Program Translation - Nov. 14, 2013

E.D.G. edgrsprj at
Sun Nov 17 15:37:44 CET 2013

"Ben Bacarisse" <ben.usenet at> wrote in message 
news:0.444ab0f1470c9d9a7a89.20131117124526GMT.87li0nqjrt.fsf at

> There is a slight air in unreality to all this, but just in case this is

       The world of science where programmers work with people who have 
degrees in the physical sciences can get complicated.  I myself have found 
that it is almost a necessity to have people sitting next to one another in 
order to get anything done in a timely manner.  A relatively simple program 
that my programming colleague and I developed took something like six months 
to get running because it was created by sending E-mail back and forth.  And 
virus filters etc. kept blocking some of the programs.  We had to give them 
all dat extensions just to send them from one location to another and then 
change them back to exe or zip at their destinations.

> Fortran is still the language that most scientists use, and the program
> is already a working Fortran program.  The most significant thing you
> could do to revive this work is to document it and tidy up the code.  If
> you wan to modernise the code (and there could be benefits in terms of
> clarity if you do so) a modern version of standard Fortran is the
> obvious choice.

       I myself would go with Fortran.  But my programming colleague will 
only work with True BASIC.  And he is the one who will be doing the work. 
Fortunately, it sounds like there is a Fortran to True BASIC converter 
avaiable.  So, once underway the effort might be completed in a very short 

> Though to my mind secondary, tidying up the code would also help.
> Things could be clarified by introducing a few more utility functions,
> using more descriptive names, indenting loops, replacing out-dated
> constructs with newer ones, and so on.

       For one thing, the input and output routines need to be changed.  And 
we want it to be able to generate charts or graphs.  The existing program 
will generate only text data.

       If it is translated to True BASIC then those code along with the 
newer Fortran code will likely be made available to people as freeware.

> Finally, why are you timing Perl arithmetic?  A translation into Perl

       Those timing data were an update for earlier notes that were posted 
to the Perl and Python Newsgroups.  One question that got asked was if 64 
bit Perl runs faster than 32 bit Perl for simple math.  Those speed tests 
indicate that there was only about a factor of 2 difference at best.

       All of my own important programs are written using Perl.  I am 
starting to run into calculation speed limitations with one of the programs. 
And I wanted to determine if the calculations could be done faster within 
Perl or if another language would need to be used.  The answer is that for 
math calculations there are much faster languages including Fortran.

These are personal opinions.

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