Field widths almost demand intimacy with the input data – across all possible ranges, even. It was probably easier to punch them from cards or prepared, with all significant digits accounted for, from another trusted program. The stored and subsequent printing of inputs can vary greatly, mostly from these elements:
- user-punched decimal or not ?
- read() field width for FORMAT is Fx.0 or Fx.y ?
Here is sample output from reading in two numbers with different field widths:
And a summary of observations:
- blanks do not become zero
- gaps are collapsed
- arguments are “numbers on a card” and nothing more