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Learning a bit about... Fortran


I've been spending my Saturdays doing tutorials on languages I'm curious about. This week it's Fortran.

What I knew about the language before I started

I did my final year project at university in Fortran, so should know a lot, but I've forgotten everything

  • You can create graphs with it

What I did

The first four videos of this playlist, sort of. There was a PDF that the instructor was using, so I initially went through that and just checked the video when I wasn't sure about something, since the videos were for people who had never done any programming before. But then towards the end he does things in different (better, easier to understand) ways, so I ended up going by the video rather than the PDF.

What I thought about the language

When we came to it, I remembered that you needed to compile it. In comparison, when I later learned languages you didn't need to compile I found them hard, because it's when you compile that it tells you all the errors, rather than just not working (I'm looking at you, CSS).

Or at least that's how it used to be. Even with this, I installed a Fortran extension into VS Code and it told me the errors when I saved a file. Times have changed, although the instructor for this was on UNIX, which was what I programmed on at university.

I also remembered subroutines, which came in the tutorial after modules and functions. A subroutine is a function that doesn't return anything.

In general I enjoyed it for the nostalgia element But I found it hard work and overly-complicated. I'm sure I could get along with it with some practise, but since I don't have to, I won't.

What's next?

Let's continue with the theme and go for MATLAB next.

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