Debunking the Myths About Fortran

I am following this LinkedIn Fortran group discussion. What is your connection to Fortran, and when did you use it most recently? 

There  Craig T. Dedo shared a pdf article that he has authored on debunking the myths about fortran.

Here’s how he begins it

Over the last few decades, there has been a lot of misinformation about the Fortran programming language. Very often, various people, many of whom should know better, state these myths as absolute truth, in spite of obvious evidence to the contrary. These myths and others like  them are very widespread. I have heard each of these myths at least once in my personal experience.  This article will list and demolish these myths. If you are wondering if this effort is even necessary, please see the last myth in this article.


Following is a summary of the myths discussed in that  article.

1. The only real Fortran is FORTRAN 77 (or, FORTRAN 66).
2. Modern Fortran compilers are prohibited from supporting features deleted from the Fortran standard.
3. The proper spelling of the language is FORTRAN, with all caps.
4. Fortran requires NAMES and SOURCE TEXT to be all UPPER CASE.
5. Fortran requires names to be no longer than 6 characters.
6. Fortran requires implicit typing of variables.
7. Fortran has default initialization for all variables. Numeric variables are initialized to 0,character variables to all blanks, and logical variables to .FALSE.
8. The largest size of integer is the same as the address size.
9. Fortran statements must start in column 7 and not extend past column 72.
10. Fortran is three-way IF statements and one-trip DO loops.
11. Fortran does not include modern structured programming constructs. You have to use lots of GOTO statements in order to get the control flow that you want.
12. Fortran encourages unstructured code and spaghetti-style control flow.
13. Fortran is unportable. If you really want portability, you should write your program in C.
14. Fortran is a dead language. No one uses it any more to write important applications.
15. Fortran is only for scientific and engineering applications.
16. You can’t do character operations easily in Fortran.
17. You can’t do bit operations in Fortran.
18. Only Microsoft makes a PC-based Fortran compiler of any importance.
19. Fortran can’t do Windows.
20. Fortran can’t call operating system routines.
21. Fortran can’t perform database operations.
22. All Fortran compilers are expensive.
23. There are few programmers who know Fortran.
24. Fortran is no easier to learn than other popular programming languages such as C, C++, C#, or Java.
25. It is hard to find Fortran expertise.
26. A program written in Fortran is un maintainable.

Click Myths about Fortran to read the PDF

One thought on “Debunking the Myths About Fortran

  1. Pingback: Plants Become Weeds when they….. |

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