The next meeting of the British Computer Society's

Fortran Specialist Group will be held on Thursday 10 May

1990 from 10.30am to 4.30pm at BCS HQ, 13 Mansfield Street,

London. Please note that this meeting will include the

Annual General Meeting which was postponed from 5 April.

        The morning meeting will be normal business including

reports from X3J3 and ISO representatives. There will also

be a review on the Group's activities and the forthcoming

meetings for the next year.

        The afternoon session will be the AGM followed by a

talk by David Muxworthy on the Group's first twenty years.

See overleaf for further details.

        Please bring this notice to the attention of any col-

leagues likely to be interested: we particularly welcome

newcomers to the Group whether members of BCS or not.

Click here for the minutes of this meeting. Links below
are to specific sections of the minutes.


10.30 am      1.      Welcome; coffee and biscuits

11.00 am      2.      Apologies for absence

              3.      Minutes of the last meeting

              4.      Matters arising

              5.      Reports from X3J3 and ISO Representatives

              6.      Review of forthcoming meetings

              7.      BCS and any other business

2.00 pm       8.      Annual General Meeting

                      (i)    Chairman's Address

                      (ii)   Treasurer's Report

                      (iii)  Election of officers for 1990/91

                      (iv)   Any other business

2.45 pm       9.      "The First Two Decades"

                      Talk by David Muxworthy,

                      Edinburgh University.

John Young, Secretary.

Tel: 0734 814111 Ext 6292.


        The AGM of the Fortran Specialist Group will take place

on Thursday 10 May 1990 at 2pm at BCS HQ, 13 Mansfield

Street, London.

        The Group seeks a new Treasurer but nominations are

requested for all the posts of Chairman, Vice-chairman,

Secretary, and Treasurer.


        David Muxworthy of the Edinburgh University Computing

Service is a long-standing member of the Fortran Specialist

Group. He is also a member of the British Standards

Institute's Panel on Fortran and currently its Chairman so

he is in a unique position to review the history of Fortran.

David will be giving a talk on the contribution the Group

has made over the past twenty years. He writes:-

The Fortran Specialist Group was formed at a meeting on 6

January 1970, almost in the middle ages in computing terms,

and certainly in a different cultural environment. Shortly

before this a BCS president had predicted that since Algol

was so obviously superior, Fortran would never take off in

Europe. A main aim of the FSG was to "collate information

and views" relevant to the "1970 revision of the ASA

standard", and there were long, earnest discussions on

whether the ASA would allow what now seem to be the most

trivial of extensions.

In the early days there were working parties on extensions,

small machines, diagnostics and free format and the Group

was active in organising workshops. Personal contact with

members of X3J3 was made in 1971-72 and since then the

Group, and its members, have been outstandingly successful

in playing a significant role in Fortran evolution.

The talk will review developments in the language and the

FSG since 1970.




   ***** IMPORTANT NOTICE *****


The AGM and 20th Birthday Celebrations planned for Thursday,

5th April, 1990 have been cancelled. The AGM will now take

place on Thursday, 10th May, 1990 at BCS HQ, 13 Mansfield

Street, London and afterwards David Muxworthy will be

reviewing Fortran and the work of the Group over the past

20 years. The Group's Birthday Celebrations will now take

place in 1991 for its 21st Birthday and the Group's former

Secretary, Mike Nunn, has offered to oversee arrangements.

The Treasurer, Miles Ellis, will not be standing again so

the Group is seeking a new Treasurer. If you have some

financial expertise, particularly in the handling of VAT,

and would be prepared to spend a little time helping

the Group please contact either the Chairman, John Wilson,

or the Secretary, John Young.


The Group and the BCS mis-judged the number of copies of the

draft standard Fortran document (DP1539: 1989) that would be

sold in conjunction with the Fortran Forum 1989. Even

though this document may soon be out-of-date it is still a

very useful reference to the new Fortran standard as any

changes will minor like the correction of typographical

errors. Please consider purchasing this document for your

work, department, college, colleague, etc. as the reference

document to Fortran 8x. (It is substantially different to

the previous draft published in 1987). An order form is

provided below but a telephone call would suffice.


Return to: Karen McPhilemy, The British Computer Society,

13 Mansfield Street, London, WlM OBP.

Please send  copies of the draft standard Fortran document (DPl539: 1989) at

£15.00 each (incl. p & p.).

I enclose a cheque (payable to BCS Fortran Specialist Group) for £ .....

Signed .................................                                                Date......................

Address .............................................................................................................................



John Reid's informal and personal reports of X3J3 (and WG5)

meetings have been the Group's major source of information

about Fortran 8x for many years. In the latest report on

the X3J3 meeting in Richardson, John announced that his job

was changing and that the report was to be his last. The

Group records its appreciation not only of the regularity

and punctuality of the reports but also of the quality and

conciseness of the information. The reports were also sent

to Fortran Forum, NAG, and others who, I am sure, would wish

to join the Group in thanking John for a job "well done"

and wishing him every success for the future.


In the beginning, Fortran 8x; in l988, Fortran 88; then back

to Fortran 8x; and finally, Fortran 90. At the Richardson

meeting X3J3 unanimously adopted the informal name "Fortran

90" for the new standard with the earnest intention to

finish this year. X3J3 also decided that there would be no

further discussion of the retention of Fortran 77 as a

separate ANSI Standard because the decision was made by X3

and is final.


The afternoon session of the June meeting is planned as a

series of short talks given by members of the Group. If you

have a particular interest with a Fortran connection and

would be willing to tell the Group about it, please contact

the Secretary.

        The dates of the meetings for this year are:-

            Thursday, l0th May, 1990  - AGM and 20-year Review

           Thursday, 28th June, 1990  - Members' Talks

         Thursday, 25th October 1990  - Visit to RAL (Rutherford

                 (Provisional)          and Appleton Laboratory)