From: rfengineer55 on 10 Jun 2010 15:41
You make some very good points in your post. BTW, I have not yet hat a
chance to look into some USENET software as a result of my earlier
posting. But I will check into the suggestions that were given.
On to the points at hand.
Our radio station here is automated, and that is done with computers/
software of course. Real phone support is impossible unless I'm
sitting at the machine when talking to the tech. Of course, I have to
be familiar enough to know where to go in the software as he directs
When things get really bad, he can VNC or PCanywhere to my computer. I
wish nore softwware vendors would use an approach like this.
I am from now on, going to take my wife's advice, and that is, not to
mention in my posts that I'm frustrated. her position is that guys are
not sympathetic in the way I think they will be (not take something I
write personally, etc.) because guys for the most part are not
sympathetic that way, and they will think i'm weak instead, or at
least trying to push your problems onto them. That's the farthest from
my intent given that I'm a big believer in being responsible for my
own choices and actions. And, I'm still human too.
I bought the Intel Fortran because it was highly recommended by a
professional person whom I know and respect, and it was believed that
Intel would be the best product to do this job. I stil;l believe that
it is. At this moment, I can't bank on that, because the software is
not running as it is intended to run, due to lack of needed
information; that is a fact. Now, that fact could be due to lack of
initiative on my part, lack of parience, etc., but the reason still
does not change the facts. All that will likely change once I get home
tonight, and have the opportunity to apply the suggestions from the
The fact also remains that certain basic information is needed to get
software up and running. Some software is intuitive, some is not. Some
documentation is well written and easy to follow and some is not (like
Visual Studio 2008 for example). You can call it handholding if you
want to, when you have software and documentation that's not helpful
as it needs to be, but that does not change the fact that basic
information is needed to get the software up and running.
There is also a degree of comparison that goes on with software. I do
a lot of computer/software things with my job, and I require very
little outside help. And it could be that talent is also part of my
problem when things don't come as easily as i'm used to them coming.
By comparison to many other software packages that I've worked with,
in my opinion, the Intel Fortran/Visual Studio 2008 package is much
more of an uphill struggle. Because of this, there is a magnified
degree of dissatisfaction toward this product. If I had startup
problems with most or many of my new software packages, then I would
have cause to look in the mirror for a more realistic answer, and a
realistic analysis to my basic approach.
So where do you draw the line between handholding and simply needing
critical information? If I can get the software installed, and compile
the simple default program that comes with it, am I them more skillful
than a hand-holder? If I can't even turn on my computer without help
(like my wife is) is that someone needing hand holding? Is needing
aome setup information but not sure where that setup information
belongs, is that hand holding? Or is simply NOT knowing something that
YOU know how to do in a heartbeat, is that hand holding? If In have
the available documentation but can't find what I need, is that hand
holding? Not wanting to even TRY reading the document would be hand
holding, and I'm being kind :-)
Next week, this whole thread will be old hat to me. I simply want to
make that process as painless as is practical. Visual Studio 2008
needs a "How Do I" document. Maybe I'll write one.
Any successful vendor, software or otherwise, has to be sensitive to
the need and desires of the customer base as a whole. maybe exclusive
customer phone support is not the answer, but there needs to be a way
to get phone support under certain circumstances. I very often get
stuck on one small detail and with a few minutes of consultation, I
can get unstuck. I realize that there are other people that don't know
which end of the mouse to click. Phone support for these linds of
users would be a nightmare for soupport people. But EXCLUSIVE Forum or
List Server support is not the answer either.
As far as stressing out over frustrated people on the phone, one has
to learn not to buy into that, and not take it personally. I am
outstanding in that capacity, and assume everyone else is, too. BUT,
we are still human beings and therefore we GET frustrated. I gained
this skill while working in the Cable TV industry. You want frustrated
people, try dealing with those folks :-) If you let those people get
to you, you will at least become miserable, at the worst, you will
want to do yourself in. More fun than any one person should be allowed
to have. I had a good mentor way back then, thankfully.
Richard Maine wrote the following:
A little patience might be in order. One might even maintain that
of adequate patience, foresight, and planning by the original author
the code was the major cause of your current situation.
I don't happen to have a copy of the Intel compiler, so I don't
know things like the exact spelling of various options (though I have
least a notion of what some of the relevant options are). I'm quite
confident that they are documented, and I'm even fairly confident that
could find appropriate documentation online, but that goes beyond the
work I tend to volunteer for (perhaps particularly when it is for
someone exhibitting such impatience).
I'd say you appear to be expecting a degree of handholding from the
vendor that is unrealistic for a product at the price point of that
Things like good phone support are quite expensive to provide and
rare. (Typical phone support from vendors of many products gets you
someone who can't speak English intelligibly, doesn't really know
anything about the product, and doesn't listen to what you say other
than to try to guess which script he should read from; that's not what
mean by "good." I'll avoid going off on all the tales of that I could
relate.) None of the problems you report sound like ones I would
normally expect a vendor to be providing. I've heard ones that would
answered by a fairly casual glance through the manuals and others
are more basic questions about the Fortran language more than about
From: dpb on 10 Jun 2010 16:27
> I bought the Intel Fortran because it was highly recommended by a
> professional person whom I know and respect, and it was believed that
> Intel would be the best product to do this job. I still believe that
> it is. At this moment, I can't bank on that, because the software is
> not running as it is intended to run, due to lack of needed
> information; that is a fact. ...
I'd say that's a (likely mis)perception rather than fact; I'd wager the
compiler is doing precisely what it's supposed to do given the input
it's given; that would be the definition of "running as intended to
run". That you haven't got the right settings for a particular project
compilation is a totally different problem although it could, I suppose
be interpreted as a compiler problem.
> The fact also remains that certain basic information is needed to get
> software up and running. Some software is intuitive, some is not. Some
> documentation is well written and easy to follow and some is not (like
> Visual Studio 2008 for example). ...
> in my opinion, the Intel Fortran/Visual Studio 2008 package is much
> more of an uphill struggle. ...
Having no specifics against which to compare, it's hard to have any idea
of the relative nature of other software in question but, yes, Visual
Studio is a pretty dense package at first blush.
> ... Visual Studio 2008
> needs a "How Do I" document. Maybe I'll write one.
At least VS 98 does have several "How Do I?" sections as well as a
sample projects and illustration of setting up new projects, etc. Steve
L has pointed you at a tutorial already for current product. In Intel's
defense, you have to understand that Visual Studio is _NOT_ an Intel
product; it is Microsoft's and all Intel has to do with it is the hooks
into it for their compiler. Hence, the blame for VS overall
documentation lack lies w/ MS, not Intel.
Again, as for where any specific compiler switch is located in the IDE,
my experience was that there is a description of each that is in the IDE
in the online help documentation for the compiler switches in that
subsection. Let's see...for CVF I find in the index under /vms the
> /vms or /novms
> The /vms option causes the run-time system to provide functions
> likeCompaq Fortran 77 for OpenVMS VAXTM Systems (previously called
> VAX FORTRANTM).
> In the visual development environment, specify Enable
> VMS Compatibility in the Compatibility Compiler Option Category. The
So, by analogy to the Intel compiler that looks from the user standpoint
much like the older CVF/DEC CVF compiler (altho it's not; it's a new
compiler by the old team for (yet another) different vendor, I'd venture
that there's a "compatibility" category in the options that would be a
likely landing spot. Of course, I'd also expect the same information
specifically for the current IVF compiler to be in the same place...
From: Gib Bogle on 10 Jun 2010 17:11
> At least VS 98 does have several "How Do I?" sections as well as a
> sample projects and illustration of setting up new projects, etc. Steve
> L has pointed you at a tutorial already for current product. In Intel's
> defense, you have to understand that Visual Studio is _NOT_ an Intel
> product; it is Microsoft's and all Intel has to do with it is the hooks
> into it for their compiler.
That's a good point. If Intel had developed their own IDE from scratch it might
look and feel quite different from MS's multi-purpose software. I'm not
suggesting that this is what Intel should have done - the small Fortran
user-base would hardly justify it, in fact I must say I sometime wonder how
Fortran compiler-developers justify their existence to the bean-counters.
From: Gary L. Scott on 10 Jun 2010 20:43
On 6/10/2010 4:11 PM, Gib Bogle wrote:
> dpb wrote:
>> At least VS 98 does have several "How Do I?" sections as well as a
>> sample projects and illustration of setting up new projects, etc.
>> Steve L has pointed you at a tutorial already for current product. In
>> Intel's defense, you have to understand that Visual Studio is _NOT_ an
>> Intel product; it is Microsoft's and all Intel has to do with it is
>> the hooks into it for their compiler.
> That's a good point. If Intel had developed their own IDE from scratch
> it might look and feel quite different from MS's multi-purpose software.
> I'm not suggesting that this is what Intel should have done - the small
> Fortran user-base would hardly justify it, in fact I must say I sometime
> wonder how Fortran compiler-developers justify their existence to the
If they will never be able to achieve the level of trouble free
integration of DVF/CVF, then they should by all means consider
developing something else. But that something else needs to include:
Of course a decent editor with appropriate syntax highlighting and
Project Management (don't like the "solution" terminology, too fuzzy)
Decent help system for the product
I would like it to supply other things like a Help Build system so that
you can create full-blown applications with a portable help system
(rather than OS specific proprietary help systems. That's something
that doesn't seem to exist that I've found.
From: Luka Djigas on 10 Jun 2010 22:26
On Thu, 10 Jun 2010 19:43:19 -0500, "Gary L. Scott"
>If they will never be able to achieve the level of trouble free
>integration of DVF/CVF, then they should by all means consider
>developing something else. But that something else needs to include:
But, I really do not understand what is it (starting with this
gentleman's problems with Intel's VF) that differs that much from old
CVF. In my opinion, Intel did a splendid job of reusing/merging with
an interface to which many are already accustomed to. Also, it should
be taken that fortran is often mixed with C family of languages, whose
programmers are usually familiar with VS, making the transition even
If one wishes, he can alwasy "go down" to command line, and work from
As to the "trouble free" part, I don't recall anything about my
installation that required me to think, apart from filling out the
basic information, and clickling on a few "Next" "Next" "Next"
buttons. How much simpler can it get ?
>Of course a decent editor with appropriate syntax highlighting and
Here lies maybe the one thing that I do not understand / having
trouble configuring - how to obtain VS (2008 in my case) to highlight
files with a different extension than the default for fortran code (in
this example, I was having trouble with .F95; although I saw someone
asking this exact question on Intel's forums their approach did not
work for me. But anyways, 'tis a trifle.)
>Project Management (don't like the "solution" terminology, too fuzzy)
Actually, a solution, simply put is nothing more than a "container"
for many projects, which separately can be in different languages. I
like "solution" approach, for, for example, within one solution I can
have several projects, each of which produces its own output file. I
run the first project, making the first output file; then compile&run
the second project which on the basis of the first output file makes
the second ... all in one solution. Very handy - saves the trouble of
organizing all of that into one program.
>Decent help system for the product
I believe Intel has done very well on this. Therefore my confusion on
my part about this last two days and the aforementioned gentleman's
problems with the documentation.
>I would like it to supply other things like a Help Build system so that
>you can create full-blown applications with a portable help system
>(rather than OS specific proprietary help systems. That's something
>that doesn't seem to exist that I've found.