British Computer Society Fortran Specialist Group
Minutes Of a meeting held on 7th
March 1975 at the Royal Society
for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 26
Portland Place, London, W.1.
(Chairman) University of Edinburgh
Mr. E. O. Bodger
(Vice-Chairman) IBM W.T. Systems Aid Centre
Mr. J. Anderson Royal Holloway College
Mrs. E. Aylmer-Kelly University of York
Dr. J. C. Baldwin University College, Cardiff
Mr. B. J. Banes Rolls-Royce, Bristol Engine Division
Mr. P. D. Bond Philips Industries
Mr. J. Cullen B.P.
Mr. M. Fitzsimmons Berne Electronics
Mr. A. J. Forward I.C.L.
Mr. D. Hill M.C.S.L.
Mr. 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 I.C.L.
Mr. K. Normington Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry
Mr. T. L. Van Raalte Ministry of Defence, A.W.R.E.
Mr. B. H. Shearing Alcock, Shearing and Partners
Mr. P. A. Clarke
(Secretary) Rothamsted Experimental Station
Apologies for Absense (sic):
Dr. A. C. Day University College, London
Mr. T. D. Palmer Computer Power Ltd.
1. Approval of Minutes of The minutes of the meeting of 8th
Previous Meetings November, 1974 were approved.
The minutes of the meeting of 24th
January 1975 were approved.
2. Matters Arising from (a) Mr. Shearing said the Dr. Day
the Minutes was now a member of the
Editorial Board of 'Computing'.
(b) Mr. Shearing said that the
Computer Journal was now using
members of the group as referees
for articles relating to Fortran.
3. Election of Officers for The following were elected unopposed:
1975 Mr. D. T. Muxworthy (Chairman)
Mr. E. O. Bodger Vice-Chairman)
Mr. P. A. Clarke Secretary).
Addresses are given in Appendix B.
4. Report on BCS Specialist Mr. Bodger reported that the main
Groups' Committee Meeting items of discussion were the for-
mation of a new specialist group
for disabled programmers. He
indicated that the aim of this group
was to focus attention on some of the
problems in this area, and on how
very highly disabled persons
could contribute to computing.
There was some discussion on whether
the Algol specialist group should
continue to encompass the interests
of Algol 68 as well as Algol 60,
or whether it would be better to
create a new Algol 68 specialist
It was decided that a new group
should not be formed, and that the
existing group continue in its dual
The new rules for the formation of
specialist groups had been passed
by the technical board.
5. Fortran and CODASYL Mr. Clarke reported that the newly
formed CODSYL Fortran Database
manipulation language committee,
under the chairmanship of
Dr. Chester Smith (Pennsylvania
State University) had had four
meetings to date.
A brief description of these was
given (see Appendix C) and details
of the proposed FIND statement were
presented and compared with the
corresponding COBOL statement.
It was thought that the BCS Fortran
specialist group should keep in
contact with the CODASYL group to
find out about the types of appli-
cations that were suitable for
Optimising Compiler It was reported that
Mr. A. Walter (Atlas Lab.)
had succeeded in imple-
menting tho Fortran-to-Fortran
optimising compiler on an
ICL 1900 machine. In the
process, he discovered that
the implementation was far
from ANSI standard (as had
been indicated in the
Computer Journal Vol. 16
No. 4 November 1977) and
was probably written for
IBM H level extended Fortran.
The compiler occupied 150K
words (550 K bytes on an
ICL System 4) when the
dictionary siZe was reduced
The group decided that in these
circumstances, a formal certi-
fication should be sent to the
Computer Journal when the full
facts were available.
7. Datafair 75 It was decided to book a room
for 70 people at Datafair 75
for Fortran Presentations.
There was discussion as to the
form the presentations should
take. The popularity of the
presentation of ICL 2900 Fortran
(by Mr. D. J. Maisey, at the
meeting of January 1975) led to
the suggestion that a series of
speakers on 'current implementations'
should be considered.
8. Future Activities Mr. Muxworthy said that he had
for the Group received a letter from a mem-
ber of the group requesting
that there should be more
variation in the content of the
Group meetings. Those present
made several suggestions which
were recorded for possible fur-
One Suggestion was that meetings
be held outside London, and seve-
ral of those present offered
accommodation. It was thought
that a survey of members would
indicate acceptable alternative
9. ANSI X3J3 activities
(a) decision(s) taken Decisions taken at the September
at recent meetings 1974 meeting of X3J3 minutes of
8/11/74 (Appendix B) were consi-
dered. Also, brief details
of the January 1975 meeting were
The provisional schedule of ANSI
meetings was discussed and the
significant dates with regard to
the new standard are:
May 75 - Close letter ballot on
Oct. 75 - send to X3 for approval
Jan. 76 - release for public comment
July 76 - recommend for adoption.
(b) discussion on the Mr. B. Shearing concluded his
input-output presentation of the input-output
proposals proposals with a description
of the new INQUIRE, BACKFILE and
SKIPFILE statements and the new
and changed format specification
codes for S, T, X, E, F, G and D,
as a result of which, some comments
were sent to X3J3 (see Appendix A).
10. Any Other Business The chairman drew attention to the
following correspondince received:
The editor for the BCS Bulletin
Series 2 was requesting articles
of a general nature for publication,
it was hoped that 90% of members
would read 90% of the articles.
The General Purposes Committee and
Council have approved of exchange
of information between the BCS
Bulleting [sic] Series 2 and the CAD
specialist groups CAD Journal.
Entries for the John Player award
should be submitted as soon as
ll. Next Meeting The next meeting will be on
Monday 5th May, 1975 at 10.30 a.m.
From: British Computer Society To: X3J3
Fortran Specialist Group
Date: 3rd April, 1975s
Subject: Comments on Items Under Discussion
The following points arose at our meeting of 7th March, 1975
The comments relate to X3J3/61 Fortrev (75-01-27) and to the
decisions: taken at the September 1974 X3J3 meeting.
1. Is it possible to use T1 or -nX format specifications
to allow overwriting of the printer control character
on an output record? Some doubt was expressed on
the grounds that the control character would have
been 'executed' before the T or X were encountered
on some systems.
2. There was some doubts about the method used to
ensure that a sequence of files is positioned at
its initial point. which of REWIND, BACKFILE or
CLOSE/OPEN was the most suitable? A similar pro-
blem arises in positioning the sequence at the
terminal point (typically to read the whole sequence
3. Is Backspace allowed on records which were written
sequentially to files containing mixed sequential
and free-field records?
Appendix B Addresses of Officers
Correspondence should be sent to one of the officers at the
Program Library Unit,
University of Edinburgh,
18 Buccleuch Place,
EDINBURGH, EH8 9LN
Phone Edinburgh (031667)-1011
Vice-Chairman Mr. E. O. Bodger,
World Trade Systems Aid Centre,
IBM United Kingdom Ltd.,
216-226 Imperial Drive,
LONDON. HA2 7HH
Secretary Mr. P. A. Clarke,
Rothamsted Experimental Station,
Herts. AL5 2JQ
Phone: Harpenden (05827)-62271
Summary of Codasyl Fortran DBMLC Meetings
The first meeting (12th June, 1974 Boston, Mass.) was a
formative meeting at which the scope of study was determined.
In the second meeting (23-25th July 1974, Madison, Wis.)
tutorial discussions were given by Mr. W. Greenhalgh (Bell Labs.)
on DDL schema and by Mr. R. Drake (Honeywell) on DBTG DML. The
objective of developing a Fortran like syntax for DML compatible
with DBTG and SSTG was set.
In the third meeting (8-10th October, 1974, University Park,
Pennsylvania) working papers on the FIND statement were presented
and discussed. There were presentations by Dr. C. Smith
(Pennsylvania State University) on proposed changes in ANSI
Fortran, by Mr. B. Andrews (University Wisconsin) on ISIS, an
interactive shared information system, by Mr. T. Harris (Univac)
on Univac's proposed Fortran DML for DMS 1100 and by Mr. R. Drake
(Honeywell) on Fortran DML for OPEN and CLOSE statements.
At the fourth meeting (3-5th December, 1974, Phoenix,
Arizona) further working papers on the FIND statement were dis-
cussed and general expression types were proposed. Other
problems discussed included whether to use keyword or positional
notation, how to use character expressions and how to name
records, There was a presentation by Dr. J. M. Tyler (Luisiana
State University) on DL/1, a COBOL based DMS.