ON 11 MARCH 1985 (included AGM)

Present:        R T Bowles        - BP Oil

                S Brazier         - Prime Computer

                Eric Davison      - DEC

                J L Dyke          - H.R.C.

                I D Hill          - MRC

                Chris Lazou       - ULCC

                K Norminqton      - Coventry Polytechnic

                Mike Nunn         - CCTA

                John Reid         - Harwell

                E G Reilly        - BSRA

                D M Vallance      - Salford University

                S Watkins         - UMIST


                Chairman          John Wilson

                                  Computer Laboratory

                                  University of Leicester


                                  LE1 7RH

                                  Telephone: 0533 554455

                Vice-chairman     Keith Normington

                                  Computer Centre

                                  Coventry (Lanchester) Polytechnic


                                  CV1 5PB

                Secretary         Mike Nunn


                                  Riverwalk House

                                  157 Millbank


                                  SW1P 4RT

                Treasurer         John Dyke

                                  Huntingdon Research Centre


                                  PE13 6ES


Apologies were received from Lawrie Schonfelder (Liverpool University),

David Maxworthy (Edinburgh University) and John Wilson (Leicester University).

John had unfortunately been recently involved in a car accident in which he

suffered broken ribs. [Happily he has since made a good recovery].

In his absence our Vice-chairman Keith Normington took the chair at the


2.      MINUTES OF LAST MEETING [10 December 1984]

The minutes were accepted without amendment.


      (i)     Draft BSI standard document "Method of Specifying Requirements

              for FORTRAN Language Processors".

              David Hill (BSI committee member) reported that BSI had now

              sent the standard document out for public comment. It will

              probably be advertised in Computer Weekly. Comments received

              will be considered by the Working Party.

     (ii)     There was some discussion on whether it would be useful to

              send copies of the Group's newsletters to prominent computing

              newspapers to gain publicity for our activities. It was agreed

              to do so subject to further review, although inclusion of

              reports on the afternoon talks would have to be subject to

              special agreement.

    (iii)     ISO/TC97/SC22/WG5 meeting in Bonn, July l-5 1985

              A letter had been received from David Maxworthy (see Appendix A)

              drawing attention to the fact that those intending to attend as

              UK delegates needed to be formally approved by BSI. Anyone

              wanting to go should ring David at the Program Unit, Edinburgh

              University - telephone 031-667 1011 ext 6756.

     (iv)     Dates were agreed for future Fortran Special Group meetings

              as follows:

                      Monday June 10th 1985

                      Monday September 16th 1985

                      Monday December 9th 1985

                      Monday March 17th 1986


      (i)     After discussion it was agreed that the Group's annual fee

              for non-BCS members would remain at £5. Outstanding subscriptions

              should be sent to our Treasurer at the address on the front page

              of these minutes.

     (ii)     There was some debate on potential subjects for talks at the

              afternoon session of future meetings. (An earlier newsletter

              invited suggestions but nothing was received). Topics suggested


                Toolpack                   - someone from NAG

                Fortran on micros          - some sort of general discussion

                Certification of compilers via the NCC validation scheme

                Particular areas of '8X'   - John Reid

                Draft BSI Standard (Method of Specifying Requirements for Fortran

                                                Language Processors)- Brian Meek

5.      X3J3 PROGRESS

     (i)     The latest X3J3 meeting had taken place at Monterey in February.

             John Reid reported that the emphasis had been to include no fresh

             technical problems (although some new intrinsic functions leaked in)

             Subjects which generated particular discussion included:

                 What a variable means - in '8X' a variable is any entity whose

                                         value can vary

                 Array functions

                 Treating double precision as a special form of reals

             Expected timescales:

                  '8X' undergoes public comment period - 1986

                   '8X' published as new standard - 1988

             John Reid has provided a detailed report on the Monterey meeting

             which appears in appendix B.

   (ii)      A report from the Bonn ISO meeting will be on the agenda of the

             coming X3J3 meeting at Oxford in July.

6.      FORTRAN FORUM 1985

The BCS FORTRAN Specialist Group is holding a "FORTRAN FORUM 1985" at the

Institute of Education, London on 15th July. This will immediately follow

the first X3J3 meeting outside North America. At "FORTRAN FORUM" leading

members of X3J3 will present the contents of the forthcoming standard '8X'.

Talks will be as follows:

        Introduction                   - John Reid

        Development of FORTRAN 8X      - Jeanne Adams

        Overview of FORTRAN 8X         - Walt Brainerd

        Array features                 - Alan Wilson

        Data abstraction               - Jerry Wagener

        I/O extensions                 - Jim Matheny

        Deprecated features            - Lawrie Schonfelder

A fuller description of "FORTRAN FORUM 85" and booking form to attend is

enclosed as a brochure with these minutes. To help with lunch reservations

please make your bookings as soon as possible.

Those wishing to attend the 8-12 JUlY X3J3 meeting at Oxford preceding "FORTRAN

FORUM" should complete the booking form in appendix E and send it to John Reid

by 14th June.

7.      AGM

        (i)     The following officers were re-elected:

                        Chairman         - John Wilson (Leicester University)

                        Vice-chairman    - Keith Normington (Coventry Polytechnic)

                        Secretary        - Mike Nunn (CCTA)

                J L Dyke was elected as Treasurer. The Group expresses its

                thanks to Keith Normington for manfully taking over the

                Treasurer's duties at short notice for most of last year as

                well as functioning as vice-chairman.

       (ii)     The Treasurer reported that we overspent our allocated budget

                last year, mainly because BCS HQ costs charged to us have increased.

                This year we seek an allocation of £800. A detailed statement

                of the Group's accounts will appear with the next newsletter.


The next meeting of the Group will be held on Monday June 10th 1985 from

10.45 am to 4 pm at BCS Headquarters. In the afternoon Brian Meek

of the BSI Committee will give a talk on the BSI Standard "Method for

Specifying Requirements for FORTRAN Language Processors".


At the afternoon session Eric Davison gave a talk on DEC's FORTRAN

compilers and program development aids. A summary of this appears in

appendix C.



2 May 1985

Appendix A

Program Library Unit  University of Edinburgh  Director: Dr. G.M. Stacey

18 Buccleuch Place Edinburgh EH8 9LN Telephone 031 667 1011 ext 6756 Telex 727442 (Attention: PLU)

19th February 1985

Dear Colleague,


You will probably have already received a notice from Jeanne Martin, the

convener, about the above meeting. May I remind you that UK delegates

should formally be approved by BSI ? It would therefore be helpful if

you would let me know by March 11 at the latest if you intend to be at

the Bonn meeting, so that I can present a list of names at the BSI

Programming Languages committee meeting on March 12.

If you are aware of anyone who has not attended earlier ISO meetings and

so is not on Jeanne Martins mailing list but who is interested in

attending the Bonn meeting, please ask them to contact me also. The U.S.

expects to have a delegation of about 12; I would hope that the U.K. has

about 6.

Since the meeting in Geneva last April, TC97 of ISO has been reorganized

and Fortran has been allocated the number 5. This accounts for the change

from SC5/WG9 and from SC22/WG9 which you might also have seen used. I

have seen a draft copy of the minutes of the Geneva meeting; with luck

they will appear before July 1. Those who plan to attend the meeting

will be sent a copy of S8, the document containing all Fortran 8X proposals

so far, as they were following the X3J3 meeting of February 11-15.

The document itself will be ready in April.

Yours sincerely,

D.T. Muxworthy.

Appendix B

To:           BCS, NAG, etc.

From:         John Reid

Date:         15 February 1985

Subject:      Report on X3J3 meeting at Monterey, 11-15 February 1985

l.      Summary

        The emphasis of the meeting was on proposals to correct errors

and omissions in the Fortran 8x language as it is now. There is a ban

on fresh technical proposals. The line between fixes to old features

and fresh proposals is somewhat blurred but the overall effect was

that a large number of small tidying-up proposals were accepted. The

fact that I am able to write this report in a self-contained way

without references to the full papers for details is indicative that

we were indeed considering simple tidying proposals. Despite this,

some significant array proposals were passed (see section 5).

The committee is showing some determination towards completing

its task but it has quite a long way to go yet.

2.      Standing document S8

        Subgroup time was concentrated upon checking the new Fortran 8x

language description document S8. Each author will handle his or her

chapter for one more meeting. Thereafter Walt Brainerd will commence

maintaining the whole document on his computer and typesetting it.

The next version will be used at the ISO meeting in Bonn.

        An evening meeting discussed the document from an editorial point

of view. It was agreed that the present mixture of formal (bnf) and

informal descriptions is correct but that more examples are needed.

        There was a discussion of the meaning of 'variable'. Currently

it is used for a scalar or an array that has a simple name. It was

agreed (12-7) to extend it to include a11 kinds of objects whose value

can vary at run time (e.g. array elements, sections, etc.).

3.      Standing document S9

        A new standing document S9, containing commentary from the

public and replies, has been started.

4.      Fortran Information Bulletin 2

        The second Fortran information bulletin, on interpretations of

Fortran 77, is still being processed by the committee's parent


5.      Array features

        It was felt that new syntax is needed to provide straightforward

declarations of allocatable, automatic and alias arrays but a multi-

way straw-vote on alternatives was indecisive. A new proposal will be

put to the next meeting. My personal preference is for two new

attributes: LOCAL and ALIAS.

        Dick Hendrickson asked whether the whole of array-valued

arguments to masked functions need be defined. For instance is

SUM(LOG(A),MASK=A.GT.0) allowed if A has some negative elements? No

decision was made.

        After several straw votes explored alternatives, a new syntax

for the IDENTIFY statement was agreed (22-l). Examples of the new

syntax are the following



        It was agreed (15-4) to disallow assignments to many-to-one

vector-valued sections for conformity with the rule for many-to-one

alias arrays.

        Dick Hendrickson suggested that the notion of a contiguous (or

compact) array be introduced. This is an array-valued object whose

description would not demand a dope-vector. Passing an array-section

to a dummy argument declared as compact would either be illegal or

would require "copy-in, copy-out". These alternatives were both

rejected (8-10, 3-16, respectively). I voted against on the grounds

of the chairman's ban on fresh proposals.

        It was agreed (20-1) to permit array-valued functions to return

allocated arrays as well as automatic arrays. Both are needed since

the use of allocatable arrays is much more powerful but is more

expensive at run-time.

        It was agreed (21-l) that allocatable arrays should not be

allowed in data structures (the old standing document S7 does not say

anything on this point). The problem is that they would allow the

creation of a ragged-edge array which could be aliased with an

ordinary array by an IDENTIFY statement or passed as an ordinary array

to a procedure.

        George Paul proposed an extra argument to the intrinsics

DOTPRODUCT and MATMUL to control the precision of the calculation.

Although an initial straw vote was favourable (17-4-12), the formal

vote was not (5-18) probably because the details need further

attention. Because I am working on these functions as author of

Chapter 12 of S8, I suggested working with George on a fresh approach.

        George also proposed a new function for finding the location of

a maximum element of an array and a similar function for finding a

minimum element, and these were accepted (22-2).

        Jerry Wagener proposed that a user-written function with scalar

arguments and scalar results be callable with array arguments as an

elemental function. If an overloaded array-valued function also

matches the call, the array-valued function takes preference. This

passed 16-5. It will be applicable to operators too and may

significantly simplify writing modules. For instance once '+' has

been defined for scalars it will automatically be defined for arrays.

6.      Source form

        Since a format may be a character expression, it was felt

desirable to regard the contents of a FORMAT statement as a character

expression with parentheses as delimiters (23-4-5). This will

simplify the continuation rules slightly.

        It was agreed that underscore should continue to be regarded

alphanumeric but without a position in the collating sequence (21-3).

        Much time was spent on getting suitable wording to describe null

statements, and the issue was finally resolved (17-7).

7.      Double precision as generalized real

        It was agreed (23-0) that double precision should be regarded as

a special case of generalized real in the same way as default (old)

real is.

8.      Input-output

        A straw vote on permitting non-significant underscores in

numerical input data (they are already allowed in constants) was

indecisive (14-12-9). One worry concerned whether to include them in

output data and, if so, where. Straw votes on removing the facility

from constants were also inconclusive (2l-13-4, 17-14-3, and for

voting members only 12-12-2).

        No special facilities exist currently for input-output of

derived-type items. This is adequate for output since a function may

be placed in the output list, but is awkward for input. After

discussion it was agreed to leave things as they are for the present

(25-0-8), though the committee was less certain about leaving things

as they are for the final 8x language (12-5-16).

        The question was raised as to what should be permitted for name-

directed (namelist) input-output of components and sections of arrays

and components of arrays. It was felt that the i/o list should

include array names (25-0-0), array elements with constant subscripts

(16-8-3) but not structure components (9-11-7), array sections (7-15-4)

nor array element with variable subscripts (l-21-5); also that a

subscripted data item should match an array-name in the list (18-0-4).

        It was agreed (19-0) that name-directed input should treat upper

and lower case as equivalent within names in the data and name-

directed output should use upper case. It was felt that the absence

from the i/o list of a name in the data should be an error (23-0-1).

9.      Bit data

        The chairman is concerned about the likelihood of BIT, adopted at

such a late stage, delaying the whole standard and wished to consider

its deletion. However a straw vote favoured keeping BIT (20-10-6). I

voted in favour because I felt that a proposal to delete BIT would

violate her own ban on fresh technical proposals.

        A notation for bit constants is needed and a straw vote favoured

B'0' rather than 0B (10-7-7), probably because it is more readily

extensible to octal and hexadecimal. It was agreed (18-5) to allow

the four forms B'0', B"0", B'l', and B"l".

        It was agreed on a r01l-call vote (16-8) that the bit functions

BIT and INTB, which convert integer to BIT arrays and vice-versa

should be supplemented by similar functions that invert the bit order.

The four functions will be called BITLR, BITRL, IBITLR, IBITRL.

10.     Subprogram parameters

        Lawrie Schonfelder wondered whether PARAMETER should be extended

to include those items allowed in dimension declarators, so defining

subprogram parameters whose values remain fixed for the duration of

the call. The concept was liked (20-4-2), but worries were expressed

about changing the meaning of PARAMETER which currently defines

constants whose values are resolved at compile time. Having a

separate keyword was not favoured (14-8-5) perhaps because no

satisfactory suggestion was made.

11.     A general facility for subscripting and substringing

        Kurt Hirchert suggested adding syntax to allow any item of type

character to be substringed and any item of non-zero rank to be

subscripted. Current syntax does not include substringing an array of

type character (though it does allow substringing of a section, e.g.

C(:)(10:2O)) so an addition would be needed (e.g. C%(10:20)). The

idea was not favoured (2-13-1). I voted against on the grounds of

supporting the chairman's ban on fresh technical proposals.

12.     Intrinsic functions

        Lloyd Campbell proposed that the function TRIM, to trim trailing

blanks from a character item, be added. This was in S6 but by

oversight did not reach S7. It was proposed as a elemental function,

which does not work because all entries of a character array must have

the same character length. It was agreed (22-0-7) that it should

instead return the length excluding trailing blanks, but a formal

proposal was not available.

        It was agreed (20-2) that SHAPE be extended to return a zero-

sized array for a scalar argument.

        It was agreed (11-4) that REAL be extended to cope with

generalised precision conversions by adding an optional MOLD argument

whose precision and range determine the precision and range of the

result. After discussion it was agreed (12-2) that for CMPLX a

similar optional MOLD argument be added and that without it the type

attributes of the result be determined as for the arithmetic


13.     Scope_of construct names

        It was agreed that block construct names should be ordinary local

names, distinct from other local names (21-0). Any alternative would

have introduced a fresh scope (we now have scopes of (i) the whole

program, (ii) a program unit, and (iii) a single statement).

14.     DO loops

        It was agreed (22-5) that DO loops should not be extended

allow END IF, END WHERE, RETURN, STOP, GO TO, arithmetic IF, and

assigned GO TO as labelled loop terminators.

        Jeanne Martin wanted to alter the semantics of EXIT and CYCLE so

that they are part of DO blocks and never refer to the control of a DO

loop, but this failed on a roll-call vote (10-17). The rule that an

unnamed EXIT or CYCLE statement refers to the innermost DO loop or DO

block, passed at meeting 86 but not currently incorporated into the

committee's standing document S7, was reaffirmed (22-0).

        It was agreed to deprecate transfer of control to an END IF

statement from outside the block IF (23-0).

15.     Next meeting

        The next meeting will be in Urbana from May 6 to May 10. The

pre-meeting distribution deadline is April l.

Appendix C




        (i)     65% of DEC systems worldwide use FORTRAN. Compilers

                are available for the DEC 10/20 series, VAX (both under

                VMS and ULTRIX) and the PDP-11 range.

        (ii)    VAX under VMS is most likely to have the first version

                of '8X'. There is unlikely to be an implementation on

                the DEC 10 series.

        (iii)   DEC operating systems are produced by 3 different groups

                in the USA.

        (iv)    VAX -   Technical Language Group (200 people) in Maynard,

                        Massachusetts develops Fortran, Basic; Pascal,

                        Lisp and Ada.

                    -   Another group involved (which has a wider product

                        base as well) is "Commercial language and tools"

                        which provides Cobol and other languages plus a

                        layered environment for compilers. It also

                        maintains the run-time library (with a small sub-

                        group responsible for Fortran) and provides

                        I/O support.

        (v)     DEC's prime product for writing operating systems is BLISS.

                This is influenced by Pascal, simple to learn and transportable

                across DEC operating systems

                        BLISS-16        ... only for 16 bit systems

                        BLISS-32        ... for VAX

                        BLISS-36        ... for 36 bit systems

                'Common BLISS' resembles a minimum subset of BLISS.

                XPORT is a set of routines used for making simple ports of programs

                Recently DEC have been writing some utilities in Fortran and Pascal


        (i)     All DEC compilers comply with a minimum subset of F77.

                Mostly they offer a superset. DEC 10/20s offer some

                extensions which are not yet in VAX F77.

        (ii)    Ultrix (DEC's Unix implementation) offers the University of

                Berkeley F77 compilers. DEC have not been satisfied with

                it because it is slow and has contained too many bugs.

                F66 can be called as an option from the same compiler

                interface although the compilers themselves are separate.

        (iii)   TOPS 19 and 20 share the same Fortran compiler (full F77 with

                extensions). A symbolic debuqqer for DDT is available.

        (iv)    VAX offers a full F77 implementation with extensions. A symbolic

                debugger is available supported by all VAX languages. Mixed

                language compilation is possible.

        (v)      New features offered by VAX Fortran version 4 include:

                        screen mode with source stepping

                        displaying all elements of an array

                        global optimisation

                VAX Fortran is 9 pass. Switching the option off i.e. "no optimisation"

                disables 6 of these passes. Compared with version 3, Vax Fortran

                version 4 offers 50% improvement in code generated. There are

                still some areas where optimisation has not yet been applied, in

                particular the runtime library. But this will happen soon.

        (vi)    DEC have started work on VAX Fortran version 5. There will be

                an equivalent Ultrix product but its name is yet to be decided.

                Version 5 will offer improved optimisation by eliminating

                code. DEC are seeking user feedback on what demand there is

                for a compiler which gives up some optimisation capability in

                return for a very fast compile phase.

        (vii)   IBM have been working on a product called NCRFTH which allows

                more accurate arithmetic. DEC are interested in making routines

                as accurate as possible and are looking at implementing something

                similar as part of their run time library. They are also looking

                at parallel processing possibilities.


DEC has two groups (32 bit/36 bit) working some distance apart looking at

how to implement '8X'. Some features proposed by X3J3 have already been

implemented. Within 8 months of '8X' being finalised DEC would expect to have

a product out on field trial.

4.      UNIX

DEC have not been satisfied with Fortran on Ultrix. What they would like to do is

to take VAX Fortran and run it under Unix. Quite definitely they will provide

a high performance Fortran implementation under Unix, but with no definite timescales


5.      GENERAL

        (i)    65% of DEC sites use Fortran.

        (ii)   PASCAL is experiencing a big push and is preferred for teaching in


        (iii)  DEC now offer an ADA compiler on VAXs. It has been successfully

               certified by DQD using their validation test suite. No APSE is yet


        (iv)   PSRE are writing an ALGOL compiler for VAX.

        (v)    DEC offer a compiler option "/STANDARD" which prevents

               using extensions which are not F77 standard conforming.

        (vi)   DEC bring out a major new version of Fortran compilers

               about every 2 years. Maintenance releases appear every

               3 months.




TELEPHONE 0904 59861

  TELEX 57933 YORKU1

COMPUTING SERVICE                                                  6 February 1985

John Wilson

Computer Laboratory

University of Leicester

Leicester LE1 7RH

Dear John Wilson

Fortran 77

I am writing to you in your capacity as Chairman of the BCS Fortran

Specialist Group to enquire whether you know of a F77 Standard checker.

What I am hoping to find is a program which will run on a DECsystem-10, possibly

written in F77, which will take a Fortran source program and syntax - check

it, producing a listing with all non-standard statements flagged.

Perhaps if you do not know of such a product yourself, you could ask the

membership under "Any other business" at the March meeting of the Fortran

Specialist Group.

I shall be grateful for your help.

Yours sincerely

Elisabeth Aylmer-Kelly

    Can any Fortran SG member offer Elisabeth advice on this?


    ANSI Fortran Committee X3J3

  8th to 12th July 1985

        The ANSI Fortran Standardisation Committee X3J3 will be meeting

at St. Catherine's College, Oxford from 8th to 12th July. This will

be its first meeting outside N. America. Harwell is hosting the

meeting and NAG has kindly offered reprographic facilities. Observers

are very welcome and are expected to participate in all discussions

and straw votes; they are excluded only from voting in formal votes

when decisions are made. However advance registration is essential so

that we can be sure that there is room. The committee will charge a

meeting fee of £30 (payable during the meeting) to cover the cost of

the room and refreshments.

        Single-room student accommodation (without private bathrooms) is

available in the college for £15.50 per night including breakfast

(inclusive of VAT and service). Lunch each day at £5 and dinner on

Tuesday and Wednesday at £7 will be available to delegates and

spouses. For those wishing to lunch occasionally in college, we

suggest priority be given to Monday then Thursday. All college

accommodation and meals must be booked and paid for in advance. A

list of local hotels can be sent on request.

        There will be an informal party (FIDS) at my house on Monday

evening and a formal dinner at the Randolph Hotel on Thursday at £15

(including VAT and service, but excluding drinks), when Professor Mike

Delves from Liverpool University will give an after-dinner speech.

        Please complete the attached registration slip by 14th June at

the latest.

                                                John Reid


To: J.K. Reid, Building 8.9, A.E.R.E. Harwell, Oxon OX11 0RA

From: ____________________________________________________________________


        Please register me for the X3J3 meeting in July. I understand

that £30 will be payable to X3J3 during the meeting.

Number in my family that wish to attend

                Monday FIDS _____ Thursday dinner (£15)  ______

        Please book the following college accommodation


                                      7    8    9   10   11   12

Bed and breakfast at £15.50.        ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Lunch at £5                              ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Dinner at £7                                  ____ ____

                                                           Total  ________

I enclose a cheque payable to UKAEA, Harwell for the college


Signed __________________________________