About Version 2.24

Simply Fortran version 2.24 has now been available for about one and a half months, and version 2.25 has not yet appeared. Some of our more seasoned users might consider this delay a little longer than normal between official releases, but development certainly hasn’t been static. The latest build (1921) of version 2.24 was released just two days ago. We thought it might be prudent to explain some of the changes in these builds and what other development might be taking place.

Bugs and Various Fixes

A bug existed in the syntax checking engine that cause the syntax engine to fail for users with special characters in their user name on Windows. Anything from a space to a non-ASCII character would cause syntax checking to fail.

The Fortran indexing engine was failing on code containing line continuations where a comma was the last character on a given line. This bug actually arose in recent versions due to improvements and bug fixes for other Fortran-related parsing enhancements and issues.

Simply Fortran was attempting to compile Fortran include files ending with the .INC extension as standalone source files. The previous solution was to disable the files in the Project Outline, but Simply Fortran now treats these files properly.

AppGraphics was not able to draw vertical text. A fix is now present, but a user has already reported some minor drawing problems with some fonts. This existing bug will probably necessitate another build of version 2.24.

Some of the makefile generation code could intermittently cause error dialogs to appear. The most likely culprit was the handling of search directories for include and library files. The underlying code was greatly simplified for more robust handling of these directory flags.

An odd issue was causing Simply Fortran to lock up entirely. A new user reported that, when entering Fortran code that contained a comma on the very first line of an editor tab without said comma being preceded by an opening parentheses or a comment character, Simply Fortran would freeze. This scenario wouldn’t be common because most Fortran files would either begin with comments or a subprogram declaration (which would have an opening parentheses). The lockup was caused by an infinite loop as the calltip engine searched the line for either an opening parentheses or a newline character. On the very first line in the editor, it would encounter neither as it continued requesting characters at negative document positions. This extremely specific bug has now been fixed.


Simply Fortran version 2.24 has a reasonably robust feature set, which explains why a new version has yet to be created. However, version 2.25 should appear within the next month or so. We plan on including a new version of the underlying compiler and providing an improved automatic code formatter for “beautifying” existing Fortran.

We’ve also been working on some new developments. The screenshot below might be of particular interest to our users running Simply Fortran under WINE:

Simply Fortran in GTK+

No official announcements concerning the above…

Upgrading the Fortran Compiler

In the upcoming version 2.14 release, Simply Fortran will begin shipping GNU Fortran 4.9.0 for the first time. This compiler release is considered a major change for Simply Fortran regardless of the numbering convention because it will once again break the compiled module format for Fortran 90+ projects.  While this change is conceptually simple for most people, it presents some interesting challenges for Approximatrix.

Simply Fortran has been using the GNU Fortran 4.8 series since version 1.42, which was released in March, 2013.   During that period, the number of packages  available in the Simply Fortran Package Manager has grown considerably.   An issue arises, though, when considering how to handle packages containing pre-compiled modules once the latest release  of Simply Fortran is available.

We’ve now shipped an updated version of the Package Manager that is aware of the compiler version currently  available.  Behind the scenes, packages will begin shipping with “required compiler versions” to ensure any pre-compiled modules are compatible with the version of GNU Fortran installed.  This change  should be invisible to the user.  If a package is made available requiring GNU Fortran 4.9 and the  user still has 4.8.2 installed, the package will not even be visible in the Package Manager.  This configuration allows Approximatrix to begin updating packages as necessary while continuing to allow older installations to operate properly.

The second issue is actually rebuilding all necessary packages.  The construction of packages for the Package Manager is not particularly simple, hence why the Package Manager exists in the first place.  Although Simply Fortran 2.14 is basically ready for final testing, the actual release will be held back until the requisite packages are also upgraded.