Minutes of a meeting held on

Friday, 8 November 1974 at the

National Federation of Building

Trades Employers, 82 New Cavendish

Street, London W1 at 10.30 am.

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

Mrs E. Aylmer-Kelly              University of York

Mr B.J. Banes                    Rolls-Royce, Bristol Engine Division

Mr E.O. Bodger                   IBM W.T. Systems Aid Centre

Mr P.D. Bond                     Philips Industries

Mr P.A. Clarke                   Rothamsted Experimental Station

Mr J. Cullen                     B.P.

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

Mr M. Fitzsimmons                Berne Electronics

Mr D. Hill                       Macro Computer Systems Ltd

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

Mr M.J. King                     B.B.C.

Mr C.K. Mackinnon                U.K.A.E.A., Risley

Mr D.J. Maisey                   ICL

Mr K. Normington                 Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry

Mr D.E. Oldfield                 ICL

Mrs R.J. Pyne                    Computing

Mr K. St Pier                    G.E.C.

Mr T.L. van Raalte               Ministry of Defence, AWRE

Mr D. Winstanley                 University of Birmingham

Mr D.T. Muxworthy (Secretary)    University of Edinburgh

Apologies   Dr A.C. Day                       University College London

for         Mrs F.E. Holberton                ANSI X3J3/National Bureau of Standards

Absence:    Mr T.D. Palmer                    Compower Ltd


1.      APPROVAL OF MINUTES    The minutes of the meeting of 6 September 1974

        OF PREVIOUS MEETING    were approved subject to the correction of

typographical errors on page 5, section 2 line

5, 'permissible' and section 5 line 2,


2.      MATTERS ARISING FROM   a.    Mr Shearing said that there had not been

        THE MINUTES                  a meeting Of the Specialist Group               BHS

Chairman's Committee since the last

Fortran Group meeting but he had had

informal discussions about 'Computing'

It was thought that the recent

unanimous vote of confidence in

'Computing' by the Council did not

reflect feeling within the Society.

b.    The Computer Journal Algorithms policy          BHS

was also to be taken up at the next

meeting of the Specialist Group Chairman's

Committee. Mr I.D. Hill reported that

there were to be Algorithms Supplements

in the next two editions of the


[page 2 of the minutes with agenda items 3 to 6 is missing - it should have been

reproduced on the back of page 1.]


7.      ANSI FORTRAN                 Decisions made at the July 1974 meeting of

        ACTIVITIES                   Fortran subcommittee X3J3 (v. minutes of

6.9.74, Appendix A) were considered, as a

result of which comments were sent to X3J3

(v. Appendix A). Details of the September X3J3

meeting were not available (but see Appendix B).

There followed a detailed discussion of

part of chapter 12 of FORTREV, dealing with

input-output. This will continue at future

meetings: the OPEN, CLOSE and INOUIRE

statements remain to be considered.

Information on which systems allow mixed

formatted and unformatted records in a file

would be welcomed (cf. Second set of Fortran

clarifications, CACM Vol 14 (1971) pp.631-2,

topic 10).

8.      STEERING COMMITTEE           The Chairman asked for volunteers to form a

Steering Committee for the Group. This is

required by the ECS and the existence of an

active steering committee would enable the

Group to have more impact on the Society.

(After the Group meeting had closed the

following Steering Committee evolved:

Messrs Bodger, Clarke, Day, Ellison,

Mackinnon, Muxworthy and Shearing)

9.      DATAFAIR 75                  The Chairman pointed out that Datafair would be

held in London on 1-3 October 1975 and asked

for opinions on whether the Group should make a

presentation there.

10.     PUBLICATION ERRORS           There was some discussion on inaccuracies in

the article on Fortran by Peter Brown, published

in "Computing" on 31 October 1974. It was

decided not to reply formally as a Group but to

leave it to any individual who wished to reply

to do so.

11.     NEXT MEETING                 The next meeting will be held on Friday, 24

January 1975 at 11.00 am; the venue is not yet

decided. Please note the change of time.

Program Library Unit page heading

APPENDIX A                                                          DTM/PLU/1298

13 November 1974

To:         X3J3

From:       British Computer Society Fortran Specialist Group

Subject:    Comments on items under discussion

The following points arose at our meeting on November 8, 1974. The most

recent X3J3 minutes available related to the July meeting so these comments

may be out of date.

1.    We regret the rejection of the proposal that for the symbolic name

of an intrinsic function to be used for an external function, it must

appear in an EXTERNAL statement (/54,4.1). A proposal that an

explicit statement was preferable to a conflicting type statement was

approved (16-0).

2.    On the equivalencing of dummy arguments (/54,4.9), three people thought

this was a good facility, eight thought it a bad facility.

3.    (FORTREV 12.5.2). It was thought unclear what use could be made of

the ERR= exit in a list-directed READ. What is the effect of the next


4.    (FORTREV 12.5.3d). What is an end of file in a storage file? Does

it imply array bound checking?

5.    (FORTREV 12). There was some concern that the philosophy of defining

a Fortran file by the action of statements which write to the file might,

logically, lead to the situation where it was impossible to introduce

new data to a Fortran program. We did not have sufficient time to

consider this in detail.



1.    A proposal to clarify the side-effect of functions, when there is more than

one function reference in one statement, was passed (18-0).

2.    A proposal to permit a character substring to be a storage file of one record

was passed (19-0).

3.    Proposals defining subset levels 1 and 2 for sections 8, 11 and 13 of FORTREV

(respectively Specification, Control and Format statements) were approved.

4.    A proposal to remove PRINT statements that specify a unit and WRITE statements

that do not specify a unit was passed (10-7).

5.    a.    A motion limiting the use for output of a free-field file being read was

passed (10-3).

      b.    A motion to prohibit the backspacinq of a free-field file was defeated


c.    A motion to prohibit formatted input following free-field input from the

same file was defeated (3-13).

d.    A motion to prohibit a file from containing both free-field and unformatted

records was passed (14-2).

6.    A proposal to change keywords TYPE (in OPEN) and DISP (in CLOSED) to STATUS was

passed (16-1).

7.    A proposal to remove < and > from the character set was approved (9-3).

8.    A proposal to allow a processor to insert commas between free-field output

values was passed (9-1).

9.    A proposal to allow restricted equivalencing of dummy arguments failed


10.   a.    A motion that free-field character output should not have delimiting

apostrophes was defeated (7-11).

      b.    A motion that all free-field character output should have delimiting

apostrophes, duplication of internal apostrophes and no carriage control

when the constant is longer than a line was defeated (2-16).

11.   A proposal to allow free-field records in storage files was defeated (0-10).