Grumble about too strict an attitude about backward compatibility...

Skip Montanaro skip at pobox.com
Wed Sep 4 04:58:04 CEST 2002


I don't want to wake any sleeping dogs, however, as I'm sitting here
watching a bunch of Fortran function names fly by as SciPy builds, I'm
reminded of the fairly recent threads about backward compatibility,
Python-in-a-tie, etc.   Here I am compiling with a Fortran 90/95 compiler
(Sun's Forte thing-a-ma-bob) and see function names like

        lpni:
        klvna:
        chgubi:
        cyzo:
        klvnb:
        rmn2so:
        csphik:

spew forth.  So, while it's great that this same large library compiles and
runs on compilers back to at least Fortran 77 (and probably earlier),
programmers are still stuck with the same cryptic function and data names
they had to deal with 30+ years ago, all in the name of backward
compatibility.

What's the Python connection?  Other than a reminder not to get to slavish
about backward compatibility, I note that these same function names will
then go on to pollute the Python namespace because all this Fortran code is
automatically wrapped using f2py.

-- 
Skip Montanaro
skip at pobox.com




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