07/09/89 12:20     27,879     CS109.LCT

Lecture notes for 1989 MTU Summer Youth Program Exploration 109

01 JUL 1989 sat - last revised 08 JUL 1989 sat


Dr. Phil's FORTRAN
	Confessions of a Computational Physicist versus Computer Science
	Is FORTRAN Dead, Dying or Out of Date?  (NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
		CS people keep trying to tell the world that FORTRAN, or
		BASIC or COBOL or whatever, is dead, and that everything
		will be written in C or Modula-2 or C++.  Well, they said
		the same thing about APL, Pascal, PL-1 (IBM anyway), and 
		FORTRAN is still here.
	Other comments :
		These are serious comments.

		(1) Working with computers can be VERY frustrating.
			The damned things either do EXACTLY what we tell
			them to do (rather than what we THOUGHT we told
			them to do.
			they fail in mystifyingly horrible ways that are
			too numerous and too unbelievable to do anything
			but generate great war stories with other computer

		(2) I know what I am doing, BUT....

			I was called in last week to work this Exploration.
			The lab assistants were hired at noon on Thursday.

			I have only spent maybe 2 hours using the set-up
			we will be using, which means that there could be

			I did not choose the FORTRAN compilier we will be
			using (WATFOR-77).  I would not have used this
			compilier if I had had a choice.  I feel my job is
			to teach you standard FORTRAN-77, and this compilier
			has a lot of non-standard stuff in it.

		(3) If you have trouble ...
			First, check for typos.  The best thing you can do
			to help your computing is learn to touch type and
			to proofread quickly.

			Second, look to see if you followed the rules.  The
			computer will try to tell you what is wrong, but
			sometimes it is not very informative, or misleads you.

			Third, some lovely direction that I have given you
			may not work in the PC Lab because of the network
			or because of WATFOR-77.  Therefore, it is important
			to listen in the lab, in case I have to revise some

				You may be used to having teachers that
				seem infallible.  This is much more 
				unstructured and tailored to your needs.
				And I wish to quickly correct any errors.

		(4) Many things will not be clear as I talk about them 
			However, they may make a LOT more sense when you
			actually sit down and try them.  It's just that it's
			a heckuva lot easier to talk to 23 people in a 
			classroom like this, rather than shouting to everyone
			while they go running off in all directions.

(File continues...)