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

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

LibreOffice 4.3.5.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
CleanApp 5.0.0 Beta 5 - Application dein...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.2 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Airs for...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: iMacs for up to $...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 1.4GHz... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac minis availab...
B&H Photo has new 2014 Mac minis on sale for up to $80 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459 $40 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac Pros for up t...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $500 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2599, $400 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3499, $... Read more
Save up to $400 on MacBooks with Apple Certif...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Save up to $300 on Macs, $30 on iPads with Ap...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iOS and Android OS Targeted by Man-in-the-Mid...
Cloud services security provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. has released, through the company’s Prolexic Security Engineering & Research Team (PLXsert), a new cybersecurity threat advisory. The... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.