OT: Of C, Fortran and pointer aliasing Was: Python if far from a top performer...

Dan Bishop danb_83 at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 12 10:10:11 CET 2004

Samuel Walters <swalters_usenet at yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<pan.2004. at yahoo.com>...
> |Thus Spake Rainer Deyke On the now historical date of Sun, 11 Jan 2004
> 06:46:50 +0000|
> > Samuel Walters wrote:
> [Fortran is faster than C.]
> I went digging for technical documents, but thus far haven't found many
> useful ones.  It seems everyone but me already understands pointer
> aliasing models, so they might discuss them, but they don't explain them.
> I am limited in part by my understanding of compilers and also by my
> understanding of Fortran.  Here is what I have gathered so far:
> Fortran passes all arguments by reference. (This is the peppiest way to do
> it, especially with static allocation)

Btw, for some early compilers, this was the case even with literals,
which meant that code like

    CALL FOO(4)
    PRINT *, 4

could print something other than 4.

> ...I'm a bit hazy as to whether
> Fortran 90 uses static or dynamic allocation, or a combination of both,

You can use both, at least for arrays.

> and whether it permits recursion.

Fortran 90 does permit recursion, although you have to explicitly
declare functions as "recursive".

> Now, for C:
> C lacks many of the fundamental array handling semantics and primitives
> that Fortran programs rely on.  Implementing them in C is a real PITA.

This is one of my least favorite things about C.

> C memory allocation is just plain goofy in comparison to Fortran.

And even worse in comparison to Python ;-)

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