Fortran Extensions supported by Flang

As a general principle, this compiler will accept by default and without complaint many legacy features, extensions to the standard language, and features that have been deleted from the standard, so long as the recognition of those features would not cause a standard-conforming program to be rejected or misinterpreted.

Other non-standard features, which do conflict with the current standard specification of the Fortran programming language, are accepted if enabled by command-line options.

Intentional violations of the standard

  • Scalar INTEGER actual argument expressions (not variables!) are converted to the kinds of scalar INTEGER dummy arguments when the interface is explicit and the kinds differ. This conversion allows the results of the intrinsics like SIZE that (as mentioned below) may return non-default INTEGER results by default to be passed. A warning is emitted when truncation is possible. These conversions are not applied in calls to non-intrinsic generic procedures.
  • We are not strict on the contents of BLOCK DATA subprograms so long as they contain no executable code, no internal subprograms, and allocate no storage outside a named COMMON block. (C1415)
  • Delimited list-directed (and NAMELIST) character output is required to emit contiguous doubled instances of the delimiter character when it appears in the output value. When fixed-size records are being emitted, as is the case with internal output, this is not possible when the problematic character falls on the last position of a record. No two other Fortran compilers do the same thing in this situation so there is no good precedent to follow. Because it seems least wrong, we emit one copy of the delimiter as the last character of the current record and another as the first character of the next record. (The second-least-wrong alternative might be to flag a runtime error, but that seems harsh since it’s not an explicit error in the standard, and the output may not have to be usable later as input anyway.) Consequently, the output is not suitable for use as list-directed or NAMELIST input. If a later standard were to clarify this case, this behavior will change as needed to conform.
character(11) :: buffer(3)
character(10) :: quotes = '""""""""""'
write(buffer,*,delim="QUOTE") quotes
print "('>',a10,'<')", buffer
  • The name of the control variable in an implied DO loop in an array constructor or DATA statement has a scope over the value-list only, not the bounds of the implied DO loop. It is not advisable to use an object of the same name as the index variable in a bounds expression, but it will work, instead of being needlessly undefined.
  • If both the COUNT= and the COUNT_MAX= optional arguments are present on the same call to the intrinsic subroutine SYSTEM_CLOCK, we require that their types have the same integer kind, since the kind of these arguments is used to select the clock rate. In common with some other compilers, the clock rate varies from tenths of a second to nanoseconds depending on argument kind and platform support.
  • If a dimension of a descriptor has zero extent in a call to CFI_section, CFI_setpointer or CFI_allocate, the lower bound on that dimension will be set to 1 for consistency with the LBOUND() intrinsic function.

Extensions, deletions, and legacy features supported by default

  • Tabs in source
  • <> as synonym for .NE. and /=
  • $ and @ as legal characters in names
  • Initialization in type declaration statements using /values/
  • Kind specification with *, e.g. REAL*4
  • DOUBLE COMPLEX as a synonym for COMPLEX(KIND(0.D0)) – but not when spelled TYPE(DOUBLECOMPLEX).
  • Signed complex literal constants
  • DEC STRUCTURE, RECORD, with ‘%FILL’; but UNION, and MAP are not yet supported throughout compilation, and elicit a “not yet implemented” message.
  • Structure field access with .field
  • BYTE as synonym for INTEGER(KIND=1); but not when spelled TYPE(BYTE).
  • Quad precision REAL literals with Q
  • X prefix/suffix as synonym for Z on hexadecimal literals
  • B, O, Z, and X accepted as suffixes as well as prefixes
  • Triplets allowed in array constructors
  • %LOC, %VAL, and %REF
  • Leading comma allowed before I/O item list
  • Empty parentheses allowed in PROGRAM P()
  • Missing parentheses allowed in FUNCTION F
  • Cray based POINTER(p,x) and LOC() intrinsic (with %LOC() as an alias)
  • Arithmetic IF. (Which branch should NaN take? Fall through?)
  • ASSIGN statement, assigned GO TO, and assigned format
  • PAUSE statement
  • Hollerith literals and edit descriptors
  • NAMELIST allowed in the execution part
  • Omitted colons on type declaration statements with attributes
  • COMPLEX constructor expression, e.g. (x+y,z)
  • + and - before all primary expressions, e.g. x*-y
  • .NOT. .NOT. accepted
  • NAME= as synonym for FILE=
  • Data edit descriptors without width or other details
  • D lines in fixed form as comments or debug code
  • CARRIAGECONTROL= on the OPEN and INQUIRE statements
  • CONVERT= on the OPEN and INQUIRE statements
  • DISPOSE= on the OPEN and INQUIRE statements
  • Leading semicolons are ignored before any statement that could have a label
  • The character & in column 1 in fixed form source is a variant form of continuation line.
  • Character literals as elements of an array constructor without an explicit type specifier need not have the same length; the longest literal determines the length parameter of the implicit type, not the first.
  • Outside a character literal, a comment after a continuation marker (&) need not begin with a comment marker (!).
  • Classic C-style /comments/ are skipped, so multi-language header files are easier to write and use.
  • $ and \ edit descriptors are supported in FORMAT to suppress newline output on user prompts.
  • Tabs in format strings (not FORMAT statements) are allowed on output.
  • REAL and DOUBLE PRECISION variable and bounds in DO loops
  • Integer literals without explicit kind specifiers that are out of range for the default kind of INTEGER are assumed to have the least larger kind that can hold them, if one exists.
  • BOZ literals can be used as INTEGER values in contexts where the type is unambiguous: the right hand sides of assigments and initializations of INTEGER entities, as actual arguments to a few intrinsic functions (ACHAR, BTEST, CHAR), and as actual arguments of references to procedures with explicit interfaces whose corresponding dummy argument has a numeric type to which the BOZ literal may be converted. BOZ literals are interpreted as default INTEGER only when they appear as the first items of array constructors with no explicit type. Otherwise, they generally cannot be used if the type would not be known (e.g., IAND(X'1',X'2')).
  • BOZ literals can also be used as REAL values in some contexts where the type is unambiguous, such as initializations of REAL parameters.
  • EQUIVALENCE of numeric and character sequences (a ubiquitous extension), as well as of sequences of non-default kinds of numeric types with each other.
  • Values for whole anonymous parent components in structure constructors (e.g., EXTENDEDTYPE(PARENTTYPE(1,2,3)) rather than EXTENDEDTYPE(1,2,3) or EXTENDEDTYPE(PARENTTYPE=PARENTTYPE(1,2,3))).
  • Some intrinsic functions are specified in the standard as requiring the same type and kind for their arguments (viz., ATAN with two arguments, ATAN2, DIM, HYPOT, MAX, MIN, MOD, and MODULO); we allow distinct types to be used, promoting the arguments as if they were operands to an intrinsic + operator, and defining the result type accordingly.
  • The DFLOAT intrinsic function.
  • INT_PTR_KIND intrinsic returns the kind of c_intptr_t.
  • Restricted specific conversion intrinsics FLOAT, SNGL, IDINT, IFIX, DREAL, and DCMPLX accept arguments of any kind instead of only the default kind or double precision kind. Their result kinds remain as specified.
  • Specific intrinsics AMAX0, AMAX1, AMIN0, AMIN1, DMAX1, DMIN1, MAX0, MAX1, MIN0, and MIN1 accept more argument types than specified. They are replaced by the related generics followed by conversions to the specified result types.
  • When a scalar CHARACTER actual argument of the same kind is known to have a length shorter than the associated dummy argument, it is extended on the right with blanks, similar to assignment.
  • When a dummy argument is POINTER or ALLOCATABLE and is INTENT(IN), we relax enforcement of some requirements on actual arguments that must otherwise hold true for definable arguments.
  • Assignment of LOGICAL to INTEGER and vice versa (but not other types) is allowed. The values are normalized.
  • Static initialization of LOGICAL with INTEGER is allowed in DATA statements and object initializers. The results are not normalized to canonical .TRUE./.FALSE.. Static initialization of INTEGER with LOGICAL is also permitted.
  • An effectively empty source file (no program unit) is accepted and produces an empty relocatable output file.
  • A RETURN statement may appear in a main program.
  • DATA statement initialization is allowed for procedure pointers outside structure constructors.
  • Nonstandard intrinsic functions: ISNAN, SIZEOF
  • A forward reference to a default INTEGER scalar dummy argument is permitted to appear in a specification expression, such as an array bound, in a scope with IMPLICIT NONE(TYPE) if the name of the dummy argument would have caused it to be implicitly typed as default INTEGER if IMPLICIT NONE(TYPE) were absent.
  • OPEN(ACCESS=’APPEND’) is interpreted as OPEN(POSITION=’APPEND’) to ease porting from Sun Fortran.
  • Intrinsic subroutines EXIT([status]) and ABORT()
  • The definition of simple contiguity in 9.5.4 applies only to arrays; we also treat scalars as being trivially contiguous, so that they can be used in contexts like data targets in pointer assignments with bounds remapping.
  • We support some combinations of specific procedures in generic interfaces that a strict reading of the standard would preclude when their calls must nonetheless be distinguishable. Specifically, ALLOCATABLE dummy arguments are distinguishing if an actual argument acceptable to one could not be passed to the other & vice versa because exactly one is polymorphic or exactly one is unlimited polymorphic).
  • External unit 0 is predefined and connected to the standard error output, and defined as ERROR_UNIT in the intrinsic ISO_FORTRAN_ENV module.
  • Objects in blank COMMON may be initialized.
  • Initialization of COMMON blocks outside of BLOCK DATA subprograms.
  • Multiple specifications of the SAVE attribute on the same object are allowed, with a warning.
  • Specific intrinsic functions BABS, IIABS, JIABS, KIABS, ZABS, and CDABS.
  • A POINTER component’s type need not be a sequence type when the component appears in a derived type with SEQUENCE. (This case should probably be an exception to constraint C740 in the standard.)
  • Format expressions that have type but are not character and not integer scalars are accepted so long as they are simply contiguous. This legacy extension supports pre-Fortran’77 usage in which variables initialized in DATA statements with Hollerith literals as modifiable formats.
  • At runtime, NAMELIST input will skip over NAMELIST groups with other names, and will treat text before and between groups as if they were comment lines, even if not begun with !.
  • Commas are required in FORMAT statements and character variables only when they prevent ambiguity.
  • Legacy names AND, OR, and XOR are accepted as aliases for the standard intrinsic functions IAND, IOR, and IEOR respectively.

Extensions supported when enabled by options

  • C-style backslash escape sequences in quoted CHARACTER literals (but not Hollerith) [-fbackslash]
  • Logical abbreviations .T., .F., .N., .A., .O., and .X. [-flogical-abbreviations]
  • .XOR. as a synonym for .NEQV. [-fxor-operator]
  • The default INTEGER type is required by the standard to occupy the same amount of storage as the default REAL type. Default REAL is of course 32-bit IEEE-754 floating-point today. This legacy rule imposes an artificially small constraint in some cases where Fortran mandates that something have the default INTEGER type: specifically, the results of references to the intrinsic functions SIZE, STORAGE_SIZE,LBOUND, UBOUND, SHAPE, and the location reductions FINDLOC, MAXLOC, and MINLOC in the absence of an explicit KIND= actual argument. We return INTEGER(KIND=8) by default in these cases when the -flarge-sizes option is enabled. SIZEOF and C_SIZEOF always return INTEGER(KIND=8).
  • Treat each specification-part like is has IMPLICIT NONE [-fimplicit-none-type-always]
  • Ignore occurrences of IMPLICIT NONE and IMPLICIT NONE(TYPE) [-fimplicit-none-type-never]
  • Old-style PARAMETER pi=3.14 statement without parentheses [-falternative-parameter-statement]

Extensions and legacy features deliberately not supported

  • .LG. as synonym for .NE.
  • Allocatable COMMON
  • Expressions in formats
  • ACCEPT as synonym for READ *
  • TYPE as synonym for PRINT
  • ARRAY as synonym for DIMENSION
  • VIRTUAL as synonym for DIMENSION
  • ENCODE and DECODE as synonyms for internal I/O
  • Default exponent of zero, e.g. 3.14159E
  • Characters in defined operators that are neither letters nor digits
  • B suffix on unquoted octal constants
  • Z prefix on unquoted hexadecimal constants (dangerous)
  • T and F as abbreviations for .TRUE. and .FALSE. in DATA (PGI/XLF)
  • Use of host FORMAT labels in internal subprograms (PGI-only feature)
  • ALLOCATE(TYPE(derived)::…) as variant of correct ALLOCATE(derived::…) (PGI only)
  • Defining an explicit interface for a subprogram within itself (PGI only)
  • USE association of a procedure interface within that same procedure’s definition
  • NULL() as a structure constructor expression for an ALLOCATABLE component (PGI).
  • Conversion of LOGICAL to INTEGER in expressions.
  • IF (integer expression) THEN … END IF (PGI/Intel)
  • Comparsion of LOGICAL with ==/.EQ. rather than .EQV. (also .NEQV.) (PGI/Intel)
  • Procedure pointers in COMMON blocks (PGI/Intel)
  • Underindexing multi-dimensional arrays (e.g., A(1) rather than A(1,1)) (PGI only)
  • Legacy PGI NCHARACTER type and NC Kanji character literals
  • Using non-integer expressions for array bounds (e.g., REAL A(3.14159)) (PGI/Intel)
  • Mixing INTEGER types as operands to bit intrinsics (e.g., IAND); only two compilers support it, and they disagree on sign extension.
  • Module & program names that conflict with an object inside the unit (PGI only).
  • When the same name is brought into scope via USE association from multiple modules, the name must refer to a generic interface; PGI allows a name to be a procedure from one module and a generic interface from another.
  • Type parameter declarations must come first in a derived type definition; some compilers allow them to follow PRIVATE, or be intermixed with the component declarations.
  • Wrong argument types in calls to specific intrinsics that have different names than the related generics. Some accepted exceptions are listed above in the allowed extensions. PGI, Intel, and XLF support this in ways that are not numerically equivalent. PGI converts the arguments while Intel and XLF replace the specific by the related generic.

Preprocessing behavior

  • The preprocessor is always run, whatever the filename extension may be.
  • We respect Fortran comments in macro actual arguments (like GNU, Intel, NAG; unlike PGI and XLF) on the principle that macro calls should be treated like function references. Fortran’s line continuation methods also work.

Standard features not silently accepted

  • Fortran explicitly ignores type declaration statements when they attempt to type the name of a generic intrinsic function (8.2 p3). One can declare CHARACTER::COS and still get a real result from COS(3.14159), for example. f18 will complain when a generic intrinsic function’s inferred result type does not match an explicit declaration. This message is a warning.

Standard features that might as well not be

  • f18 supports designators with constant expressions, properly constrained, as initial data targets for data pointers in initializers of variable and component declarations and in DATA statements; e.g., REAL, POINTER :: P => T(1:10:2). This Fortran 2008 feature might as well be viewed like an extension; no other compiler that we’ve tested can handle it yet.

Behavior in cases where the standard is ambiguous or indefinite

  • When an inner procedure of a subprogram uses the value or an attribute of an undeclared name in a specification expression and that name does not appear in the host, it is not clear in the standard whether that name is an implicitly typed local variable of the inner procedure or a host association with an implicitly typed local variable of the host. For example:
module module
  subroutine host(j)
    ! Although "m" never appears in the specification or executable
    ! parts of this subroutine, both of its contained subroutines
    ! might be accessing it via host association.
    integer, intent(in out) :: j
    call inner1(j)
    call inner2(j)
    subroutine inner1(n)
      integer(kind(m)), intent(in) :: n
      m = n + 1
    end subroutine
    subroutine inner2(n)
      integer(kind(m)), intent(out) :: n
      n = m + 2
    end subroutine
  end subroutine
end module

program demo
  use module
  integer :: k
  k = 0
  call host(k)
  print *, k, " should be 3"

Other Fortran compilers disagree in their interpretations of this example; some seem to treat the references to m as if they were host associations to an implicitly typed variable (and print 3), while others seem to treat them as references to implicitly typed local variabless, and load uninitialized values.

In f18, we chose to emit an error message for this case since the standard is unclear, the usage is not portable, and the issue can be easily resolved by adding a declaration.

  • In subclause of Fortran 2018 the standard defines a partial ordering of the final subroutine calls for finalizable objects, their non-parent components, and then their parent components. (The object is finalized, then the non-parent components of each element, and then the parent component.) Some have argued that the standard permits an implementation to finalize the parent component before finalizing an allocatable component in the context of deallocation, and the next revision of the language may codify this option. In the interest of avoiding needless confusion, this compiler implements what we believe to be the least surprising order of finalization. Specifically: all non-parent components are finalized before the parent, allocatable or not; all finalization takes place before any deallocation; and no object or subobject will be finalized more than once.
  • When RECL= is set via the OPEN statement for a sequential formatted input file, it functions as an effective maximum record length. Longer records, if any, will appear as if they had been truncated to the value of RECL=. (Other compilers ignore RECL=, signal an error, or apply effective truncation to some forms of input in this situation.) For sequential formatted output, RECL= serves as a limit on record lengths that raises an error when it is exceeded.