Appendix F: Useful reading

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Appendix F: Useful reading

As Fortran is a fairly old computer language, many of the books that I have in my library are probably out of print and therefore not obtainable as new copies, although the second-hand book market often has copies available for purchase. I referred to a number of these books in the text, but have produced a consolidated list here where all the titles are brought together in one place.

Angell, I. O. and Griffiths, G. (1987) High resolution computer graphics using Fortran 77. (Published by MacMillan).
The book is very dated, but is still useful. I tried the algorithm for hatching an arbitrary polygon but found that if one of the hatching lines went through one of the apex points then the appropriate line was not drawn. They program graphics as if for a plotter, with what are effectively pen up, pen down and move commands.

Anon. (Various dates) The HPGL/2 Reference Guide, later in a 3rd Edition (1997) as The HPGL/2 and HP RTL Reference Guide. (Published by Addison Wesley)
Probably not so much Anon., but rather corporate HP. It is now available online.

Etter, D. M. (1992) Structured Fortran 77 for Engineers and Scientists. (Published by Wiley).
The book certainly made its mark, with at least 5 Editions, the later ones mentioning Fortran 90.

Kruger, A. (1991) Efficient Fortran programming. (Published by Wiley).
I found this one to be far more useful than Metcalf’s Effective Fortran 77. As a vocal exponent of the merits of Fortran 90 et seq., Metcalf is probably now a little embarrassed by that book. He also jumped the gun rather, with Reid, in publishing a book entitled Fortran 8X Explained, and no matter how I try, I cannot easily associate in my mind 8X with 90! (Although X is 10 in Roman numerals).

Kruger discusses, amongst other things, Huffman encoding or file compression of the ZIP type.

McCracken, D. D. wrote several books of Fortran programming, and any one of them will prove instructive, even though a little historical. The one I had (lost to yet another student) was probably A Guide to Fortran IV Programming, and most probably was the 1973 revised edition which was a large format paperback (Publisher: Wiley).

Incidentally, in the film Hidden Figures, I suspect that the book on Fortran stolen from the library was far more likely to have been an early edition of McCracken’s 1961 book A Guide to Fortran Programming than the IBM Fortran manual that is featured.

Morris, S. (1991) Newnes PC Printers Pocket Book (published by Butterworth-Heinemann). This book lists the escape codes for a number of prominent printer types to access facilities above and beyond the printing of plain text, but does not seriously entertain printing raster-based graphics.

Ribar, J. L. (1993) Fortran programming for Windows. (published by McGraw-Hill)
Quite an interesting book but not of any immediate relevance, because its subject is the very minimal extension to the Microsoft Fortran compiler allowing some basic interface with Windows that is nowhere near as capable as ClearWin+. ClearWin+ came out in 1992 and even at its launch was far more capable than Microsoft’s Fortran extension.

Four books that are beautifully illustrated and designed to make you think have been written by Edward Tufte:

Tufte, E. Envisioning information

Tufte, E. The visual display of quantitative information.

Tufte, E. Visual explanations: Images and quantitative evidence and narrative.

Tufte, E. Beautiful evidence.

OK, there is some overlap, and they aren’t cheap. They are available from their Author’s website: You may find, as I do, that Tufte writes in a supercilious and somewhat condescending manner, but even so, the books are worth a look and remind you that there is more to graphics and presenting information than a table of results from a computer program printed out on lineprinter paper as a trap for dust and spiders’ webs!

Ward, T. and Bromhead, E. N. (1989) Fortran and the Art of PC programming. (published by Wiley)
At least you now know the origins of the title of this book! Probably not worth acquiring.

R. S. Pugh, and E. N. Bromhead(1985) Design of seepage control measures for an embankment dam using the finite element method. Proceedings of the 15th International Congress on Large Dams, Lausanne. 1167-1183.

I have no doubt that there are far more modern books on Fortran that really ought to make it into this list, but somehow they don’t appeal to me, as programmers putting a Windows interface onto a Fortran 77 program are probably more in need of a refresher on what features there are in Fortran 77 than exposure to a completely new style of programming!

On the basis that you should program in a style that suits you, then any one of the more modern books could be your preferred text.

If you are programming a finite element system, then my textbook of choice has always been one or other of the editions of late Professor Zienkiewicz’s text, published by Wiley. My own favourite is the second edition, still then in a single volume.

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