Discussion of Fortran on Hacker News

What you have to realise is that ISO gets part of its funding from the sales of standards. The money has to come from somewhere, so why not also from its clients. It’s not unlike a publisher of e-books.


It’s a similar situation as in academia: Publishers offer service for publishing papers, and the costs are charged from either the readers (traditional subscription model, customers type I) or the writers (open access model, customers type II).

The transition from subscription models to open access is easily possible for electronically distributed documents because the costs are basically flat (initial costs + hosting costs). It’s hard to judge from an outside perspective what ISO does for creating the standard document, but the costs for hosting a few MByte pdf are certainly nothing that should prevent open access.

Edit: In academia, the publishing costs are mainly determined by the power of the publishers. The market is distributed among a few big companies who own the important journals. The offered service consists of typesetting and hosting the final document. All the content work is done by volunteers.

Well some idea can be gained from ISO’s website [ISO - International Organization for Standardization]. Clearly, the cost of hosting a PDF is trivial; the cost of establishing it is not. Who pays for the office and staff in Geneva if not the members and the customers?


Does anybody in Geneva help write the Fortran standard? :grin:

ISO provides the framework within which international standardization can take place and by which they have legal standing.

Well, ISO does not offer open access so there is no choice. If open access would be an option, a hypothetical “Fortran Foundation” could discuss whether the benefit of having a freely available standard is worth the costs.

Another aspect I found on the website of the Standards Council of Canada (see link below) is

I don’t agree with the second aspect (why is a paywall increasing availability) but the fear that one can buy standards is IMHO a valid concern.

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Talking of Fortran 2023, is there any info out there on what bits (if any) of the new standard compilers currently support (any compiler, I’m just curious). I did some Googling and found it a surprisingly opaque topic - I’m clearly not finding the right page on compiler websites.

@greenrongreen gave us that information about Intel’s latest Fortran compilers. See the “Intel(R) Fortran Compiler 2024.0 Available” topic.


Thanks, hadn’t spotted that. For easy reference, this is what the Intel website says:

These features from Fortran 2023 are implemented.

  • The REDUCE locality spec on DO CONCURRENT
  • BOZ constants on RHS of INTEGER and REAL assignment statements
  • BOZ constants as INTEGER and REAL values in PARAMETER statements
  • BOZ constants as INTEGER or REAL as array constructor values
  • BOZ constants as INTEGER values in ENUMERATION statements
  • Intrinsic trigonometric functions returning degrees ACOSD(X), ASIND(X), ATAND(X), ATAN2D(Y, X), COSD(X), SIND(X), and TAND(X)

“Fortran vs Python: The counter-intuitive rise of Python in scientific computing” is currently the headline:


It links to The counter-intuitive rise of Python in scientific computing.

We should let the voices of the Fortran community be heard as well as listen to other voices.