms written

in Fortran.

l.    A BCS symposium to review command languages and

discuss JCL standardization will be held at the

City University on January 24, 1974.

4.    IBM PROGRAMMING   IBM presented their new programming language

LANGUAGE STRATEGY strategy at a recent user meeting attended by the

Secretary. The strategy is most favourable to

Fortran for it is no longer IBM policy to persuade

Fortran users to move to PL/I and IBM committed

themselves to support any new internationally

accepted standards in their six main languages

(APL, Basic, Cobol, Fortran, PL/I, RPG).

5.    U.S. NAVY TEST    The set of U.S. Navy programs, designed to test

PROGRAMS          whether a compiler conforms to the ANSI standard

(v. minutes of 21.9.72, section 7) has been run by

Mr Clarke with the ICL System 4 compiler FTRAN3

(P8090) and with the Edinburgh R.C.C. compiler

FORTE. Errors were revealed in both compilers and

in the test programs themselves. Copies of the

summary report of these runs may be obtained from

Mr Clarke.

6.    BSI STANDARDS     Dr Day reported that the BSI DPE/13 Fortran sub-

ACTIVITIES        committee had identified a number of typographical

errors in the ISO Fortran recommendation, ISO/R/1539;

the corrected document would be proposed as a

British Standard. (This is essentially the 1966

American Standard).

7.    ECMA STANDARDS    The ECMA Standards Committee has continued to meet

ACTIVITIES        every two months to consider the X3J3 proposals.

They note that X3J3's work is scheduled until

September 1975.

8.    MULTINATIONAL     The attention of the meeting was drawn to the

DATA STANDARD     Multinational Data Fortran Standard (Technical

Publication No. MD-STD 30-002 dated 23.10.72,

available from ICL) which describes, in the form

of the 1966 American Standard, the Fortran Language

intended to be implemented by ICL. It contains

some of the current X3J3 proposals. A large

number of errors had been found in the document by

Mr Clarke.

9.    AMERICAN FORTRAN  The minutes of the X3J3 meetings of July 9-12 and

STANDARDS         September 11-14, 1973 were considered. The

ACTIVITIES        principal decisions then taken were:

a.    To clarify the input-output proposals.

b.    To allow ENTRY and FORMAT to precede IMPLICIT.

c.    To add colon, 'less than', 'greater than' to the

character set.

d.    To use colon as the array bound separator in array

declarators, as the character position separator

in substring references and as the ellipsis

character in array block input-output.

e.    To use two consecutive slashes as the concatenation


f.    To allow character data in blank common provided

all blank common blocks in an executable program

contain only character data.

g.    To adopt colon as the format scan terminator.

h.    To allow array cross~sections to be used with sub-

string references.

i.    To delete the requirement that each subprogram

contain a RETURN statement.

j.    To require that an entry name be not used in an

executable statement before the ENTRY statement.

k.    Not to allow < as an alternative to .LT. etc

(so that <, > are in the character set but have

no use).

l.    Not to delete non-unity lower bounds for arrays.

m.    Not to delete the SAVE statement.

Comments on these topics were sent to X3J3 and are

shown in appendix A to these minutes.

Mr Marwick had received a letter thanking him for

his free-format input-output report. A number of

flaws had recently been found in the X3J3 proposals

for list-directed input-output and the whole matter

is being rethought.

The schedule for accepting the new draft proposed

standard is:

a.    X3J3 ballot. Minimum statutory time 30 days;

time proposed is 60 days. Most standards take two

or more such ballots.

b.    X3 ballot to "accept for public review". Time

varies from 2 weeks to 30 days according to X3

meeting dates.

c.    X3 Public Review. Four months are allowed.

d.    X3 ballot. This takes 6 weeks from the end of

the public review, or from X3J3 completion and X3

approval of responses to all comments received

during comment period.

e.    All negative X3 ballots are referred to X3J3 for

responses, which are again approved by X3. If the

responses involve technical change of substance,

there is an X3 30 day ballot to approve the


10.   OTHER BUSINESS     Members of the Group are invited to send to the

Secretary details of any papers or documents

related to Fortran they have produced, as

individuals or as Group members. This is to help

the BCS answer queries about specialized subjects.

11.   DATE OF NEXT       The next meeting will be held at 10.30 a.m. on

MEETING            Friday, February 8, 1974 at BCS Headquarters.



15th November 1973

To:       X3J3

From:     David Muxworthy, for BCS Fortran Specialist Group

Subject:  Comments on X3J3/45 and X3J3/46.

1.    (/45,4.1,FORTREV 13.13).  Does an error condition occur if a format

field descriptor does not agree in type with the corresponding input-

output list item?

2.    (/45,4.1). How is the record length specified when characters are

written to an unformatted direct-access file?

3.    (/45,5.1). We are in favour of trailing comments.

4.    (/45,4.2). We suggest that PARAMETER should be allowed before IMPLICIT,

in other words PARAMETER and IMPLICIT should have the same precedence.

5.    (FORTREV 15.16g). ENTRY names within FUNCTION subprograms may be of

different type to the function. Is it allowed for one of these to be of

type CHARACTER and one to be another type?

6.    (/46,4.11). We had a straw vote on adopting the alternate notation for

relational operators en bloc. It was rejected 5-9.