Dear Biomch-l Readers,

Here is the summary of the request I made a few days ago.

Original Request:

> I'm looking for a software able to translate Fortran 77 source
> into ANSI C. Does someone know the name of such a tool and/or the name of the
> company for the distribution ?
> Thank you for any help !

************************************************** ************************

In summary: there is a public software F2C available via Netlib. FTP
protocol as well as e-mail request can be used (see message from
T. van den Bogert).
I tried several time via FTP, but despite all the advices I received
(see below) no attempt succeed. So, at last I used e-mail and it worked very
A mention to another software (FORC) is made by Rene Steiner.
Note the mail from Jesus Dapena about the structure of the Makefile to
use with F2c.

Serge Van Sint Jan (sabattical)
Paul W. Brand Research Laboratory
Carville, Louisiana

PS: Networks and mailing-lists are really nice tools, aren't they ?!

**** Ulrich Hahn's first mail*******************************************

Try using f2c, here is how to get it:

F2c is being maintained at; ftp there, login as netlib
and cd to f2c.

Hope this helps,

PS: Since this topic could be of interest for others too, how about
a summary of replies.

: Ulrich Hahn : Sorry I got only 4 lines, :
: Department of biomechanics : thats not enough space for:
: Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics : my lifetime story ... :

**** Rene Steiner mail ************************************************** ******

I had the same problem some time ago and I found out that there is a
public domain package by AT&T called f2c. This is available on many FTP
sites. However, the authors do not claim that the conversion program
provides maintainable code. In my experience (which dates from early
1992) the code could only provide a basis for a manual conversion,
especially because I/O and array management is very clumsy. This comes
from the goal that the executable be exactly identical to the one produced
by a specific FORTRAN compiler in their lab...

More useful, but unfortunately beyond our budget at the time is FORC
by Cobalt Blue, 875 Old Roswell Road, Suite D-400, Roswell, GA 30076, USA
(Tel. (404) 518-1116, FAX: (404) 640-1182). They sent me a demo of their
program which was limited to some 50 lines of FORTRAN source code. The
C code produced by this was close to the maximum one could expect from
a mechanical conversion. At the time the package cost about 1000$.

What I finally did was to use the f2c output as a base and to use the
demo version of FORC for seperate critical code segments - and to do
most of the work manually. However, to me standard programming philosophy
of FORTRAN77 differs significantly from current C practice so that one
cannot avoid considerable additional programming when switching languages.

Hope this helps a bit, although it is probably encouraging only if you
are either rich or do not need maintainable code :-)

Cheers, Rene

| Rene Steiner | |
| Neurologisches Therapiecentrum | phone: +49-211-7816-159 |
| Hohensandweg 37 | FAX: +49-211-784 353 |
| D-40591 Duesseldorf | |
| Germany | |
| A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat (Monty Python, Nudge Nudge) |

**** Ian Nimmo-Smith's mail ************************************************

The package called f2c is what you want. You will be able to find it on
a variety of ftp servers, though it is maintained in the netlib server
at (AT&T I Think) in the directory /netlib/f2c You
have to build a version for your system. There are MSDOS and Unix

You use f2c to translate prog.f to prog.c Then, apply cc to prog.c
and link prog.o with two special libraries (supplied in the f2c

I have used it quite successfully to port substantial Fortran code to
run on a system that does not have a Fortran compiler. The new
executable performed identically (at the level of numerical input and
output) to the original. The resulting C code is n o t readily
maintained or adapted.

Best wishes



Ian Nimmo-Smith MRC Applied Psychology Unit
15 Chaucer Road
Tel: +44 223-355294 Cambridge CB2 2EF
Fax: +44 223-359062 email:

**** Taieb Argoubi's mail **********************************************


There is a public program called f2c .... you can get it from this public site: in /pub/f2c/src

Good luck

################################################## ###############
# Med Taieb ARGOUBI, Graduate Student # Ecole Polytechnique #
# Institut de Genie Biomedical # C.P. 6079, Succ. A #
# e-mail: # Montreal H3C3A7, Canada #
# Tel: (514) 340-4182 # Fax: (514) 340-4611 #
################################################## ###############

**** John Peach's first mail ******************************************

There is a program called F2C there is many FTP sites that have a copy of this
program. I do not know right off the top of my head any specific site
that has it. Use Archie and try to locate it. If you do not know how to
due this I can do it for you. I have a meeting and cannot due it right
now. Let me know if you want a search done.



* John P. Peach * Dalhousie Univerisy *
* JPEACH@AC.DAL.CA * Halifax, Nova Scotia *
* PEACH@UG.CS.DAL.CA * Canada *

**** Ton van den Bogert's mail ********************************************

A public domain version is available from Netlib. See the
'Introduction to Netlib', appended to this message. The Biomch-L
archives for September 1991 and January 1992 contain some useful
information about this particular translator software. Further
comments are welcome.

-- Ton van den Bogert, Biomch-L moderator

Forwarded message:
From: (Frederick W. Chapman)
Newsgroups: sci.math.num-analysis
Subject: Introduction to NETLIB (Revised July 1992)
Date: 27 May 93 15:19:13 GMT
Organization: Lehigh University

Introduction to NETLIB

Frederick W. Chapman
Senior User Consultant
Lehigh University Computing Center

July 7, 1992

1. General Description

NETLIB is a network-based facility for the automated
distribution of the source code for public domain scientific
software. Most of this software is written in FORTRAN, but some
software is available in C, C++, and PASCAL. Software is
available for a wide variety of applications. The following list
-- which is far from exhaustive -- should give the reader an idea
of the scope of the NETLIB collection.


* Linear Algebra (eigenvalue and eigenvector computations,
matrix factorizations, least squares)
* Sparse Matrix Calculations
* Numerical Optimization
* Spline Interpolation
* Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations
* Fast Fourier Transforms
* Special Functions


* Collected algorithms of the ACM "Transactions on
Mathematical Software" (TOMS)
* LAPACK, LINPACK, EISPACK, and BLAS subroutine libraries
* AMS TeX and SIAM typesetting macros
* MATLAB applications packages


* Libraries for supporting parallel computation
* Libraries for computation on vector-processor machines


* Packages supporting multiple-precision floating-point arith-
metic (e.g., Brent's MP; Smith's FM, from TOMS algorithms)
* Benchmark programs for comparing computing platforms
* Collections of problems for testing numerical software
* Programming aids such as single-precision-to-double-
precision and FORTRAN-to-C conversion utilities
* Companion software to various textbooks (e.g., Cheney and
Kincaid; Forsythe, Malcolm, and Moler)
* Bibliographies

2. NETLIB Mail Servers

Information (such as NETLIB usage instructions) and software
(such a routine from LAPACK or an algorithm from the ACM TOMS)
can be obtained by sending requests -- via electronic mail -- to
a NETLIB mail server at one of the following Internet addresses: (AT&T Bell Labs, New Jersey, USA) (Oak Ridge Nat. Lab, Tenn., USA) (Univ. of Kent, UK) (Oslo, Norway) (U. of Wollongong, NSW, Australia)

Upon receipt of an appropriately worded request, the NETLIB
mail server responds by sending the information or software
requested to the electronic mail address of the requestor.
Depending on your location, the amount of network traffic, and
other factors, you may actually receive a reply within minutes of
submitting your request! Note that the software available may
differ slightly from one NETLIB site to another.

3. Accessing NETLIB via Electronic Mail

To obtain more detailed instructions on the use of NETLIB,
as well as an index of the software currently available from a
particular NETLIB site, send an electronic mail (e-mail) message
containing the line

send index

to a NETLIB mail server listed in Section 2 (usually the site
which is geographically closest).

The collected algorithms of the ACM journal, "Transactions
on Mathematical Software" (TOMS), constitute a particularly
worthwhile part of the NETLIB collection. To obtain an index to
the ACM TOMS algorithms available from NETLIB, include the
following line in your e-mail message to a NETLIB mail server:

send index from toms

Many of the NETLIB packages make use of a collection of
routines referred to as the CORE library, which contains routines
for determining machine-dependent constants (e.g., the machine
epsilon), and a set of Level 1, 2, and 3 Basic Linear Algebra
Subprograms (BLAS). To obtain an index to the CORE library,
include this line in your e-mail message:

send index from core

Note that some mail trailers may "confuse" the NETLIB mail
servers. If you encounter problems, you might consider
suppressing the use of your usual signature file when sending
requests to NETLIB via e-mail.

4. Accessing NETLIB via FTP

In addition to the standard e-mail method for accessing the
NETLIB software, the AT&T Bell Laboratories site also provides
access to the NETLIB software via FTP; simply run FTP locally and
connect to the Internet node "", login with user-
name "netlib" (in lowercase), and give anything as the password.
The individual NETLIB libraries are arranged in separate subdi-
rectories; for example, the ACM TOMS algorithms are stored in a
subdirectory named "toms", and the CORE library is stored in a
subdirectory named "cor" (*not* "core", oddly enough).

Note that accessing NETLIB via FTP makes it easier to obtain
*all* of the routines in a particular library, but requires a
greater degree of sophistication on the part of the user; i.e.,
the user must possess a certain amount of network and UNIX savvy,
and a solid understanding of how the NETLIB collection is
organized. Accessing NETLIB via e-mail rather than FTP is
recommended for new users, since the NETLIB mail servers
automatically resolve subroutine dependencies (which must
otherwise be resolved manually).

5. X-Windows Version of NETLIB

In addition to the standard e-mail based NETLIB, the Oak
Ridge National Laboratory site supports "XNETLIB" -- a new, X-
Windows version of NETLIB. According to a recent announcement,
"XNETLIB uses an X-Window graphical user interface and a socket-
based connection between the user's machine and the XNETLIB
server machine to process software requests". Of course, XNETLIB
requires that the user's computer or terminal be capable of
supporting X-Windows. The user will therefore need an engineering
workstation that runs X-Windows, or an X-terminal, or a personal
computer with X-terminal emulation software in order to take
advantage of the benefits of XNETLIB.

To obtain a copy of XNETLIB, send e-mail to the NETLIB mail
server "" containing the lines

mailsize 300k
send xnetlib.shar from xnetlib

Upon receiving the shar file via e-mail, save the message to a
file (say, a file named "xnetlib.temp"), edit the file to remove
the mail header, and then issue the UNIX commands

sh xnetlib.temp
sh xnetlib.shar

After this, follow the instructions in the README file. Comments
on XNETLIB should be directed via e-mail to "".


o ------------------------------------------------------------------------- o
| Frederick W. Chapman, User Services, Computing Center, Lehigh University |
| Campus Phone: 8-3218 Preferred E-mail Address: fc03@Lehigh.Edu |
o ------------------------------------------------------------------------- o
| Ecstasy is transitory, but a theorem is forever! |
o ------------------------------------------------------------------------- o

**** Jesus Dapena's mail **************************************************


Let's try to do this through ftp. Try the following:

ftp (or ftp

To the prompt "Name", answer: anonymous
To the prompt "Password", answer: anything
You will find yourself in the directory "ftp"
Then type the following:

get f2c.h

Then, you can use f2c.h to translate your fortran programs. Here is an
example of a standard script file (or procedure file) of the type that I use
(in Unix) to run my programs (which are always in fortran) with a
translation into c inserted in the instructions. I thought you might find
it useful.

# Procedure file PROCGHJPROF
ln /well/dapena/hj/mtri/t/wri48t FILE2
ln /well/dapena/hj/mtri/b/wri48b FILE3
ln /well/dapena/hj/mtri/r/wri48xr FILE4
ln /well/dapena/hj/mtri/g/wri48xg FILE55
ln reuse FILE7
f2c /well/dapena/hj/prog/ghjprof.f
cc -w -I/usr/include/f2c -c ghjprof.c
cc ghjprof.o /well/dapena/grafbm/grafbmu.o /well/dapena/grafbm/gbmtran.o
-lplotF -lplot -lf2c
chmod u+x a.out
rm -f out
a.out > out
#psplot -g/usr/lib/transcript/ Can you help me, please ?
> I login, go to the f2c/src directory, ask to get the files with SEND f2tc.1.z.
> Then I receive the following prompt:
> to remote file:
> I presume I have to type the name of the file of our system, but it doesn't
> work. I only receive an error message "bad file format".
> Any suggestion ?

**** John Peach's second mail ********************************************


ftp defaults to ascii mode ie. it thinks that everything that you want to
transfer is a text file. You have to tell it that you want to transfer a
binary file. To do this just type BIN. Then use the GET command to have
the file sent to you. It will ask you for a remote name. Just press RETURN
and it will use the current file name.

I hope that this helps



* John P. Peach * Dalhousie Univerisy *
* JPEACH@AC.DAL.CA * Halifax, Nova Scotia *
* PEACH@UG.CS.DAL.CA * Canada *

**** Ulrich Hahn's second mail **************************************

I can't see what's wrong! I tried it myself without any problem.
But if you want to get all the files try:
$ftp [cant.remember].com
[the machine will prompt with something like]
(user-name) netlib
ftp> cd f2c
ftp> cd src
ftp> prompt
[this will toggle prompting]
promtping turned off
ftp> mget *
[that's all]

If this doesn't work ask me again.

: Ulrich Hahn : Sorry I got only 4 lines, :
: Department of biomechanics : thats not enough space for:
: Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics : my lifetime story ... :