FAQ

What hardware and software do I need?

You need a Mac with an Intel processor and OSX 10.7 (Lion) or later. To run MPI, you must have MPI installed and mpd running in the background if you are running MPICH. You must also have the Developer Tools installed for the compilers to work.

Does FTranProjectBuilder come with a compiler?

No. FTranProject is designed to work with any Fortran compiler. FTranProjectBuilder will search for Fortran compilers on your Mac and let you choose both a default compiler and project specific compilers. This way you can switch compilers to choose the fastest for a particular code, or use one over another if you have code that includes new Fortran features not found in another.

What compilers does FTranProjectBuilder work with?

You can build and run Fortran codes with FTranProjectBuilder using any Mac Fortran compiler. Some compilers will require an environment variable to be set for them to be found. See the user manual and compiler notes. A comparison of the different Mac Fortran compilers can be found on our blog.

Where can I find a compiler?

You can download the free gfortran compiler at http://gcc.gnu.org/fortran/. It has a simple Mac installer and runs well on both Snow Leopard through El Capitan. For performance, you might want to install a commercial compiler like the Intel ifort, Absoft, NAG, or PGI compilers. These compilers are not free, but codes might run faster. Our fluid dynamics codes compiled with ifort run two and a half times faster than the same codes compiled with gfortran, ten times faster than g95. A comparison of the speeds of the six Mac Fortran compilers can be found on our blog.

Which version of gfortran should I use?

We do not recommend using any compiler before 4.6.2. (Download the latest from http://gcc.gnu.org/fortran/). Older versions may not be compatible with the latest versions of Xcode, may be missing libraries, and, of course, can be expected to have more bugs and fewer F2003/2008 features. gfortran is easy to install, and free, so there is no reason to use an old version!

When I check for updates, it always says “try again later” ?
Why does it say I am up to date when the web site says a more recent version is available?

With 10.11 El Capitan, Apple changed the rules. A fix is included in FTranProjectBuilder 2.4. Download the latest version manually from here. You will install as you did the first time. Your settings and preferences will not be affected.The automatic update will now work as before.

Why do I get a console message like: "File not found:/user/bin/make"?

FTranProjectBuilder, like the compilers, requires the unix command line tools to be installed. Apple does not install these by default. If you have never done so, or if you have upgraded the operating system, then you must install the command line tools manually. Instructions are given on Page 5 of the user manual. In short, you must download Xcode from the App store, go to Xcode's Preferences > Downloads and click the Install button for the Command Line Tools.

Why do I get a message like: : error trying to exec 'f951': execvp: No such file or directory" when I try to compile?

If you have recently updated Mac OS X and the command line tools, the version of your compiler is likely out of date. You should install the latest version of your compiler to ensure that it is compatible.

After updating my compiler FTranProjectBuilder appears to still use the old version. How do I get it to use the new one?

This is typically an issue with the gfortran compiler since there are many sources from which to download it. The problem is that different sources install the compiler in different locations, which means that you can end up with more than one version of the compiler at a time. This is not good. You can find out which version of the gfortran FTranProjectBuilder is using by including the -v option in the Compiler Flags. It will print out a lot of stuff, but you will see the version number and the path to the compiler, such as

COLLECT_GCC=/usr/local/bin/gfortran
gcc version 4.6.2 20111019 (prerelease) (GCC) 

which says that 4.6.2 is used from the version at /usr/local/bin/gfortran. An unfortunately typical situation is that an old version was installed some time ago in the not-recommended location of /usr/bin. If you then use a different installer that puts the compiler in /usr/local, the default is to use the old one. The ultimate fix is to remove the old compiler completely.

If you don't want to mess with the innards of these directories, FTranProjectBuilder has a workaround. Go to Preferences > General and add an environment variable. For the Name, type PATH and for the Value, type the path to where the installer put the new compiler, e.g. /usr/local/bin.

After setting the PATH variable, FTranProjectBuilder still uses the old compiler!

FTranProjectBuilder remembers the compiler that you used last (either default or selected) when you close a project or quit. Go to the Compiler Options tab in the Options Area and select the new compiler from the pull down list.

Does FTranProjectBuilder have a debugger?

No. At this point there is no integration with a debugger, which would require specific compiler integration. FTranProjectBuilder is designed to make it easy to switch compilers.

Will FTranProjectBuilder be sold on the Mac App Store?

This was the original plan, but Apple has announced that all Apps sold in the MAS must be sandboxed, meaning that Apps can only access files within their own directory. This is impossible for developer Apps like FTranProjectBuilder, which must access your Fortran compilers, make, the files in your project, etc. Should the policy change, we would like to sell in the Mac App Store. In the meantime, all of our Apps are signed with our Apple Developer ID and are compatible with OS X Mountain Lion's Gatekeeper security feature. We sell FTranProjectBuilder through FastSpring, which is used securely and safely by many independent Mac (and other) developers. We've bought software through them ourselves and find that they are easy to use. 

Why can't FTranProjectBuilder find my compiler?

FTranProjectBuilder searches the standard installation directories (e.g. /usr/bin) for compilers. If you have compilers that are placed in other locations, or if you have installed your compilers to nonstandard locations, e.g. /Applications, then be sure to set a PATH environment variable in the General preferences so that FTranProject can find the compiler. The Absoft and PGI compilers need the PATH variable set. See their installation instructions for what paths are set. See also the user manual and compiler notes and our blog post.

Is there a list of bugs somewhere?

Yes. We'll keep a list of known bugs and workarounds here. We try to update regularly so that bugs are fixed as they are reported.

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