Well, it's been 10-15 years since I was in the position of comparing
FORTRAN and C head-to-head, but at the time the widely-used FORTRAN
compilers generated VERY GOOD code for do-looping over arrays, which
is basically all you do in a FORTRAN program. Also, FORTRAN compilers
don't have any problems with pointer aliasing, since FORTRAN doesn't
have pointers.

Second, since the folks who do numerical processing all used FORTRAN,
all the good numerical libraries were written in FORTRAN and people
had spent years optimizing them. Either there were no equivalent C
libraries or the equivalent libraries were much less mature than the
FORTRAN libraries. We spent a lot of time figuring out how to allow C
calls into FORTRAN routines, for the same reason people today make
Ruby call C routines: speed.

HTH.

On Thu, 22 Aug 2002 17:21:37 GMT, "Gavin Sinclair"
<gsinclair / soyabean.com.au> wrote:

>
>Can I ask why?  People say it all the time, but I point-blank refuse to believe
>that it is faster than optimised C.  They're the same bloody thing, aren't
>they? - low-level procedural languages.  My knowledge of Fortran is small, but
>of course everyone knows it's used for scientific calculations, so it may have
>the edge in numerical calculations (infinite precision, ...) but can't you get
>a C library that equals it?  If not, why not.  It's all machine language in the
>end, and not sufficiently far from that to begin with for me to believe that
>the two should be any different.