On Thu, 07 May 2009 09:33:00 -0400, f...@thefsb.org (Tom Worster) wrote:

>On 5/6/09 9:31 PM, "Clancy" <clanc...@cybec.com.au> wrote:
>> I can understand your reluctance to disregard your mother's advice, but
>> unfortunately she
>> had been brainwashed to accept the dogma of the day.
>actually, i don't believe so. she did numerical work so she continued using
>fortran and therefore gotos for the rest of her life. i think she just
>didn't like goto. moreover, she was never dogmatic on any topic, it wasn't
>in her nature.
>anyway, how do you know how she came by her opinions?

I did not say your mother was dogmatic; but clearly she had accepted the dogma 
of the day,
as there is no rational reason to avoid the goto. Assuredly the goto can be 
misused, but
this attitude is rather like that of my wife, who is extremely reluctant to use 
my sharp
kitchen knives 'because they are dangerous', and insists on using her own worn 
implements that are barely suitable for buttering toast. I know my knives are 
dangerous --
the odd bit of finger occasionally sneaks into the dinner -- but they are 
essential to do
the job properly, and in my opinion the goto comes in the same category.

Another very useful feature of my original program was that it had an error 
handler at the
end, and if I detected an error, anywhere in the program, I simply said 'goto 
error'. This
was an assigned goto, so that I could set up error handlers for particular 
if I wished. This was no longer possible in more modern versions of Fortran, 
and I had to
set up, and keep track of, a complicated system of error flags to achieve the 
same result.
Reading this discussion, I was amused to realise that the modern system of 
exceptions, and
exception handlers, was designed to achieve the same end.

The operating system was extremely unfriendly, as if it detected an error it 
terminated the job with an inscrutable message. As I only got three runs a week 
anyway I
went to great lengths to avoid this. I even developed my own plotter driver, as 
the system
one would terminate the plot if any command went outside the specified working 
area. This
was usually the result of a typo, and would come good on the next instruction, 
so when my
driver detected that the pen had reached the edge of the working area, it would 
raise it,
and keep track of the position until the pen came back into the working area, 
whereupon it
would lower it and continue plotting. 

This was relatively simple, as the plotter only had three commands; pen up, pen 
down, and
step one step in any of the eight directions of the compass. On the other hand 
it meant I
had to develop my own font set and electronic symbols.

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