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PROPOSAL FOR A STANDARD SET OF PRIMITIVES FOR MACHINE-INDEPENDENT CHARACTER MANIPULATION IN FORTRAN by Nelson H.F. Beebe Departments of Physics and Chemistry University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT 84112 Tel: (801) 581-5254 INTRODUCTION ============ At the 1979 NRCC Conference on Software Standards in Chemistry held at the University of Utah, the author proposed that a standard set of primitives for character manipulation in chemical software written in the FORTRAN language be adopted, and set forth a selection of routines which were felt to serve the purpose. The suggested routines followed a uniform naming convention of a mnemonic prefix CHR, to which some opposition was voiced by several participants who felt that since many of the primitives were INTEGER functions, their names should conform to the FORTRAN default by which variable names beginning with the letters I through N are typed as INTEGERs. Although I personally feel that good names are more important than the question of whether an explicit type statement must be inserted, a compromise prefix KAR was suggested and accepted by the working group which considered the issue. The discussions at the Conference and subsequent communications showed the desirability of adding a few additional primitives to facilitate programming and increase the general utility and efficiency of the character primitives. Several participants also suggested that standards may already exist in the literature for FORTRAN character primitives, and that such standards should be seriously considered for adoption, if they existed. Unlike the case of bit primitives, no such standard seems to have been proposed.