The State of Fortran paper accepted for publication

Dear all,

I’m very pleased to announce that our paper summarizing recent developments by the Fortran community (see Fortran-lang community paper) has been accepted for publication by Computing in Science and Engineering.

A preprint can now be viewed freely on arXiv:

and the published version will be available here once finalized: The State of Fortran | IEEE Journals & Magazine | IEEE Xplore.

I would like to express my deepest thanks to all co-authors for their contributions, editing, support and patience over the last year:

@aradi, @certik, @milancurcic, @awvwgk, @interkosmos, @rgoswami, @scivision, @alozada, @vmagnin, @Arjen, @epagone, @ivanpribec, @everythingfunctional, @hsnyder, @urbanjost, @jeremie.vandenplas

I believe the final paper is an accurate and fair exposition of the features of modern Fortran and the many exciting developments ongoing in this community. I am also grateful to journal editors and the reviewers for all their feedback and guidance in producing this article.

author={Kedward, Laurence and Aradi, Balint and Certik,
Ondrej and Curcic, Milan and Ehlert, Sebastian and Engel, Philipp
and Goswami, Rohit and Hirsch, Michael and Lozada-Blanco, Asdrubal and Magnin, Vincent and 
Markus, Arjen and Pagone, Emanuele and Pribec, Ivan and Richardson, Brad and Snyder, Harris,
and Urban, John and Vandenplas, Jeremie},
journal={Computing in Science \& Engineering},
title={The State of Fortran},

Great news, congrats all involved!


Thanks for all the work, @lkedward and others. Writing a small piece of text and reviewing a few versions is one thing, but that is the fun part only :slight_smile: . The hard bit is to get all the nitty-gritty details right.


Kudos for great effort, this paper is a highly valuable contribution indeed!


Thanks Laurence and others for the efforts.

Nice to see it got featured in a tweet by HPC Guru:


Right, we are the “et al.” ! :family_man_woman_girl_boy:
@lkedward did a great job assembling the puzzle, merging, polishing the text, etc. :jigsaw:
Writing a scientific paper collaboratively with git and GitHub was a new and great experience for me. With 17 authors, the work is accumulating quickly, and typos can shiver… :hammer:


I suggest that community members relay the announcement in their mother tongue on their national web when possible. :world_map:


The State of Fortran is currently featured on the front page of HackerNews.


The 2nd comment mentions punched cards. Good grief. We’ll at least it isn’t the first? Progress?


Punched cards seem to have become a heavy burden in Fortran, reducing it will be an arduous task.

A first step is to remove punched cards from all Fortran Wikipedia pages… Replace it by a picture of John Backus, or a supercomputer, or the simulation of a black hole… :hole:

I have just begun reading the book Abstracting Away the Machine: The History of the FORTRAN Programming Language (FORmula TRANslation). And I have just learned what is a loop! To repeat instructions with the very first computers, it’s easy: you glue together punched cards and join the two ends of the sequence. Be careful to avoid making a Möbius strip, it would be a bug…

Updated: not punched cards, but a roll of punched paper


I wonder how seriously it was meant or should be taken. When someone gives ridiculous reason X for believing Y, you can try to disprove X, but if they really want to believe Y, they will come up with some other ridiculous X. There are too many programming languages out there for someone to be knowledgeable about more than a small fraction of them. Thus it is convenient to dismiss FORTRAN for an outdated reason. (However, if I choose not to learn about a technology, I should not broadcast nonsense about it.) In politics I see many examples of believing absurd X because it supports cherished belief Y.


I once ran programs on a CDC 6400 with a Teletype ASR 33 terminal, which had paper tape/punch I/O. The loops that you wrote about could be constructed by taping just the beginning and the end of a length of paper tape, no?!

I will look in the book this evening. Probably you’re right, it maybe rather a length of punched paper…

It’s precisely in light of all such absurd comments at HackerNews and elsewhere the paper by @lkedward et al. can be so impactful and thus the value of their contribution to Fortran.


The punched card comment made me think of the old Mark Twain quote that
“It’s better to keep your mouth closed and have people think you are a fool
than it is to open it and remove all doubt”

Great paper, congrats to all the authors. And the very proof of its importance is here, on our Discourse


The March-April issue has just been released. And the reference of the paper is finally:

L. J. Kedward et al., “The State of Fortran,” in Computing in Science & Engineering, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 63-72, 1 March-April 2022, doi: 10.1109/MCSE.2022.3159862.


Is there a version of this that’s open access? I can’t access it through my institution.

Welcome to the Discourse @spreval !
The preprint is on ArXiv: [2203.15110] The State of Fortran