FORTRAN namelist input - remember? Replace with XML!

Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Thu Feb 5 13:56:20 GMT 1998

At 09:56 04/02/98 -0600, Glenn R. Kronschnabl wrote:
>I want to use XML as a general input mechanism for scientific programs.  In 

Great idea!  XML revolutionises program input and output. FORTRAN
programmers spend half their life with:
	Column 61 (I2) the number of optional cards describing the FOO.

This is an optional branch of a tree. With TEI processing it's marvellous.
I am trying to convert the molecular community to use XML as standard for
input and output to *existing* programs. If you can achieve it in your
community - great.

>the old days, say in FORTRAN, one used to use namelist input.  In C/C++, one 
>usually wrote a custom driver.  I want to use XML because it appears to make 
>sense.  I have started using SP - and want to build a tree that I can query 
>(kind of like an xrdb interface) for my input parameters.  But, before I 
>embark on this, I was wondering if 1) this makes sense, 2) someone surely
>a simple tree builder/query interface to SP already that I can use so I
>have to write my own (none jumped out at me when I looked around).

I imagine the simplest way to do this is to write an XML2F77input
processor. This is really a stylesheet application.  If you wait for XSL I
suspect it will solve many of your problems. If you can't wait, then there
may be facilities in JUMBO that could be useful.


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