Linux MolBio Software

Dave Love d.love at dl.ac.uk
Tue Mar 19 13:44:34 EST 1996

>>>>> On Mon, 18 Mar 1996 10:57:50 -0800, mangalam at uci.edu (Harry Mangalam) said:

 Harry>   The only hiccup are those programs that were origninally writ in
 Harry> FORTRAN, as there's not a very good FORTRAN compiler for
 Harry> LINUX.  the FSF has recently released a sort-of-beta g77

`sort-of-beta' in the sense that some people consider it already more solid
than certain proprietary offerings :-).  It has rather few known problems
with standard-conforming code after a year of release and they're being
fixed.  Coming soon, integer*2 and byte :-).

 Harry> (free f77-like compiler) and there is a pretty good
 Harry> FORTRAN-to-C conversion prgram (f2c),

f2c should be regarded as a compiler (and a decent one, with near-instant
fixes for the occasional bug).

 Harry> but there's nothing like the depth of tools for C/C++ for FORTRAN.

There are, commendably, some commercial products being released even at no
charge for Linux.  Object Access' Fortran77 library is one.  I'm not sure
what Fortran tool support available on proprietary systems is missing on
Linux (other than better debugging facilities than g77/gdb currently
provide).  Unfortunately there's no free Fortran*90* compiler (for any
system).  There are, however, at least two proprietary ones for Linux.

 Harry> however, the new version of that code (OpenGL) has been ported in
 Harry> software-only (so it doesn't take advantage of any hardware
 Harry> acceleration - only the main cpu), so you can now begin to run some
 Harry> OpenGL applications on Linux with an appropriate X server.

The `Mesa' OpenGL clone appears good and runs on the normal Linux X server.
I've seen mention of a version bypassing X on Linux, but I don't know the
state of it.

I agree that GNU/Linux is a Good Thing.  Consider also FreeBSD.

[GNU] means much more than just saving everyone the price of a Unix
license.  It means that much wasteful duplication of system programming
effort will be avoided.  This effort can go instead into advancing the
state of the art.  -- rms

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