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
$105.22
Apple Inc.
+0.39
MSFT
$46.13
Microsoft Corpora
+1.11
GOOG
$539.78
Google Inc.
-4.20

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OS X Server 4.0 - For OS X 10.10 Yosemit...
Designed for OS X and iOS devices, OS X Server makes it easy to share files, schedule meetings, synchronize contacts, develop software, host your own website, publish wikis, configure Mac, iPhone,... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.12 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
BusyCal 2.6.3 - Powerful calendar app wi...
BusyCal is an award-winning desktop calendar that combines personal productivity features for individuals with powerful calendar sharing capabilities for families and workgroups. BusyCal's unique... Read more
calibre 2.7 - Complete e-library managem...
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... Read more
Skitch 2.7.3 - Take screenshots, annotat...
With Skitch, taking, annotating, and sharing screenshots or images is as fun as it is simple.Communicate and collaborate with images using Skitch and its intuitive, engaging drawing and annotating... Read more
Delicious Library 3.3.2 - Import, browse...
Delicious Library allows you to import, browse, and share all your books, movies, music, and video games with Delicious Library. Run your very own library from your home or office using our... Read more
Art Text 2.4.8 - Create high quality hea...
Art Text is an OS X application for creating high quality textual graphics, headings, logos, icons, Web site elements, and buttons. Thanks to multi-layer support, creating complex graphics is no... Read more
Live Interior 3D Pro 2.9.6 - Powerful an...
Live Interior 3D Pro is a powerful yet very intuitive interior designing application. View Video Tutorials It has every feature of Live Interior 3D Standard, plus some exclusive ones: Create multi... Read more
The Hit List 1.1.7 - Advanced reminder a...
The Hit List manages the daily chaos of your modern life. It's easy to learn - it's as easy as making lists. And it's powerful enough to let you plan, then forget, then act when the time is right.... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.2.4 - Organize your digita...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Rami Ismail Opens Up distribute​() for D...
Rami Ismail Opens Up distribute​() for Developers Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Rami Ismail, Chief Executive of Business and Development at indie game studio | Read more »
Great Hitman GO Goes on Sale and Gets Ne...
Great Hitman GO Goes on Sale and Gets New Update – Say That Three Times Fast Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Rival Stars Basketball Review
Rival Stars Basketball Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESTRICTIVE BUT FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Rival Stars Basketball is a fun mixture of basketball and card collecting but its... | Read more »
Rubicon Development Makes Over a Dozen o...
Rubicon Development Makes Over a Dozen of Their Games Free For This Weekend Only Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
I Am Dolphin Review
I Am Dolphin Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEARLY FIN-TASTICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swim around and eat nearly everything that moves in I Am Dolphin, a fun Ecco-ish kind of game... | Read more »
nPlayer looks to be the ultimate choice...
Developed by Newin Inc, nPlayer may seem like your standard video player – but is aiming to be the best in its field by providing high quality video play performance and support for a huge number of video formats and codecs. User reviews include... | Read more »
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Wi...
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CLASSY STORYTELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch is a sterling... | Read more »
A Few Days Left (Games)
A Few Days Left 1.01 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.01 (iTunes) Description: Screenshots are in compliance to App Store's 4+ age rating! Please see App Preview for real game play! **Important: Make... | Read more »
Toca Boo (Education)
Toca Boo 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: BOO! Did I scare you!? My name is Bonnie and my family loves to spook! Do you want to scare them back? Follow me and I'll... | Read more »
Intuon (Games)
Intuon 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Join the battle with your intuition in a new hardcore game Intuon! How well do you trust your intuition? Can you find a needle in a... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Weekend sale: 13-inch 128GB MacBook Air for $...
Best Buy has the 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849.99, or $150 off MSRP, on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid... Read more
Nimbus Note Cross=Platform Notes Utility
Nimbus Note will make sure you never forget or lose your valuable data again. Create and edit notes, save web pages, screenshots and any other type of data – and share it all with your friends and... Read more
NewerTech’s Snuglet Makes MagSafe 2 Power Con...
NewerTech has introduced the Snuglet, a precision-manufactured ring designed to sit inside your MagSafe 2 connector port, providing a more snug fit to prevent your power cable from unintentional... Read more
Apple Planning To Sacrifice Gross Margins To...
Digitimes Research’s Jim Hsiao says its analysts believe Apple is planning to sacrifice its gross margins to save its tablet business, which has recently fallen into decline. They project that Apple’... Read more
Who’s On Now? – First Instant-Connect Search...
It’s nighttime and your car has broken down on the side of the highway. You need a tow truck right away, so you open an app on your iPhone, search for the closest tow truck and send an instant... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $949,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $949.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $150 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Save up to $125 on Retina MacBook Pros
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
Textilus New Word, Notes and PDF Processor fo...
Textilus is new word-crunching, notes, and PDF processor designed exclusively for the iPad. I haven’t had time to thoroughly check it out yet, but it looks great and early reviews are positive.... Read more
WD My Passport Pro Bus-Powered Thunderbolt RA...
WD’s My Passport Pro RAID solution is powered by an integrated Thunderbolt cable for true portability and speeds as high as 233 MB/s. HighlightsOverviewSpecifications Transfer, Back Up And Edit In... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple Inc. (U...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work 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.