Conditions of Use
With respect to legacy Fortran programming the book does an excellent job of covering the ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index. If the book is intended to be focused on novice programmers or those simply interested... read more
With respect to legacy Fortran programming the book does an excellent job of covering the ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index. If the book is intended to be focused on novice programmers or those simply interested in programming the structure of the material may result in a steep learning curve as the content does not build from simple premises (e.g. "Hello World") on upwards. As a refresher for those who were familiar with Fortran long ago, the structure of the material is effective.
I found the content to be accurate and error-free. Some concepts could be presented more clearly, succinctly, or effectively for novice readers.
This is not an easy area to assess with respect to a book about Fortran programming. After all, how relevant is Fortran programming? In some fields and environments, it may be a necessity but that is different from relevant. Given the subject matter, the author tries to make the material relevant. One example is the discussion of a free, open-source compiler available for Fortran users. The challenge there is that the online resources provided by the group supporting the free compiler are obtuse and may present cybersecurity and other risks.
Another area where the material could be more relevant is in the area of object-oriented programming which, as I understand it, has been a part of the language since Fortran 2003.
Finally, some forward-thinking with respect to the potential for Fortran in parallel processing, perhaps on GPUs, would be of interest.
The writing style leans more toward academic than toward the instructional or advisory style which novice programmers would prefer. There are some good examples used but they tend to be more typical, academic examples such as The Tower of Hanoi or Monte Carlo simulation. There will be some young, modern readers with an interest in those examples, but not many.
The writing also includes some academic ornaments such as footnotes for simple terms, etc. Those are likely to slow novice readers down and may reduce interest in continuing to read the material.
Consistency is the book's forte.
The modularity of the book makes it manageable to both read and use in instruction, though in some cases that modularity may present a challenge in developing concepts and bring novice readers along.
Is the book presented in a logical, clear fashion? Yes.
Does that work best for the target audience? I am inclined to think that the structure could be improved to make the book more accessible, enjoyable, and effective for novice programmers.
I read the book in both e-reader and .PDF format and while it was not confusing there were areas where the structure and style of the book could have worked better with it's interface. Lists which span page breaks are challenges in many places. The style of presenting sample code seemed lacking. More and better graphics would also have been an improvement.
I was not able to read a printed, bound copy of the book and cannot comment on that physical interface.
There were no meaningful grammatical errors of note to me, though I did not keep detailed note of any if I found them. There are areas where the structure of sentences could be more effective if it were direct in some cases, losing superfluous phrases, and more colorful or descriptive in other places.
The text is not culturally insensitive, but it would certainly benefit from including more inclusive perspectives, examples, and anecdotes.
I came to book Introduction to Programming Using Fortran 95/2003/2008 with pent-up interest, keen to dust off nearly half a century of the lost art. Added to a misplaced sense of nostalgia was some curiosity about how Fortran might be experiencing a rebirth in areas such as parallel processing on Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) and the addition of object-oriented capabilities since Fortran 2003.
I wanted to read a Fortran book!
Structurally, the material could use some feedback from a focus group of newbie programmers or those interested in programming. I imagine too many novices dropping off before they make it through the first 20% of the book to reach a simple ‘Hello World’ example. The current structure worked well for me as it seemed to group content by category and was an effective way to present a refresher.
I found the book valuable and developed an interest in seeing Fortran evolve and become more accessible and useful to modern programmers. I imagined a world where there could be such a thing as an online, browser-based platform for writing and running Fortran code – akin to a Google Colab. Given all the activity in the cryptocurrency space, I still wonder if there isn’t room for some Fortran code in the parallel processing aspects of mining or as functions or services accessed by smart contracts.
I want more!
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Computer Organization
- 3 Getting Started
- 4 Fortran 95/2003/2008 - Basic Elements
- 5 Expressions
- 6 Simple Input and Output
- 7 Program Development
- 8 Selection Statements
- 9 Looping
- 10 Formatted Input/Output
- 11 Characters and Strings
- 12 File Operations
- 13 Single Dimension Arrays
- 14 Multidimensional Arrays
- 15 Subprograms
- 16 Derived Data Types
- 17 Modules
- 18 Recursion
- 19 Character String / Numeric Conversions
- 20 System Services
- 21 Appendix A - ASCII Table
- 22 Appendix B - Start-Up Instructions
- 23 Appendix C - Random Number Generation
- 24 Appendix D - Instrinsic Functions
- 25 Appendix E - Visualization with GNUplot
- 26 Appendix F - Quiz Question Answers
- 27 Appendix G - Fortran 95/2003/2008 Keywords
About the Book
Computers are everywhere in our daily lives. Between the desktop, laptop, phone, bank, and vehicle, it is difficult to completely get away from computers. It only makes sense to learn a little about how a computer really works.This text provides an introduction to programming and problem solving using the Fortran 95/2003/2008 programming language. This introduction is geared for non-computer science majors. The primary focus is on an introduction to problem solving and algorithm development. As such, many details of the Fortran 95/2003/2008 language are omitted.
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