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A programmer might wish to dictate the distribution format for some axes of a template while leaving to the language processor the choice of distribution format for other axes. The specific suggestion would allow a dist-format to be empty. For example, !HPF DISTRIBUTE A(BLOCK,,*,) ONTO SCORPROCS would dictate BLOCK distribution for the first axis and on-processor distribution for the third axis, leaving the choice of distribution formats for the second and fourth axes to the compiler.
An alternate suggestion was that, as there was no precedent in Fortran 90 for such syntactically empty list items, some explicit token such as ? should be chosen.