Fortran 2003 Final Committee Draft

A revision of the Fortran standard, to be known informally as Fortran 2003, is nearing publication. This is a substantial revision--much larger than the 1995 revision, but not as large as the 1990 revision.

John Reid has written an excellent summary of the changes, which is available here or here (file sizes 101Kb and 59Kb respectively)

The major additions are Object-Oriented Programming and Interoperability with C, but N1579 is 38 pages, and its table of contents is more than one page. Minor additions include procedure pointers, finalization of derived-type objects, parameterized derived types, pointer rank remapping (allows viewing one-dimensional arrays as higher-dimensional arrays), enumerations, the ASSOCIATE construct (similar to Pascal's WITH), transferring an allocation (generalization of the frequently-requested reallocate capability), VOLATILE attribute, access to the command line and environment variables, standard named constants for "*" input and output units, access to message text for input/output and other errors, access to features of the IEEE floating-point arithmetic standard, longer names and statements, generalization of expressions for array dimensions and initial values, user-defined derived-type input/output, asynchronous input/output, and stream input/output--and this list is not exhaustive.

Those interested to study the proposed standard in detail can find it here. Search for 1539-1 and get "ISO/IEC FCD 1539-1" (FCD means Final Committee Draft). This publication is available at no cost. It is also available here (4.0Mb), and here in compressed pdf (2.2 MB), postscript (1.0 MB) and plain text (394 KB) formats.

A period of public comment has been announced concerning this document. Comments about typographical errors, poor exposition, and inconsistencies are especially welcome. Technical comments are allowed, but at this stage in the process it is unlikely that substantial technical changes will be undertaken, as this would delay publication for at least 18 months.

If commentors who are residents of the United States or who represent U.S.-domiciled corporations wish their comments to be officially registered they should be sent to Deborah J. Spittle at dspittle _at_ and to PSA Dept. at psa _at_ no later than 15 December 2003.

Commentors in UK should send their comments to David Muxworthy no later than 16 January 2004.

Instructions for commenters in Canada can be found here.

Commentors from other countries should contact their national bodies. A list of ISO members is here. However in case of difficulty please send comments to one of the published Fortran contact addresses. It is more important that Fortran users worldwide make their views known than they are prevented from doing so by bureaucracy.

Informal comments can be sent to the Chair of the ANSI/INCITS J3 committee, Dan Nagle at dnagle _at_, to the committee librarian, Mallory North at Charles.M.North _at_ Rose-Hulman.Edu, or the J3 international representative, Van Snyder at Van.Snyder _at_ To avoid our addresses being collected by spam robots, we've disguised them in the obvious way. We apologize for the inconvenience.