Fortran vs C, easing using Fortran

Kurt Hornik
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 08:20:18 +0200 (CEST)

>>>>> Prof Brian D Ripley writes:

> On 10 Apr 1999, Douglas Bates wrote:
>> >>>>> "Ross" == Ross Ihaka <> writes:
Ross> To follow up the "eigen" issue.  What should our position on
Ross> translating Fortran into C be?  Should we leave as much code
Ross> as possible in Fortran or should we move it to C as much as
Ross> possible?
>> I can think of three different sets of circumstances:
>> a) creating new code: This one is obvious, just say "no" to Fortran.
>> b) enhancing existing code: For something small do the automatic
>> translation to C with f2c then modify the C sources and regard
>> those as the definitive version.  For a big Fortran routine, try
>> to write a C wrapper around it and make modifications in the
>> wrapper. 
>> c) using established code without modification (e.g. Eispack, Linpack):
>> Regard the Fortran sources as the definitive version and don't
>> translate.
>> Now that g77 is available and reasonably stable, a lot of the
>> motivation for using f2c is gone.  There are still the messy linkage
>> issues when calling Fortran from C but most of those are now resolved
>> by the configure script.  Passing character strings, etc. will
>> continue to be problematic but most of the legacy Fortran code we
>> would use will be strictly numerical routines with, we hope,
>> comparatively simple calling sequences.  (Lapack is an exception in
>> that it uses strings to declare options but we aren't using Lapack.)

> [A long reply: I am much-bitten here!]

> ...

> I think in R we can do better than at present, if only I knew exactly
> how. One idea is to have (effectively) a `hints' file that configure
> uses to add a base set of libraries to FLIBS, but on Solaris at least,
> using the Fortran command (f77 or g77) to link a dynamic library does
> the job.  For linking with ld the base FLIBS would need to be

> -lF77 -lM77 -lV77 -lsunmath -lm

> _if_ f77 is used.  How viable is `use FC to link' on other platforms?

Are you suggesting using the Fortran compiler as SHLIBLD?

Please help me understanding this a bit more.  The above `-lF77 ...'
would be the default FLIBS to use when compiling/linking Fortran?

Short term fix should be to use platform-specific overrides in basic
configure.  Another idea is to have configure scripts supported for add

(If I fully understood the problem, I think I could fix it ...)

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