Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th May 2014 20:12 UTC
General Development

A large research project in the physical sciences usually involves experimenters, theorists, and people carrying out calculations with computers. There are computers and terminals everywhere. Some of the people hunched over these screens are writing papers, some are analyzing data, and some are working on simulations. These simulations are also quite often on the cutting edge, pushing the world’s fastest supercomputers, with their thousands of networked processors, to the limit. But almost universally, the language in which these simulation codes are written is Fortran, a relic from the 1950s.

Ars looks at three possible replacements for Fortran.

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Yep, FORTRAN's still around
by benali72 on Fri 9th May 2014 17:36 UTC
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I've worked as a tech support at one of our large national labs. FORTRAN is still in use because non-computer people find it relatively easy to write and it expresses their problems clearly and succinctly. A number of scientists, engineers, etc. still sometimes use FORTRAN, believe it or not. Also, there are still many scientific programs written in FORTRAN, and this community has problems to solve. They don't spend their time on converting old programs that work to newer programming languages. Many ancient FORTRAN programs are still in service.

The article mentions C++. I can tell you NO scientists use it. Weird syntax, too difficult. Scientists may contract for a system to be written for them in C++ but they NEVER write it themselves. C fell to the same fate. We in CS and IT like these languages, but few do outside our profession.

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