SIParCS 2019 - Aly Ammar

Aly AmmarColorado State University

Testing Modernization of Scientific Software

(Recorded Talk) | (Slides)

The popularity of Fortran as a programming language in science fields is undeniable. The millions of lines of scientific code written in the language is dated as far back as the good old days of the punch card. Fortran 95 came about with major changes in the standards for the language. It introduced new and improved features to the language. Since then, there have been many iterations of the standards, most with major changes in the features, removing the older obsolescent features and introducing better implementations. 

Most Fortran code currently in use within the scientific community today is a result of decades of development, an effort of several people. As a result it suffers from serious fragmentation in code styles and language standards. This can result in unreliable, unportable, non-standard code. There have been a few efforts to explore the standardization and modernization of legacy code. This project evaluates the tools available to tackle this problem and try to make it easier for most people to be able to modernize their code. Over the course of the project, we looked at first modernizing the code format from fixed form to free form. We the evaluated some of the problematic features of legacy Fortran and ways to modernize them, such as common-blocks and include statements.

Mentors: Dan Nagle, Davide Del Vento