Fortran Forever

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story imageArsTechnica has an interesting article featured today about scientific computing and the enduring role played by the Fortran programming language . The article explores three potential challengers to the dominance of Fortran in scientific computing including Haskell , Clojure , and Julia . One of the main points made by the article is that support for existing Fortran and C libraries is essential as is support for concurrent (parallel) algorithms. Will Fortran rule scientific computing forever or will a challenger usurp the throne?

[edited 2014-05-09 13:32 for spelling]

Fortran lives! (Score: 3, Interesting)

by skarjak@pipedot.org on 2014-05-08 16:01 (#1G2)

I did my undergraduate work entirely in Fortran. Just for reference, I am in my mid-twenties... My supervisor told me that's the language I should use. There are certain fields where a lot of really useful code is in Fortran, so it's at the very least important to be able to read it (although that's clearly not very hard to do). Some people had some convincing numbers to show Fortran programs were more efficient than C programs for number crunching. Given that a lot of our code is just running a set of very simple operations a huge amout of times, Fortran does a great job. The only issue I had with it is the lack of widely available libraries compared to more modern languages. You've got Numerical recipes and a few other non-free libraries, and then the rest are homemade solutions stored somewhere on your supervisor's hard drive...

I switched to C for my graduate work and I was pretty happy with it. I'll gladly save myself some coding time, even if it means my programs might run a little slower. They can run 24/7, I can't program in these conditions. :p
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