TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Absoft MacFORTRAN II
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:12
Column Tag:Kelly's Corner

ABSOFT MacFORTRAN II

By Dave Kelly, MacTutor Editorial Board

MacFORTRAN II Perspectives

ABSOFT MacFORTRAN II: You’ve seen their ads since being released last June. I encourage you to take a look at an ad for MacFortran II for a list of features. These comments here are incomplete unless you take a closer look at the features advertised. It is not my purpose to list the features here, but I will give my impressions of it from the perspective of someone new to MPW.

I first heard of MacFORTRAN II when MacWeek made mention of it. ABSOFT agreed to loan me a copy for about 2 months which has not given me a lot of time to work with MacFortran II.

Fortran was a required class in my engineering curriculum. That was about the last time I had even seen FORTRAN (FORTRAN IV actually) except for the first release of MicroSoft Fortran for the Macintosh. Since that time there have been many useful extensions and improvements which are incorporated into MacFORTRAN II. The most noticeable one was the missing card reader. I remember writing my FORTRAN program on a coding sheet and then waiting in line to use a card punch machine. Each statement had to be perfectly punched onto a card with the only one way to correct mistakes start over with a new card. Believe me that was not so fun. Maybe some of you can relate to this.

Finally, the entire deck of punch cards were submitted for batch processing at the computer center. It usually took about two or three hours before the batch was run, and then I could find out that one card was out of order, or that I made a typo that I didn’t catch before. (And you thought that the Edit-Compile-Link-Run loop was bad). Ah, those were the days. I’m sure glad that’s over. After a few passes through the system, I would finally get my paper printout with my program results.

When MacFORTRAN II arrived at my door I was immediately delighted by its features (I love opening packages it’s just like Christmas). The documentation comes in a three-ring binder and 10 tabs to divide sections. Like many other documentation packages, the pages and tabs had to be separated and inserted into the binder. Sections include Using MPW, Macintosh Programming, FORTRAN Statements, Input/Output, and subroutines/functions. A tab is provided that briefly lists VAX/VMS, FORTRAN 90, and DoD MIL-STD-1753 extensions. The manual contained adequate documentation to cover the language features. However, it assumes that you already know Fortran from somewhere, though not necessarily every version of the language.

Since I had never used MPW, I had another learning curve to overcome. My experience has been limited to THINK Pascal and a casual acquaintance with MPW from MacTutor articles. My advice to new users of MPW is that you don’t let the MPW shell overwhelm you. The MacFortran manual shows you how to compile a simple Fortran program which involves manipulating the commando interface. I recommend that you read through the manual before getting started if you are unsure of how MPW works. Experienced MPW users should be able to get going without any help from the manual at all.

After browsing through the manual, it is informative to run some examples which are provided with MacFortran II. The best part is that these Fortran example programs are filled with plenty of comments. As a matter of fact since I mentioned this, MacFortran II can automatically generate a Macintosh user interface shell (called MRWE™: MacFortran Runtime Window Environment) which is great for providing the look and feel of the Macintosh in Fortran programs which have been ported over from other systems. The nice thing is that the source code for MRWE is provided complete with jillions of comments. This code may be modified to your hearts content or studied as examples of some of the Macintosh ROM calls. This could save you a lot of time even if you choose to use your own application shell and compile without MRWE.

Unfortunately the same formats of the Fortran language still bear the scars of the days of punched cards. Fortunately you have a choice. The Fortran 90 Free Source Form (for example) doesn’t require characters to appear in any particular column. In the punched card days putting characters in the correct column was an important part of Fortran. The Free Source formats make editing much easier when using the MPW editor. Unless you use Freditor (the Fortran Editor I talked about a few issues back), you won’t know which column you are typing in without counting characters. With Free Source formats columns don’t matter so that’s not an issue. If you need to use the fixed format (fixed column format) you could find editing in Fortran annoying.

One of MacFortran II’s strengths is also a weakness. The strength is that it takes advantage of the faster Macintoshes (i.e. the 68020 and 68030 based machines). This is not a problem if the programs you write will ONLY be used on this type of machine. If someday someone tries running on a 68000 based machine then KA-BOMB! In addition, MacFortran II expects a math co-processor to be used. This further limits which machines may use MacFortran II compiled code and defines which ones will bomb. Pascal or C routines attached called from a Fortran program MUST be compiled with the 68020/30 and 68881 math co-processor options. All of this comes in the midst of Apple’s warning that developers write software that is not be dependant on a machine’s configuration.

Absoft will continue to market MacFortran for the Mac Plus and SE as well as MacFortran/020 for 68020 based machines. If your requirement is speed, MacFortran II may still be your best choice. The MacFortran II advertisements promote that it is the fastest Fortran ever available. My comments are not complete without mentioning the VAX/VMS, IBM/VS, and Fortran 90 extensions. This compatibility should make VAX and IBM mainframe users happy as they transport their Fortran programs to the Macintosh.

MacFortran II is available from:

ABSOFT

2781 Bond Street

Rochester Hills, MI. 48309

(313) 853-0050

Price: $595

Requires: Mac II, IIcx, IIci, IIfx, or SE/30 with hard disk (about 5MB free space for MPW) and 2MB of RAM

No copy protection

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VOX 3.0.1 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
Merlin Project 4.3.3 - $289.00
Merlin Project is the leading professional project management software for OS X. If you plan complex projects on your Mac, you won’t get far with a simple list of tasks. Good planning raises... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 7.1 - Copy, backup, an...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
iMazing 2.5.2 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
Pinegrow 4 - Mockup and design webpages...
Pinegrow (was Pinegrow Web Designer) is desktop app that lets you mockup and design webpages faster with multi-page editing, CSS and LESS styling, and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation,... Read more
iExplorer 4.1.11 - View and transfer fil...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
Merlin Project 4.3.3 - $289.00
Merlin Project is the leading professional project management software for OS X. If you plan complex projects on your Mac, you won’t get far with a simple list of tasks. Good planning raises... Read more
iMazing 2.5.2 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 7.1 - Copy, backup, an...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
VOX 3.0.1 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The best mobile games to play while your...
Thanksgiving is a time to reconnect with loved ones, eat lots of food, and all of that jazz, but once the festivities start to wind down, folks tend to head to the couch to watch whatever football is happening for Turkey Day. | Read more »
The best Black Friday deals for Apple ga...
Black Friday is hours away at this point, but many popular retailers are getting a jump on things with plenty of pre-Black Friday sales already available. Many of those early bird sales including some sharp discounts on the latest Apple phones... | Read more »
The Inner World 2 (Games)
The Inner World 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Solve mind-bending puzzles in a world full of mystery and save the family of the flute-noses! Their dynasty has been... | Read more »
warbot.io wants you for the robot wars
Fans of epic gundam-style battles will find a lot to love in warbot.io, the first game for up and coming developer Wondersquad. The game saw a lot of success when it first launched for browsers and Facebook, and now even more people are getting the... | Read more »
Uncover alien mysteries in cross-genre s...
If the Alien franchise taught us anything, it’s that landing on a strange planet at the behest of a faceless corporation is probably asking for trouble. And Eldritch Game’s Deliria doesn’t prove otherwise. In 2107, Dimension LG7 is rich with... | Read more »
The best mobile games to play during dre...
| Read more »
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp beginner...
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, was just announced yesterday, but it's already in soft launch in Australia. No matter where you are in the world, you can still get access to the soft launch on iOS, so we've devised a few beginner tips for folks who... | Read more »
The mobile gamer's guide to Black F...
We're starting to catch wind of some exciting deals in the mobile gaming space for Black Friday. There are big discounts on mobile phones and accessories cropping up already, so you might want to get a move on things ahead of the big day. It's... | Read more »
The best pre-Black Friday deals - Novemb...
Black Friday will soon be upon us, but online retailers are already getting a headstart on the steep discounts. Don't wait until Friday—you'll find some pretty good deals all over the internet without waiting in lines or competing with other... | Read more »
Mighty Battles guide - how to build a so...
Mighty Battles, the latest title from Hothead Games, is set to take the App Store by storm. The game puts a welcome twist on lane battlers, adding FPS elements to spice things up a bit. You'll collect cards to put your own military unit to gether,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Lowest Black Friday prices on Apple MacBooks:...
Save $150-$420 on the purchase of a MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air this Black Friday and Holiday weekend with Certified Refurbished models at Apple. In many cases, Apple’s refurbished prices... Read more
Black Friday: Apple Watch Series 1 for $70 of...
Macy’s has discounted Series 1 Apple Watches by $70 on their online store as part of their Black Friday sale: – 38mm Series 1 Apple Watch: $179, $70 off – 42mm Series 1 Apple Watch: $209, $70 off... Read more
Apple offers 2016 13-inch MacBook Airs, certi...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $809. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
Black Friday sale: Mac minis for $100 off MSR...
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $399 $100 off MSRP – 2... Read more
Use your Apple Education discount to save up...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu email address qualify for the discount... Read more
Adorama posts Black Friday deals on Apple Mac...
Adorama has posted Black Friday sale prices on many Macs, with MacBooks and iMacs available for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NJ and NY only: MacBook Pros... Read more
Save up to $300 on 15″ 2.2GHz MacBook Pros
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.2GHz MacBook Pro available for $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.2GHz MacBook Pro (MJLQ2LL/A): $1799 $200 off MSRP Amazon.com... Read more
Save up to $180 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.8GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air (... Read more
Black Friday deals on Apple Macs now live at...
Amazon has MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, MacBooks, and iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP for Black Friday week. Shipping is free. Note that stock of some Macs may come and go during the week, so... Read more
Black Friday pricing on Macs and iPads now av...
B&H Photo has lowered prices on many Macs, iPads, and iPad Pros as part of their Black Friday week sale. Save up to $200 on MacBooks and iMacs and up to $150 on iPads. B&H charges sales tax... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Business Development Manager, *Apple* Pay -...
# Business Development Manager, Apple Pay Job Number: 112919084 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 18-Aug-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 56553863 North Wales, Pennsylvania, United States Posted: 17-Jun-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are you passionate Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
# Apple Professional Learning Specialist Job Number: 112952232 Dallas, Texas, United States Posted: 07-Sep-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Apple Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
# Apple Professional Learning Specialist Job Number: 112953711 Houston, Texas, United States Posted: 07-Sep-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.