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Looming Fortran Talent Scarcity Poses Risks

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80-column Fortran punch card

Continued use of Fortran in mission critical codes poses unique challenges, the report says.

Credit: The Craft of Coding

A report from Los Alamos National Laboratories sounds alarms over the declining number of Fortran programmers, the shrinking number of efforts to teach Fortran, and the reduced appetite of scientists and developers to learn Fortran. Developed by IBM in the mid 1950s, Fortran was a foundational programming language for scientific computing.

The report paints worrisome picture.

"We judge it is very likely that we will be unable to staff Fortran projects with top-rate computer scientists and computer engineers, and that there is an even chance we will be unable to staff Fortran projects with top-rate computational scientists and physicists," write the LANL researchers, Galen Shipman and Timothy Randles.

The relatively short report is part of long-term chorus of worry about Fortran's decline and the impact of that decline on HPC and legacy scientific codes.

From HPCwire
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