Fortran (Programming Language)
FORTRAN, C, and C++ have a long history as the basic/main compiled languages for high performance computing. The key parallel computing packages, MPI and OpenMP, have been implemented in all of them from the beginning. While C and C++ have been extended for all programming purposes, FORTRAN originated from FORmular TRANslation, and developed with an emphasis on scientific computing. After the FORTRAN I-IV, 66, and 77 stages, the FORTRAN 90, 95, 2003, 2008, and 2015 versions have adopted many advanced features to become a true modern (object oriented) programming language, especially geared toward scientific computations. The following lists some of the most useful and prominent programming features of FORTRAN.
FORTRAN is very well structured. All routines should have a clear beginning statement, and a corresponding ending one. For example (since case-in-sensitiveness, usually written in either all lower or all upper case)
PROGRAM MY_VERY_USEFUL_CODE ... CALL PROBLEM_SOLVING (...) ... STOP END PROGRAM MY_VERY_USEFUL_CODE SUBROUTINE PROBLEM_SOLVING (...) ... RESULT = AVERAGE_SCORE (...) RETURN END SUBROUTINE PROBLEM_SOLVING FUNCTION AVERAGE_SCORE (...) ... RETURN END FUNCTION AVERAGE_SCORE
Even the DO loop and IF structure are also finished with an END statement.
DO I = ISTART, IEND ... END DO IF (CONDITION) ... ELSE ... END IF
Similar to classes in C++, modules are very important and widely-used in FORTRAN. Modules, in the form of a separate code structure, may contain various definitions/declarations and can use other predefined modules. Theoretically modules are not classes, but usually used to provide some data structures (objects) for sharing, since in most scientific computations objects are known beforehand and the task is to manipulate them. Modules can also contain specific routines accessing the objects inside and accessible only when the module is used, similar to the encapsulation concept of classes. By using modules, the code can be written very concisely. Here is an example and its usage.
MODULE MY_PARAMETERS DOUBLE PRECISION, PARAMETER :: THE_EARTH_RADIUS = 6371.0D0 END MODULE MY_PARAMETERS SUBROUTINE EARTH_STORY (...) USE MY_PARAMETERS DOUBLE PRECISION:: THE_EARTH_DIAMETER ... THE_EARTH_DIAMETER = 2 * THE_EARTH_RADIUS ... RETURN END SUBROUTINE EARTH_STORY
As a modern language, FORTRAN also supports routine overloading: the ability to pick up the correct one from a group of routines with different unique interfaces by calling a fixed routine name. The routines are usually of the same functionality.
MODULE MY_KINETICS INTERFACE GENERIC_KINETIC SUBROUTINE KINETIC_ROUTINE_A(...) ... END SUBROUTINE KINETIC_ROUTINE_A SUBROUTINE KINETIC_ROUTINE_B(...) ... END SUBROUTINE KINETIC_ROUTINE_B SUBROUTINE KINETIC_ROUTINE_C(...) ... END SUBROUTINE KINETIC_ROUTINE_C ... END INTERFACE GENERIC_KINETIC END MODULE MY_KINETICS
After this module is cited
with each of the specific routines available, the call
will invoke the specific routine with the matching unique interface. In C++, overloading is a type of class polymorphism.
Most FORTRAN compilers have built-in data types of very high precision, like quadruple precision
REAL*16 :: VELOCITY(3,1000) COMPLEX*32 :: HAMILTONIAN(1000, 1000)
Dynamic Memory Allocation
Early versions of FORTRAN had a big drawback: they did not allow for dynamic memory allocation, forcing re-compilation array sizes were changed. Newer versions of FORTRAN (since F90) support such operations even for many-dimensional arrays.
REAL*16, ALLOCATABLE :: COMPLICATED_DATA(:, :, :, :, :, :) ALLOCATE(COMPLICATED_DATA(3, 90, 80, 72, 500, 28))
in contrast to C/C++ where all arrays are allocated as one-dimensional.
User Defined Data Types
FORTRAN also supports user defined data types:
TYPE PERSON CHARACTER(LEN=10) :: NAME REAL :: AGE INTEGER :: ID END TYPE PERSON TYPE(PERSON) :: YOU, ME REAL :: DIFF YOU%ID = 12345 DIFF = YOU%AGE - ME%AGE
Some Other Features
Links and Further Reading
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have scientific programmers on staff who will probably be able to help you out. Of course, we can't do the coding for you but we do our best to get your code ready for parallel machines and clusters.