Re: Redefining a numeric constant in Fortran (Was Re: why are some types immutable?)
From: Another Jake (anotherjake_at_anotherdoghouse)
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 22:33:01 -0500
When I was debugging programs about 1970 (IBM360), this was one of the
first things to look for. And, then insist that the student change the
argument from a number to a variable. This was a very popular error
back then. I am guessing it was Fortran IV.
-- AJ, FD
<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
> Roy Smith wrote (in comp.lang.python):
> >Believe it or not, in some early versions of Fortran, numbers were
> >immutable! I forget the exact scenario, but if you did something
> > subroutine munge (i)
> > i = 3
> > return
> >and then in your main program did:
> > j = 7
> > call munge (7)
> > write (6, 11) j
> > 11 format ('j = ', i6)
> >it would print 3! The problem is that numerical constants were
> >(i.e. in the main program, there was only a single 7 stored in
> >and both uses of 7 referred to the same memory location), and the
> >passed to the subroutine was call by reference. It was almost as if
> >compiler let you say "7 = 3" as an assignment statement.
> >Needless to say, people did indeed complain massively.
> Was this (the ability to redefine the value of '7') ever really true
> Fortran, or a particular Fortran compilers?