Re: Fortran 2008 (was Re: Statement function host association)



On Wed, 18 May 2005 10:55:02 -0500, Ron Shepard
<ron-shepard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>Other vendors were involved in this process too. DEC and IBM
>neither had vector hardware machines at that time (this was before
>the ALPHA and RS6000 chips), so they considered the RISC and vector
>machines their main competition. Stalling f8x meant keeping their
>customers locked in a little longer before moving into the
>RISC-based workstation market that was on its way.

This is utter nonsense, at least as far as DEC was concerned. DEC certainly
did have vector hardware for several of the VAX models. I should know, as I
was project leader for the VAX vectorizing compiler for five years. But even
if it didn't, there was not the slightest thought about "stalling" F8X for
competitive reasons. DEC also had its own RISC systems based on MIPS chips.

The notion that standardizing a language that included array syntax would pose
a competitive threat is absurd. As all of us who lived through that era can
attest, it took years for vendors, even those (such as DEC) with existing
vectorizing compilers, to start to do a good job optimizing the peculiar
semantics of F90 array operations, which were very different from traditional
DO loops.

DEC was actively involved in the standardization process for F90. DEC did vote
"no" at the first level because they wanted to see more standardization of
common extensions. That did not stop DEC from developing what came to be a
widely respected F90 implementation.

I am certainly not privy to the motives of the other vendors named here, but I
would be quite astonished if they saw standardization of F90 as a thread to
their installed base.

The above is purely my personal opinion and is not intended to represent the
position of my current employer.

Steve
.



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