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FORTRAN.NET?
Posted Saturday, June 18, 2005 6/18/2005 10:56:00 AM

I do a lot of programming. I do it both at work and at home as a hobby. I program mainly in Visual Basic.NET and FORTRAN 90. I also do some JavaScript (in HTML), VBScript (via ASP), and VBA. I’ve done some C and Pascal programming. I know all the hardcore programmers out there reading this (are there any) are saying to themselves where is C++ and/or Java. Well, I never program in C++ or Java. I know they both have become the de facto standards in programming these days but I’ve never seen the point in climbing their steep learning curves for what I have to do. The new Visual Basic.NET (which is by the way 10x better then vb 6.0) has all the fancy object based features you could ever want (inheritance, polymorphism, etc.) and FORTRAN has the mathematics ability and speed when needed. At home when I'm programming for fun I want to get right to the part I'm interested in. I don't want to complicate my life by fighting with the GUI or with pointers. I want to focus on the part that interests me and that's it. At work I need a programming language that makes it easy to enter the mathematics I need and will solve the problem fast. I love FORTRAN for the easy vector and array manipulations. Each serves it's purpose and very well I think.

I’d wouldn't mind seeing a Fortran/.NET hybrid. Give me Fortran math abilities with Visual Basic.NETs object oriented system. Hopefully we get some of the OO stuff in the upcoming FORTRAN 2000 (yes, I know they are a little late) but not everything. Allow me access to the system libraries and Common Language Run-time along with the cross-language capabilities of .NET. Give me the option of using FORTRAN fixed format read’s and writes all packaged in Microsoft's Visual Studio and I'd be hooked.  I've see some attempts to integrate Visual Studio but they all fall short.  Essentially they create a set of function calls within FORTRAN that send information into VB or C and back.  Basically I want VB.NET for engineers and scientists.

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