Fortran Programming Tools under Linux
The Fortran programming language is reasonably well supported in the Linux environment. Furthermore, a variety of high-quality programming tools and libraries provide a capability that, when coupled with all the features of Linux, makes for a potent programming platform for engineers and scientists.
In the future we can expect a robust g77 compiler with debugger support, continued improvement in existing support libraries, and release of new Fortran tools. Perhaps even more exciting is work being done by the Linux-Lab Project. This project is developing drivers to support acquisition of laboratory and field data using Linux. Higher-level interface to most hardware devices will be via C language libraries, which (we hope) will also be callable from our Fortran programs.
So take the plunge, you Fortran fanatics! It will be an exciting adventure!
Thanks to Tony Dalrymple, Rod Sobey, and Gary Howell for helpful comments on this article.
Dr. Steven Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior research engineer at the Coastal Engineering Research Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. His research activities focus on water wave kinematics, scour at breakwaters, and laboratory methodologies. He switched to Linux in October 1994 (kernel 1.1.54), but he admits to writing his first Fortran program over 25 years ago using FORTRAN 66 (or maybe that was FORTRAN 1.0?). Cycling and two teenage daughters keep Steve and his wife fit and frenzied, respectively.
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