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View Diary: The SwiftHack (ClimateGate) Scandal: What You Need to Know (279 comments)

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  •  Ah, good old FORTRAN.... (3+ / 0-)
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    RunawayRose, xysea, yaque

    I'm amazed they still use it, even at a UK Uni.  

    I used it for my Industrial training year at at a large London hospital, working in medical statistics - and even back in the late 80's it was hilariously outdated.

    My bet?  Its 'open code' -  as in a yearly turnover of interns and students will amend the FORTRAN for work they're doing in the department, or for a certain professor.

    Variables will get changed annually if they're conducting a longitudinal study, and there's always enough 'witty' students out there who feel the need to comment or leave their mark on code for even the most beady-eyed of HoDs to miss the odd one. FORTRAN is hard enough to read at the best of times, so its easy to miss comments in it.

    Just my tuppenceworth,

    As for the naysayers in CC? Agree with them heartily. Admit that its all a huge hoax. Then when the next brush fire, earthquake or mudslide (why, yes, I do live in L.A now you ask  :p) ruins their property, remind them that they don't acutually believe in Climate Change, so it must have been god. Or Pixies. You decide....

    "Why would that kind of work be 'ridiculous'? Who are THEY fighting for?"-------------- BHO on the GOP's mockery of community organizers.

    by speedingpullet on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 04:36:54 PM PST

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    •  It's still quite useful (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, yaque

      I use Fortran 95/03 for my numerical modeling in neuroscience. It's MUCH easier than C or whatever other language you might prefer and is trivially portable. The speed of execution is nice as well. Fortran today is not the spaghetti code of yore.

      Research science: a series of failures sporadically punctuated by success

      by dpryan on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 04:45:51 PM PST

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      •  Actually, I always liked its simplicity. (6+ / 0-)

        But then I also had a penchant for Assembler too :-) Go figure.

        Though I defend my right to laugh at the 8" floppys we kept all the data on.
        And doubt very much that the FORTRAN used there is anything as quick and nimble as 95/03...

        "Why would that kind of work be 'ridiculous'? Who are THEY fighting for?"-------------- BHO on the GOP's mockery of community organizers.

        by speedingpullet on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 04:51:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not only "still" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, dpryan

        Fortran 95/03 is almost as powerful as C and C++. Fortran will not die as long as it is updated to an alternative to C.

        Truth is that most of scientific models (e.g. in Meteorology: WRF, ECMWF, NCEP...) are written in Fortran and it would be silly to recode them to C just because. We don't know if a better language can appear in 20 years and we would have to re-recode everything again.

        Here in my lab, our model, LMDZ, is coded in Fortran 77 and has been updated to Fortran 95/03 when new parametrizations are implemented. Unfortunately, not all scientists know Fortran 95/03 as good as Fortran 77, so it takes time for scientific engineers to translate.

        The best rule for software and computer languages is: "stick with what you are good at".

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