FortranUsage of Modules

Module syntax

Module is a collection of type declarations, data declarations and procedures. The basic syntax is:

module module_name
  use other_module_being_used

  ! The use of implicit none here will set it for the scope of the module. 
  ! Therefore, it is not required (although considered good practice) to repeat 
  ! it in the contained subprograms. 
  implicit none

  ! Parameters declaration
  real, parameter, public :: pi = 3.14159
  ! The keyword private limits access to e parameter only for this module
  real, parameter, private :: e = 2.71828

  ! Type declaration
  type my_type
    integer :: my_int_var
  end type

  ! Variable declaration
  integer :: my_integer_variable

! Subroutines and functions belong to the contains section
contains

  subroutine my_subroutine
    !module variables are accessible
    print *, my_integer_variable
  end subroutine

  real function my_func(x)
    real, intent(in) :: x
    my_func = x * x
  end function my_func
end module

Using modules from other program units

To access entities declared in a module from another program unit (module, procedure or program), the module must be used with the use statement.

module shared_data
  implicit none

  integer :: iarray(4) = [1, 2, 3, 4]
  real :: rarray(4) = [1., 2., 3., 4.]
end module


program test

  !use statements most come before implicit none
  use shared_data

  implicit none

  print *, iarray
  print *, rarray
end program

The use statement supports importing only selected names

program test

  !only iarray is accessible
  use shared_data, only: iarray

  implicit none

  print *, iarray
  
end program

Entities can be also accessed under different name by using a rename-list:

program test

  !only iarray is locally renamed to local_name, rarray is still acessible
  use shared_data, local_name => iarray

  implicit none

  print *, local_name

  print *, rarray
  
end program

Further, renaming can be combined with the only option

program test
  use shared_data, only : local_name => iarray
end program

so that only the module entity iarray is accessed, but it has the local name local_name.

If selected for importing names mark as private you can not import them to your program.

Intrinsic modules

Fortran 2003 introduced intrinsic modules which provide access to special named constants, derived types and module procedures. There are now five standard intrinsic modules:

  • ISO_C_Binding; supporting C interoperability;
  • ISO_Fortran_env; detailing the Fortran environment;
  • IEEE_Exceptions, IEEE_Arithmetic and IEEE_Features; supporting so-called IEEE arithmetic facility.

These intrinsic modules are part of the Fortran library and accessed like other modules except that the use statement may have the intrinsic nature explicitly stated:

use, intrinsic :: ISO_C_Binding

This ensures that the intrinsic module is used when a user-provided module of the same name is available. Conversely

use, non_intrinsic :: ISO_C_Binding

ensures that that same user-provided module (which must be accessible) is accessed instead of the intrinsic module. Without the module nature specified as in

use ISO_C_Binding

an available non-intrinsic module will be preferred over the intrinsic module.


The intrinsic IEEE modules are different from other modules in that their accessibility in a scoping unit may change the behaviour of code there even without reference to any of the entities defined in them.

Access control

Accessibility of symbols declared in a module can be controlled using private and public attributes and statement.

Syntax of the statement form:

!all symbols declared in the module are private by default
private

!all symbols declared in the module are public by default
public

!symbols in the list will be private
private :: name1, name2

!symbols in the list will be public
public :: name3, name4

Syntax of the attribute form:

integer, parameter, public :: maxn = 1000

real, parameter, private :: local_constant = 42.24

Public symbols can be accessed from program units using the module, but private symbols cannot.

When no specification is used, the default is public.

The default access specification using

private

or

public

can be changed by specifying different access with entity-declaration-list

public :: name1, name2

or using attributes.

This access control also affects symbols imported from another module:

module mod1
  integer :: var1
end module

module mod2
  use mod1, only: var1

  public
end module

program test
  use mod2, only: var1
end program

is possible, but

module mod1
  integer :: var1
end module

module mod2
  use mod1, only: var1

  public
  private :: var1
end module

program test
  use mod2, only: var1
end program

is not possible because var is private in mod2.

Protected module entities

As well as allowing module entities to have access control (being public or private) modules entities may also have the protect attribute. A public protected entity may be use associated, but the used entity is subject to restrictions on its use.

module mod
  integer, public, protected :: i=1
end module

program test
  use mod, only : i
  print *, i   ! We are allowed to get the value of i
  i = 2        ! But we can't change the value
end program test

A public protected target is not allowed to be pointed at outside its module

module mod
  integer, public, target, protected :: i
end module mod

program test
  use mod, only : i
  integer, pointer :: j
  j => i   ! Not allowed, even though we aren't changing the value of i
end program test

For a public protected pointer in a module the restrictions are different. What is protected is the association status of the pointer

module mod
  integer, public, target :: j
  integer, public, protected, pointer :: i => j
end module mod

program test
  use mod, only : i
  i = 2   ! We may change the value of the target, just not the association status
end program test

As with variable pointers, procedure pointers may also be protected, again preventing change of target association.