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Sun unveils Fortress as replacement for Fortran

Sun Microsystems has unveiled a new open-source programming language for high-performance computing to replace the established Fortran language, originally launched by IBM.

Sun Microsystems has unveiled a new open-source programming language for high-performance computing to replace the established Fortran language, originally launched by IBM.

Sun has unveiled a reference implementation of the Fortress programming language, and is seeking developer community involvement to improve it.

The Fortress product is designed for “high-performance computing with high programmability“, said Sun.

In order to explore “breakaway approaches” to improving programmability, the Fortress design has not been tied to legacy language syntax or semantics, said Sun.

Sun said all aspects of high-performance computing language design have been rethought.

“As a result, we are able to support features in Fortress such as transactions, specification of locality, and implicit parallel computation, as integral features built into the core of the language“, said Sun.

Features such as the Fortress component system and test framework facilitate program assembly and testing, and enable powerful compiler optimisations across library boundaries, Sun said.

The syntax and type system of Fortress are custom-tailored to modern high-performance computing programming, supporting mathematical notation and static checking of properties such as physical units and dimensions, static type checking of multidimensional arrays and matrices, and definitions of domain-specific language syntax in libraries.

Sun said Fortress has been designed with the intent that it be a "growable" language, "gracefully supporting the addition of future language features".

More details on Fortress are available here:
http://fortress.sunsource.net/

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Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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