|GNU Fortran Public Beta Testing Begins email@example.com (1995-02-17)|
|Date:||Fri, 17 Feb 95 11:51:22 -0500|
|From:||firstname.lastname@example.org (Craig Burley)|
GNU Fortran (g77) Version 0.5.8 is now available to the public for
beta testing in the usual GNU locations. The distribution is
g77 requires that you also have a recent distribution of gcc, such as
After you retrieve and unpack g77, carefully read all of the
instructions -- they should be easy to find. Included are files
describing the directory layout, how to configure, build, and install
g77 (which incorporates itself as part of gcc, as they share the same
compiler back end, as does g++, for example), known bugs, some important
notes about using g77, and information on who wrote and helped alpha-
Critical items in the bug list apply more to performance issues,
especially the amount of memory and time g77 needs to compile,
than to actual bugs involving the generation of bad code. Some
of these performance issues are to be at least somewhat addressed
in gcc 0.6.
For now, send bug reports to email@example.com.
Now, some of you might wonder why, after all this time, I'm finally
willing to release g77 to the public with a non-empty bug list.
In order to address these questions in one fell swoop, to avoid
having to individually respond to lots of questions from, well,
individuals, what follows is a short explanation.
WHY I'M RELEASING GNU FORTRAN BEFORE IT'S PERFECT
by James Craig Burley, 1995-02-17
Five years and six months ago, or so, I started writing GNU Fortran
(g77) on a full-time basis. For various reasons I couldn't keep at
the effort full-time for the whole period (I've probably put in
about three man-years), but in any case, a little over three
years after I started, in September 1992, a small but hardy group
of hand-picked elite alpha testers began testing private releases
of g77. (Okay, I found them lurking in alt.sex.fortran....)
During this project, I have been asked two questions quite often:
"When will you release g77?" and "Why haven't you released g77 yet?"
Occasionally I say "I'm waiting to develop it using the GNU Hurd OS".
Usually I gave the less complicated technical answer: "I don't know".
But the real reason is far more sinister....
I've been stalling, hoping to make g77 even better before
releasing it to the public. Recently, though, I decided
to go ahead and release it now and hope to improve it later,
or find others improving it before they know better.
With this in mind, I thought it would be best to fully and finally
answer all questions regarding the timing of this release with the:
TOP 10 REASONS WHY I'M RELEASING GNU FORTRAN NOW
10) The world needs a free compiler for tomorrow's state-of-the-art
9) Prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson case plan to show simulations of
the Ford Bronco chase scene, and need a real ssslloooowww compiler
for that project.
8) Keep getting mysterious email on my workstation saying "If you ship it,
he will code".
7) It's part of Gnewt Gingrich's Republican Contract With America
(ANSI X3.78-1981; no equivalent ISO available).
6) Angling for a recurring guest role as the resident Fortran programmer
on "Star Trek: Voyager", where I help the crew deal with REAL and
COMPLEX problems it encounters.
5) g77 desperately needed to program HAL 9000 in time.
4) Nuclear physicists need something to make up for the loss
of the supercollider.
3) This newfangled "Information Superhighway" thing is gonna need some
"Informational Hell's Angels", if you know what I mean.
2) Read somewhere that if I turn in my GNU, I get a $100 certificate
from Toys 'R' Us.
And the NUMBER ONE REASON WHY I'M RELEASING GNU FORTRAN NOW...
1) Keep hearing voices whispering "GNU COBOL...GNU COBOL...".
James Craig Burley, Software Craftsperson firstname.lastname@example.org
[ Most GNU software is packed using the GNU `gzip' compression program.
Source code is available on most sites distributing GNU software.
For information on how to order GNU software on tape, floppy or cd-rom, or
printed GNU manuals, check the file etc/ORDERS in the GNU Emacs distribution
or in GNUinfo/ORDERS on prep, or e-mail a request to: email@example.com
By ordering your GNU software from the FSF, you help us continue to
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The above software will soon be at these ftp sites as well.
Please try them before prep.ai.mit.edu as prep is very busy!
ASIA: ftp.cs.titech.ac.jp, utsun.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp:/ftpsync/prep,
AUSTRALIA: archie.au:/gnu (archie.oz or archie.oz.au for ACSnet)
EUROPE: irisa.irisa.fr:/pub/gnu, ftp.univ-lyon1.fr:pub/gnu,
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WESTERN CANADA: ftp.cs.ubc.ca:/mirror2/gnu
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