New version of the NAG Fortran compiler released

December 4th, 2008 | Categories: NAG Library, programming, Uncategorized | Tags:

Almost 10 years ago now, I was a teaching assistant for an Introduction to Fortran course at the University of Sheffield.  I remember being told by one of the other PhD students that ‘Fortran is a dying language and so we are wasting our time teaching this stuff.  No one will be using Fortran in 10 years time.’

Fast forward 10 years and Fortran is still going strong in the research and numerical communities.  If you are doing numerics and you want fast code then Fortran is an option that you simply can’t ignore. It is also required for doing things like writing user defined materials in the finite element analysis package, Abaqus.   One of the best Fortran compilers on the market (in my opinion at least) is the NAG Fortran Compiler and their Linux version has recently been updated to version 5.2.

It now includes support for almost all of the features in the Fortran 2003 standard and they have also added quadruple precision support – something that the people I support have wanted for a long time.  A full list of changes can be found on NAG’s website.

Finally a note to self – they have changed the name of the executable from f95 to nagfor – this will generate support queries…you know it will!

  1. hp
    December 13th, 2008 at 06:34
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Hi there
    I code mostly in MATLAB. I want to learn a programming language. I’ve been doing a bit of both fortran and c++, and found that fortran is easier to code than c++. however, I keep hearing that the world is leaning toward c++. is it really beneficial to learn fortran eventhough I think i can learn it faster than c++.

  2. Mike Croucher
    December 15th, 2008 at 12:33
    Reply | Quote | #2


    When I was studying for my PhD I put a lot of effort into learning C++ alongside Fortran. By the time I graduated I knew C++ much better than I knew Fortran and yet I have never used C++ since. I have no doubt that other people will tell you the exact opposite – that they only used Fortran in school and now they use C++, Java, whatever.

    In my humble opinion it all depends on what you want to achieve. If you mostly code in MATLAB then I assume that you are doing numerical work. Sometimes you will need parts of your code to work as fast as possible and I think that Fortran is the best way to achieve this.

    You say that you find Fortran easier to use. In that case I suggest that you don’t torture yourself with C++ and just get on with coding in Fortran.

    Hope this helps,