Author's Blogs

Doctor Fortran in "Too Much of a Good Thing?"
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 01/23/09 13
A lot of Fortran programmers take the "belt and suspenders" approach to coding, with explicit declarations of every attribute they want for a symbol.  In general, this is good practice, especially when combined with IMPLICIT NONE to force you to say what you mean.  But some programmers take this ...
It was thirty years ago today
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 10/02/08 8
Today is my thirtieth anniversary of working for Intel, but that includes my years at DEC and Compaq.  As an actual Intel employee, it's a bit over seven years.  Anyway, I thought this would be a good opportunity to reminisce. I imagine most of you will find this boring; if so, feel free to go re...
What Happens in Vegas...
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 09/12/08 3
110 degrees in the shade, 9 Fortran geeks and dozens of comments and complaints about Fortran: it must be another J3 meeting in Las Vegas!   J3 is the US Fortran Standards Technical Committee, a subcommittee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS).  J3 works c...
MIXing it up with Donald Knuth
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 04/28/08 1
The other day, I ran across an interesting interview with Donald Knuth. Knuth, of course, is world-famous as the creator of the Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures (1 potrzebie = The thickness of issue #26 of MAD Magazine - just ask Google!) Only slightly less known is Knuth's series of boo...
Dick Hustvedt, the consummate software engineer
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 04/23/08 6
I've written a couple of "farewell" posts before, but this one is personal. I learned today that Dick Hustvedt died last week, and my heart is heavy. As I knew him, Dick was one of the principal architects and developers of the VAX/VMS operating system and a major force behind the development of ...
Doctor, it hurts when I do this!
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 03/31/08 11
It is often said that you can write bad code in any language, and I certainly can't argue with that. I do find, though, that the worst-looking code comes from programmers who are more familiar with another programming language. One can often tell that a C programmer wrote Fortran code, or that a ...
You Are In a Maze of Twisty Little Passages, All Alike
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 08/22/07 4
MAGIC WORD XYZZYFor computer geeks of a certain age, such as yours truly, it was an opportunity to relive the glorious past when Dennis Jerz announced that an early 1977 version of Will Crowther's Adventure game source code had been discovered. Adventure was one of the first puzzle-exploration ga...
Not Dead Yet!
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 05/25/07 7
At least once a week, I see someone refer to Fortran as a "dead" language. A recent interview I did included asking me if I worried about my job since "many people say there is no future in Fortran". So it was with some amusement that I ran across an article on the Computerworld web site titled T...
And a Farewell to John
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 03/20/07 1
John Backus, the creator of Fortran, passed away Saturday, March 17, at the age of 82. The New York Times has a nice obituary. I never met Mr. Backus, but my life and career has certainly been inflienced by his work.
A Farewell to Jean
By Steve Lionel (Intel) Posted on 03/05/07 3
If you asked me what my favorite programming language is, you might be surprised when I don't say Fortran. No, my favorite is Ada, the language named for the first computer programmer and the result of an international competition sponsored by the US Department of Defense. Jean Ichbiah, the creat...