Fortran 2015 renamed to Fortran 2018

Steve Lionel, retired from Intel Fortran group, recently made a blog post noting that the upcoming Fortran release is being called Fortran 2018 instead of Fortran 2015. Given the amount of snarky comments I get, and now this blog post, I realize there is a problem of under-informed scientists and engineers who only remember their hatred for Fortran 77. People need exposure to the immense improvements brought with Fortran 90 and later revisions. The issue is analogous to those hating on Python 3 because they tried Python 3.3 several years ago, not having realized the benefits of Python ≥ 3.5 with regard to multi-threaded processing and type-hinting, et al.

Yes, I would agree that Fortran 77 is very constricting. I strongly recommend coding modern Fortran ≥ 2008 instead of Fortran 77. That seems appropriate for a forty year old version of software! There are Fortran 77 diehards, even graduate students still writing new programs in Fortran 77. There are sometimes reasons for this, such as HPC compilers that require a restricted syntax. I justify this by thinking it’s analogous to RISC, a tougher syntax for specialists needing the ultimate in performance.

Modern HPC efforts we’re involved in use the latest Fortran features, up through Fortran 2008. Since Intel Fortran 2018 support isn’t as complete as Gfortran Fortran 2018 support, using Fortran 2008 is fine for now.

Please feel free to reach out via comments or email if you have insights or need help on your Fortran project. We deploy Fortran on remote sensing systems using ARM processors up through 4-D simulations on supercomputers.

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