Paper on Fortran->Lisp.

Henry G. Baker
Thu, 8 May 1997 08:29:35 -0700 (PDT)

> I just found this reference to Fortran->Lisp translation.  It might be
> relevant to C->Lisp translation.  Anyone interested in the subject and
> near a library might want to take a look at it:
>    Fortran to Lisp translation using f2cl (with D. M. K. Willcock),
>    Software-Practice and Experience 26, 1127-1139, 1996. 

Other relevant data points here are the SMBX Fortran and C
implementations, and the Fortran->Maclisp translator that the Macsyma
people did in the 1970's in order to get some high-quality numeric
routines into Macsyma.

I was personally involved in the porting of a very large Fortran
package onto SMBX Fortran, and got a rude awakening first-hand.
People who program in Fortran would rather program in assembler, but
their boss won't let them, so they play along by using Fortran syntax.
However, the first moment their boss steps out of the room, they
equivalence everything in unnamed common, and then they are off to the
races.  So much for 'strong typing' (strong hyping?).

I can't tell you the number of times we had to use the %%-
subprimitives of the Lisp machine to convert between the immediate
float and the immediate fixnum tagged type.

The ironic thing was that this package was orders of magnitude worse
in every dimension from the graphics packages that the SMBX graphics
division put together, so I can't imagine anyone ever wanting to use
it, other than as a demonstraction that someone _could_ run a Fortran
program on the machine.

Henry Baker
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