The Doctor is IN!

.. testing. testing... Is this thing on? Oh, hi!

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Doctor Fortran 2.0. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Steve Lionel, and I work for Intel's Developer Products Division. For the past four years, I've been part of Intel's compiler support team, but before that I spent nearly a quarter century in and around Fortran as a compiler and OS developer at DEC, then Compaq and now Intel.

Back in 1997, when we at DEC introduced DIGITAL Visual Fortran (as it was then known). I started a Visual Fortran Newsletter that was e-mailed to DVF users. The newsletter had a lot of technical articles written by members of the Fortran team and some outside contributors. At some point, I started writing a regular column on Fortran language issues, which I called "Doctor Fortran". This ran from May 1998 through the last newsletter in September 2001, a month after the Fortran team was acquired by Intel. (You can read a selection of the articles from past newsletters in the Intel® Visual Fortran Community Forum.)

I had always wanted to continue Doctor Fortran, as I had a lot of fun with this, but never quite found the right medium. When the Intel® Software Network folks first approached me about doing a blog, I initially resisted, as I thought of blogs as full of such fascinating topics such as "what I had for breakfast" and "did you ever wonder why dryer lint is gray?" But I then realized that I had already been blogging, before the word was created. The newsletters did get posted on the web, so that was part of (we)blogging. The feedback element was different, but it was there as I did get e-mail from users in response to columns. So, I accepted, and here we are...

In future columns.. er.. posts (c'mon Steve, get with those newfangled terms!) I'll talk about Fortran past, present and future. I don't have a regular schedule in mind, it will be what interests me when I think of it, but suggestions for topics are always welcome. First up will be a look at Fortran 2003, and then perhaps a look ahead to what is currently being called Fortran 2008.

Notice that this post is in free-form source. It isn't all caps and doen't start in column 7. This is for the enlightenment of those for whom, when I mention Fortran, fondly recall doing something with it in the 1960s and, does anyone still use that? Well, yes, Fortran is very much still being used but today's Fortran is almost unrecognizeable to those who last knew it as FORTRAN IV. More next time...

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anonymous's picture

The newsletter had a lot of technical articles written by members of the Fortran team and some outside.

Steve Lionel (Intel)'s picture

You can subscribe to the RSS feed at There are various services that will send you email when a new RSS item is available. I set up a service with Google Feedburner so you can subscribe to emails by following this link:

warwickb's picture

It would be good if I could get an email advising of a new post. The articles are worth reading. I can't find a mechanism to subscribe to a 'New Post has happened' email notice.

anonymous's picture


I have an important problem. I have a file with an extension .for (fortran). I compile it with visual studio 6 (compaq visual fortran 6.1) and with visual studio 2005 (intel visual fortran 11.1) , and thus I obtain to executable file (.exe). Nevertheless when I run these .exe I do not have the same result.

with visual studio 6 (compaq visual fortran 6.1): I do have errors or warning in debud or release mode, all is right.
with visual studio 2005 (intel visual fortran 11.1): I can use the mode debug because there are some errors, but I can use the mode release and create .exe file.

Could help me please,



Steve Lionel (Intel)'s picture

The documentation is installed along with the compiler. Click Help in Visual Studio and there should be a link for Intel Fortran help.

If you have further product questions, please ask them in our user forum at


ssund's picture

I downloaded the software (IVF 10) and I don't remember getting on-disk documentation. Is there any place I can download the docs (in pdf i hope)?


Steve Lionel (Intel)'s picture

Luis, if you are using Intel Visual Fortran, you should read the on-disk documentation provided. You want a "Console Application". If you need more help, you can ask in our user forum ( or Intel Premier Support (, This blog is not really the best way to get help to build and run your program.


anonymous's picture


I am trying to re-run an old program I made 1976 using Fortran IV (with WATFORD) yeah I am old now....

The only book I could find is from Norman Lawrence (Compaq Visual Fortran) and he appears to be using an old version of Visual Studio.

Its hard to follow the instructions when the windows are different are you do not know if "console" is the same as "workspace"

Do you have any ideas I could use to run again that old program?

anonymous's picture

Thanks for your comments, guys. Jim, I'm not sure where you saw a star rating - I certainly didn't give myself any stars,

DaVinci, I'm not entirely sure what direction this will go. It's not really a "personal" blog - you won't read here that I had a pumpernickle bagel with plum preserve for breakfast, for example. (Uh oh, you just did...) My main attempt with this is to keep people thinking about Fortran and maybe learn something about where it's going. I probably won't be able to give you any deep insights into Intel's future plans, but I do want you to know that Intel is very supportive of the Fortran language and our Fortran products.

Norman Lawrence's book is a good one, and we (the Compaq we) helped him a lot with reviews and suggestions. The last I heard, he was working on an update to that for Intel Visual Fortran, but I don't have recent information on that.

Suggestions for topics are certainly welcome!


anonymous's picture

Steve, what about these gray dryer lints? I do have to know why gray!

Nice initiative this Fortran weblog. Let's keep the compiler-FAQ's on the IVF forum site and the initiatives, developments, cooperation on this F-Blog. I like to support this initiative. Is it meant as your personal Blog only, or as a discussion forum too ? In the later case some of my remarks below;

25 years ago I made two endurable choices; 1. my wife, 2. Fortran

She no Fortran like me, me no Cooking like her.
Started in science (PDP,VAX), sabbaticaled to earn some money in ICT, damned got stuck in there.

I like to promote Fortran, which I do quite often. I solved any small and large problem in this language in stead of using C/C++ or Cobol; Think of optimization, statistics, compilers & code generators, reversed engineering and conversion tooling, algorithmic trading systems, Windows & database programming, complete ERP & CRM solutions etcetera.

I found a few Fortran books and libraries remarkable and different from the usual Fortran literature. Books that enrich the usual Fortran domain and utilizations;

[1] Akin (2003): Object-Oriented Programming via Fortran 90/95
ISBN-13: 9780521524087 | ISBN-10: 0521524083

[2] Norman Lawrence (2002): Compaq Visual Fortran - a Guide to Creating Windows Applications
ISBN 1555582494
Norman was so nice to developed an extra and very usefull full-Fortran Windows GUI template for me. I will refine this one and make it available asap if Norman agrees.
I found standard graphical packages like Winteracter, Gino, Matlab, Arrayviewer not flexible enough for full Windows functionality, or overdone, but perhaps someone has more and better experiences? See for an impression of my prefered GUI-style on
This one has the bare Windows-frame setup in C++ and everything else like plotting, trees, algorithms in Fortran.
A GUI for very fast visualizing many testoutput with one mouseclick on the tree left and one on multiple tabpages.
The screenshot shows resp. tabs 1-8-2. Tree-content, tabpages and pane-layout are flexible and parametric defined in some setup (XML) file, which could for instance be produced in a previous analysis-run.
Still some finishing work to be done on the C++ frame for this GUI and on Norman's version. Volunteers?

[3] Jones & Crabtree (1988): Fortran Tools for VAX/VMS and MS-DOS
ISBN 0471619760
An oldie and a must. About programming style and tools usually found in C, but here in Fortran 77. String processing, parsing, lexical analysis, hashing, preprocessing, interpreters.
Became my standard for developing code-generators and reversed engineering tools.
Only a few code fragments communicate with VMS or DOS and certainly NOT obsolete as an Amazon reviewer states.
Jones send me the source code many years ago, so available in case a reprint publisher doesn't offer a download site.
I tried to contact Jones or Crabtree again 2 years ago, but without success so far.

Here some books with more usual Fortran subjects, but nice-to-have's and to experiment with. There is some overlap in subjects.

[4] Angell & Griffith (1987): High-resolution Computer Graphics using Fortran-77
ISBN 0333403983 / 03334303991
Angell send me his sources. I noticed that the book isn't available, I could make copies after consulting the publisher MacMillan.

[5] Robin Vowels (1998): Algorithms and Data Structures in F

[6] Meissner's Fortran 90&95 Array and Pointer Techniques.
eBook on

[7] Lemmon & Schafer (2005): Developing Statistical Software in Fortran 95
ISBN 0387238174
Sources on

8] Press E.O. (1987 & 1999) Numerical Recipes in Fortran77 resp. Fortran90
Too nice not to mention

To this list I still have to add several usefull Fortran source libraries, with functionality not often found in Fortran, for instance parsers, codegenerators, compilers, neural networks and AI, special timeseries and time-lag free noisefilters, splines, API's etcetera. The sources from the books mentioned are all available. Besides, there are several FTP sites generally known by insiders. I will also add a few developers homepages with their downloadable libs.

Who has some usefull additions to these books, libraries, own developments or utilities?

Clemens de Leeuw (DaVinci) - Netherlands


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