BRITISH COMPUTER SOCIETY FORTRAN SPECIALIST GROUP
Minutes of a meeting held on
Friday, 3 May 1974 at the
Royal Society of Tropical
Hygiene & Medicine, 26 Portland
Place, London W1 at 10.30 am.
Present: Mr B.H. Shearing (Chairman) Alcock Shearing & Partners
Mr D. Abel University of Edinburgh &
University of North Queensland
Mrs E. Aylmer-Kelly University of York
Mr B.J. Banes Rolls Royce, Bristol Engine Division
Mr E.O. Bodger IBM Systems Aids Centre
Mr P.D. Bond Philips Industries
Mr H.W. Bradly CAD Centre, Cambridge
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 M. Fitzsimmons
Mr G. France C.E.G.B.
Mr P. Hartley Honeywell I.S. Ltd
Mr I.D. Hill MRC Computer Unit
Mr J.P. Holland Tunnel Cement Ltd
Mr M. Kerr C.E.G.B.
Mr M.J. King B.B.C.
Mr D.J. Maisey I.C.L.
Mr T.L. van Raalte A.W.R.E. Aldermaston
Mr I. Williams Kleinwort, Benson Ltd
Mr D. Winstanley University of Birmingham
Mr D.T. Muxworthy (Secretary) University of Edinburgh
for Mr J.S. Gatehouse I.C.L.
Absence: Mr T.D. Palmer Computer Power
Mr K. St.Pier G.E.C.
Mr A.J.H. Walter Atlas Computer Laboratory
1. APPROVAL OF The minutes of the meeting of 15 March 1974 were ACTION
MINUTES approved subject to two corrections: (1) at section
2b. Mr Hill's letter was not on behalf of the Group,
(2) the second paragraph in section 5 should have
read, "Clarification of the position of the BCS
Fortran representative on the BSI Programming
Languages Committee . . . . . .".
2. MATTERS ARISING a. It had been learned from the BCS that for the
FROM THE MINUTES Society to produce 200 copies of the proposed
draft American National Standard for Fortran
would cost £194. It had been suggested that
the cooperation of the BCS Standards Committee BHS
be sought in this matter. There was no
indication yet of ANSI's official attitude.
b. There was some discussion of the article in
"Computer Weekly" (18 April 1974 pp 6-7) and a
reader's reply (2 May 1974 p 2) concerned with
character manipulation in present Fortran. It
was decided that the article did not give
grounds for formal action by the Group and it
was left to any individual member who wished to
reply to point out that provision for machine-
independent character manipulation was to be
made in the new draft Standard.
c. Mr Hill had received a letter from Mr Shepherd,
the Computer Journal Algorithms Editor, indica-
ting that he would take up the Group's offer to
check algorithms against the Standard. One
algorithm had been received by the Secretary.
d. A copy of the Schneck-Angel optimizing compiler
had been received by the Atlas Computer Labora-
tory. It was to be mounted on the 360/195 and
3. CHAIRMAN'S REMARKS A history of the British Computer Society was to be
written by Mr Murray Laver and Mr Harold Gearing was
to help collect information for it. Any contri-
butions, particularly about the early years of the
Society, were welcome and should be addressed to
Mr Gearing at Society Headquarters.
Attention was drawn to the facts that Datafair was
to be held again in 1975 and that John Player Computer
Award nominations were now due.
4. BSI FORTRAN Dr Day had received a genuine apology from the Society
ACTIVITIES (v. minutes of previous meetings) and it was hoped
that the matter had finally been resolved
Mr Shearing was now the BCS Fortran representative on
the BSI Programming Languages Committee DPE/13; Dr Day
was also on the committee but did not represent the
5. ECMA FORTRAN ECMA Fortran Committee TC8 had sent to ANSI proposals
STANDARDS (1) concerning generic functions, suggesting the
ACTIVITIES introduction of a new PRIVATE statement and (2) con-
cerning DO loops, suggesting rescinding extended
ranges and real and double precision control variables.
It was anticipated that there would be one more meeting
of TC8 at which decisions affecting the substance of
the draft American Standard could be made.
6. ANSI FORTRAN The minutes of the ANSI Fortran Committee, X3J3 meeting
ACTIVITIES of March 11-14 1974 were considered. The principal
decisions then taken were:
a. To require list-directed PRINT and WRITE
statements to start a new output record.
b. To require that a Hollerith constant used in a
DATA statement contain no more characters than
may be held in the corresponding single datum,
and that complex variables may not be
initialized with Hollerith constants.
c. To specify that in subset level 1 the
characters $ : > < be not provided, that a
maximum of 9 continuation cards be required,
that BLOCK DATA be not provided and that
restrictions be made on the position of DATA
statements within a program unit. Further,
that level 1 should allow all data types
except double precision and complex.
d. To specify that subset level 2 should
incorporate the full character set, all data
types and BLOCK DATA subprograms.
It was noted that X3J3 had scheduled meetings
beginning May 20 (Willow Grove PA), July 8 (San
Diego), September 3 (Boulder), November 18 (New
York) and January 13 1975.
7. ANSI FORTRAN There was a discussion of the extensions and
OVERVIEW revisions made by X3J3 and allocated to subgroups
X3J31, X3J32 and X3J33 (v. Appendix B of minutes of
15.3.74). Comments on a number of proposals were
sent to X3J3 (see Appendix A).
8. DATE OF NEXT The next meeting will be held on Friday 28 June 1974
MEETING at 10.30 am in the Library, Royal Society of Tropical
Hygiene and Medicine, 26 Portland Place, London W1.
The meeting will end by lunch time. The main item on
the agenda will be a discussion of the X3J3 input-
From: David Muxworthy for BCS Fortran Specialist Group
Subject: Comments on X3J3/50 and FORTREV
1. Order of Statements (group X3J31)
In accepting proposal 88 (/39,4.8) X3J3 consciously made the following
standard-conforming sequence of code illegal:
According to the proposal voted on, the following standard-conforming
statement would not be allowed, but the wording of FORTREV paragraph 3.5c
does not prohibit it:
INTEGER A(X), X
Further, in the rationale for proposal 88 (/39,G4) it is implied that the
following code does not conform to the 1966 standard:
DOUBLE PRECISION D
Our interpretation is that this conforms to the present standard, but not
to the proposed new one. Does X3J3 agree that this represents an incom-
patibility with the 1966 standard and what is the intention of the committee
with regard to the second example above?
2. Hollerith data in complex variables (group X3J33)
Our understanding of the 1966 standard (section 7.2.2) is that complex
variables may be initialized with Hollerith constants so that the decision
(/50,4.2) explicitly not to allow this creates an incompatibility with the
old standard and represents an inconsistency in the new one, since complex
variables may be defined with Hollerith values by a READ statement or by
an assignment statement using the CMPLX function (or, in practice, by being
equivalenced to REAL variables defined with Hollerith values). For
compatibility and consistency we suggest that it should be permissible to
initialize complex variables etc with Hollerith data and, by analogy with
input-output, that in the DATA statement each variable should be associated
with two Hollerith constants.
3. Control variables in DO-loops (group X3J33)
There was some confusion over whether FORTREV (section 11.6.4(2)) required
the control variable to be incremented by the addition of m3 at each itera-
tion or whether another method, e.g.
control variable = m1 + m3 * (times round - 1)
was allowed by the term "algebraic addition". There was concern over
rounding problems in general in connection with DO-loops and a straw poll
voted 14-6 in favour of allowing only integer control variables.
4. Length of unformatted records (group X3J34)
The length of an unformatted record is measured in storage units (FORTREV
12.1.1, 12.11.1b2, 184.108.40.206). Unless it is to be prohibited to write
characters to a direct-access unformatted file, the programmer must be
provided with some means of determining the length in storage units of a
record occupying both storage and character units.
5. Processor-supplied functions (group X3J35)
There was some discussion of the ECMA proposals for combining processor
supplied functions into one list and for a PRIVATE statement (ECMA/TC8/74/9)
In a straw poll there was a 14-3 majority for abolishing the distinction
between intrinsic and basic external functions and a 15-0 majority for
introducing a new specification statement to denote user-supplied functions
rather than extending the EXTERNAL statement.
COMMITTEE: Programming Language Committee DATE: April 25, 1974
TO: News Release ADDRESS WRITER CARE OF:
FROM: R.J. Ham Honeywell Information Systems
Chairman, PLC 300 Concord Road
Billerica, Mass. 01821
Mail Station 805A
Phone: (617) 667-3111 X52988
SUBJECT: CODASYL FORTRAN DBML Committee
This is to announce the formation of the CODASYL FORTRAN Data Base Manipulation
Language Committee (FORTRAN DBMLC). The FORTRAN DBMLC is responsible for the
development of proposed specifications that will add a data base manipulation
facility to the FORTRAN Language. This facility will be consistent with the
efforts of ANSI X3J3 on FORTRAN and with the efforts of the CODASYL Data
Definition Language Committee on the data base facility.
Dr Chester M. Smith Jr has been named chairman of the committee.
The inaugural meeting is scheduled for:
The COLONNADE Hotel
120 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Phone: (617) 261-28OO
June 12, 1974
9:00am - 5:00pm
Individual attendees are responsible for their own hotel arrangements, however,
a block of rooms for the night of June 11 has been set aside for those
identifying themselves with the FORTRAN DBMLC meeting. Please indicate your
plans to attend to: Dr Smith
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
Phone: (814) 863-0422
(Sgd) Ronald J. Ham
PS: In order to obtain the widest distribution of this announcement, you are
invited to circulate this letter to whomever you think may find it