For example, a subroutine designed to sort an array of character strings into ascending order might start with specification statements like these:
SUBROUTINE SORT(NELS, NAMES) INTEGER NELS CHARACTER NAMES(NELS)*(*)Alternatively the actual argument can be a character variable or substring. In such cases it usually makes more sense not to use the passed-length mechanism. For example an actual argument declared:
SUBROUTINE SPLIT(LINE) CHARACTER LINE(4)*20
Although this is valid Fortran, it is not a very satisfactory programming technique to use a procedure call to alter the shape of an item so radically.