It is based upon the g77 compiler provided through the GNU freeware project.
- It's FREE!
- It has a very easy to use interface, split into three main areas
- List of opened files (top left)
- Editor (top right)
- Error messages from the compiler (bottom)
- It compiles fast
- No need to write command line commands to run the compiler - just press a button
- It creates .exe (executable) files
- During compilation, errors are picked up and displayed in the bottom area of the interface
- When there are no serious errors, the compiled program which you have written is run
- If there is any error in runtime of your program, error messages will be displayed in the run window
- Closing the runtime window brings the interface back automatically
- Error messages are sometime rather cryptic
- You have to close the runtime window manually to bring back the interface, (though there is a button in the editor to close the runtime window)
- Unless you are a serious programmer the lack of a linker to produce .obj (object) files will probably not be much of a bother to you
So, the result is that the advantages outweight the disadvantages.
In the site, the forceproject author states that the programs creates .exe files to run on 32 bit Windows. It should not be confused with DOS even though the program runs in a DOS prompt window.
I've used other compilers before, for instance Profortran, Salford Ftn77 which were DOS based, and f77 in Unix. The latter two are command line based, while Profortran had its own editor which automatically launced the compiler, linker and ran the programs. Even though there are some features of Profortran which I would have liked, but had no use for (such as .obj files), Guilherme's Force 2.0 is an excellent interface for everyday simple use. I give this a thumbs up!
It should be said that g77 is not just Fortran 77. It was designed to include extra features which doesn't appear in standard F77. Thus, you could say, F77 is a large subset of g77.
I had thought of writing an "Introduction to Fortran 77 Programming", but the prospect looked daunting, as I wouldn't know where to begin, and how to proceed. On the internet, however, it is lucky that there have been sites created for folks who want to find out more about it, such as
Indispensible is Clive G. Page's "Professional Programmer's Guide to Fortran77", which was can be downloaded as a whole page, just click, let it load, and save, so you can have your own guide always.
As for books, I started learning about Fortran with a book on Fortran IV, which predates Fortran 77, which was the thinnest book on learning to program in Fortran that I could find. I have the following at home which mainly deal with mathematical topics in numerical analysis. This is perhaps the core reason for the existence of Fortran (=Formula Translator).
Examples of my programs
Folks who visit the other parts of my site will know that it is primarily concerned with Chinese characters, and such stuff, including spoken Chinese, in different dialects. As such, it was interesting to write a set programs to convert two-byte "Big5" encoded Chinese into the syllables of various dialects.
They can be found in a separate part of this site, Dialects.
© Dylan W. H. Sung 2003
This page was created on Friday 14th February 2003, and
was recently updated on Saturday 10th May 2003.