D:>type v.f90
program v
implicit none
call execute_command_line(“SetWndow.exe”, exitstat=i)
end program v

D:>gfortran v.f90

‘SetWndow.exe’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

My question: please explain the error / how to correct

@Patrick for questions like these, I recommend to go to https://chat.openai.com/ and paste your question there. You will get a very useful and actionable answer. It explains the error as well as how to correct it.

I cannot get into the site, it does not accept my credentials. Why might I not ask my question here? This is a Fortran site, or is it not?

Quoting ChatGPT (which is also how I would have answered):

To correct this error, you should make sure that the “SetWndow.exe” program is installed on your system and that it is in the system’s path. You can check if it’s installed by running it from the command prompt. If it runs successfully from the command prompt, it means that it’s installed, but if it returns an error message, it means that it’s not installed.


OMG typo! No fun being dyslectic.
My code works a treat by the way.

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Yes, this is a Fortran site and we are all volunteers that take time to read and answer. In return we are asking that you put an effort first when asking questions; if ChatGPT or Google or even just documentation can answer satisfactorily, you should use those resources first. Only when you cannot figure it out, you should ask here.


What is the basis for your assumption that I have not attempted to find an answer to my query elsewhere? And can a question be stupid, in a world where people are decent and have respect for each other?

If you consider that you have not received a polite answer, I suggest, for your next question, to ask it in “reddit” or in “stackoverflow”. Then you will indeed realize that you have been regarded respectfully here.


The basis is that you have not indicated in your question what places you have researched before asking, or what work you have done to try to figure it out and where you got stuck. You can find here some tips how to ask good questions:

No question is stupid. But a question can be asked without putting enough effort to figure it out, essentially asking volunteers on this site to do the work for you.

At the very least, please include some background and links to what you found by using a search engine with the above error, as well as documentation, and motivation what you are trying to achieve. For example in the above question, if you mentioned that you have a program SetWindow.exe in your PATH and you are expecting it to run, you would have probably noticed the typo.

What I recommend everybody is to start typing the question here, provide the background and research and as you do it, often times you figure it out on your own. This happens to me all the time, just the process of asking the question often helps me figure it out. Then you don’t need to ask. Some other times you can’t figure it out, so then you go ahead and post the well researched question.


I think this metacommunication isn’t really the objective of this Forum. You have removed some of my posts, might you not remove this thread, so we can put this discussion to bed? I would, however, like to say just one thing, namely: it is what the person who needs help, who defines what help is, not what the helper defines as help. That is a principle that every therapist / helper / consultant, should keep in mind. To say to a person who needs help, that he is not asking the right question, c.q. that he should have tried to sort things out for himself first, can be felt to be very belittling. Even in Roman law there was the principle: good faith must be presupposed, bad faith must be proved. So this approach really is a principle etched into our Western culture.

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No one wishes you ill. It is common when asking for help online to be told that you should have done more research. It has happened to me, and often the criticism has been valid. Most of my questions on Stack Overflow are downvoted and/or closed. People are free to ask questions about Fortran here, but others are free to say, in a polite and non-personal way, that someone should have done more research before posting.


I agree, I only assume good faith on your side.

Yes, I think that is true. However, we physically cannot help everybody. For example we literally physically cannot (and should not!) do homework of all the students in the world. First of all, we should not do it (it’s actually not helping the students, even if they asked for it), but even if it was helping and we should do it, we can’t. It does not scale.

In the same way, we physically can’t be answering questions that offload a lot of work on us. In order for this forum to work for the whole world, and scale well, we have to offload most of the work on the person asking. So that people who know the answers and can help only do the the things that you can’t figure out on your own. I have explained in detail above (Execute_command_line - #12 by certik) how to ask in such a way that most of the work is “offloaded” on the person asking, yet still allows to ask and communicate here. It’s a win-win for everybody and it scales well, and allows the people who ask to eventually grow into people who answer as well.