Why I haven't moved (yet ?) to f90 or f95


My programming style and habits formed and stabilised quite a while ago.

For a while I moved around quite a bit and worked in different places on different systems (even different systems in the same place), therefore I grew up with concerns about portability, learned to recognise system-dependent features from f77 standard features, learned to avoid really system-dependent features, specially when they were just useless cosmetics, and learned which extensions to the standard were instead really useful and/or widespread (the two things not necessarily coincident, so I learned how to work around these, e.g. for INCLUDE file names).

In the mid '80s, when we were developing XAS we were eagerly concerned about portability, had to define a common subset for a number of operating systems, and hoped that the Fortran 8X standard would appear and consolidate soon and incorporate just those useful common subset of extensions.
However we realized that was not so likely to happen, since, for instance, I was taught f66 during my University courses in the late '70s, and I first met f77 compilers around 1983 ! This perhaps could be expected !

When f90 came out, it was too late for us, I had developed a consolidated set of styles, idioms and tools, which I had not the time to change ... and also major OS vendors were not offering a safe-and-stable (or any) f90 compiler promptly.
Nevertheless I instigated our librarian to buy Metcalf & Reid's book "Fortran 90 Explained" and read it (I traced from the library stamp this occurred in 1993 ... and now is 2000), but the new standard was quite unlike what I expected :

Below I'll list my doubts (and eventually considerations and potential solutions), in an order which more or less follows Metcalf & Reid's

This sign [*BAD*] and the red colour indicates features for which I express a negative opinion, this sign [*OK*] and the green colour indicates features for which I express a positive opinion, this sign [*BOH?*] and the orange (amber) colour indicates features to which I am indifferent (but do not regard as necessary) or for which negative and positive elements balance, or which are somewhat negative but not compulsory.

Present date is 07 Sep 2000