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

Apple iMovie 10.1.6 - Edit personal vide...
With an all-new design, Apple iMovie lets you enjoy your videos like never before. Browse your clips more easily, instantly share your favorite moments, and create beautiful HD movies and Hollywood-... Read more
TechTool Pro 9.5.1 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro has long been one of the foremost utilities for keeping your Mac running smoothly and efficiently. With the release of version 9, it has become more proficient than ever. TechTool... Read more
Jamf Pro 9.99.0 - Powerful sysadmin/ente...
Jamf Pro (formerly Casper Suite) is the EMM tool that delights IT pros and the users they support by delivering on the promise of unified endpoint management for Apple devices. At Jamf, connecting... Read more
VueScan 9.5.78 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Adobe Lightroom 6.10.1 - Import, develop...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more
iPhoto Library Manager 4.2.7 - Manage mu...
iPhoto Library Manager allows you to organize your photos among multiple iPhoto libraries, rather than having to store all of your photos in one giant library. You can browse the photos in all your... Read more
Smultron 9.4 - Easy-to-use, powerful tex...
Smultron 9 is an elegant and powerful text editor that is easy to use. Use it to create or edit any text document. Everything from a web page, a note or a script to any single piece of text or code.... Read more
TextSoap 8.4 - Automate tedious text doc...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Merlin Project 4.2.3 - $349.00
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
QuarkXPress 13.0.0.0 - Desktop publishin...
QuarkXPress 2017 is the new version that raises the bar for design and productivity. With non-destructive graphics and image editing directly within your layout, you no longer have to choose between... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Goat Simulator PAYDAY (Games)
Goat Simulator PAYDAY 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICES **iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better Goat Simulator: Payday is the most... | Read more »
Zombie Gunship Survival Beginner's...
The much anticipated Zombie Gunship Survival is here. In this latest entry in the Zombie Gunship franchise, you're tasked with supporting ground troops and protecting your base from the zombie horde. There's a lot of rich base building fun, and... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish (Games)
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish 1.2.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.2.2 (iTunes) Description: Explore the ruins of the City of Mordheim, clash with other scavenging warbands and collect Wyrdstone -... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish brings tablet...
Legendary Games has just launched Mordheim: Warband Skirmish, a new turn-based action game for iOS and Android. | Read more »
Magikarp Jump splashes onto Android worl...
If you're tired ofPokémon GObut still want something to satisfy your mobilePokémon fix,Magikarp Jumpmay just do the trick. It's out now on Android devices the world over. While it looks like a simple arcade jumper, there's quite a bit more to it... | Read more »
Purrfectly charming open-world RPG Cat Q...
Cat Quest, an expansive open-world RPG from former Koei-Tecmo developers, got a new gameplay trailer today. The video showcases the combat and exploration features of this feline-themed RPG. Cat puns abound as you travel across a large map in a... | Read more »
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels (Games)
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** WARNING: iPad 2, iPad Mini 1 & iPhone 4S are NOT compatible. ** *** Special Launch Price for a limited... | Read more »
Subdivision Infinity (Games)
Subdivision Infinity 1.03 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.03 (iTunes) Description: Launch sale! 40% Off! Subdivision Infinity is an immersive and pulse pounding sci-fi 3D space shooter. https://www.... | Read more »
Clash of Clans' gets a huge new upd...
Clash of Clans just got a massive new update, and that's not hyperbole. The update easily tacks on a whole new game's worth of content to the hit base building game. In the update, that mysterious boat on the edge of the map has been repaired and... | Read more »
Thimbleweed Park officially headed to iO...
Welp, it's official. Thimbleweed Park will be getting a mobile version. After lots of wondering and speculation, the developers confirmed it today. Thimbleweed Park will be available on both iOS and Android sometime in the near future. There's no... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Huawei Unveils New ‘Business-Styled’ MateBook...
Huawei has introduced a trio of new MateBook laptops, expanding its mobile portfolio and building on its success in delivering attractive and powerful high-end devices. The company claims the HUAWEI... Read more
Deal! Gold 12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBook for...
Amazon has the 2016 Gold 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBook (MLHF2LL/A) on sale for $350 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gold Retina MacBook: $1249.99 $350 off MSRP We expect this... Read more
13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro. An Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
Apple refurbished 9-inch and 12-inch iPad Pro...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available f...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Sale! 15-inch 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook...
DataVision has the 15″ 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLW72LL/A) on sale for $2199 including free shipping. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (... Read more
A Kaby Lake Processor Upgrade For The MacBook...
Now they tell me! Well, actually Apple hasn’t said anything official on the subject, but last week Bloomberg News’s Mark Gurman and Alex Webb cited unnamed “people familiar with the matter”... Read more
Kodak’s Camera-First Smartphone EKTRA Launche...
The Eastman Kodak Company and Bullitt Group have announced the availability of a U.S. GSM version of the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone. The U.S. launch coincides with a software update addressing requests... Read more
Apple Launches App Development Curriculum for...
Apple today launched a new app development curriculum designed for students who want to pursue careers in the fast-growing app economy. The curriculum is available as a free download today from Apple... 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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Systems Engineer - California Polyte...
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Apple Systems Engineer Department: ITS - Customer & Tech Support (134900) College/Division: Academic Affairs Salary Range: Position Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**508718BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Location Number:** 001526-Odessa-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Computing Read more
Data Engineer - *Apple* Media Products - Ap...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.