Minutes of the BCS Fortran Specialist Group AGM 1995

The 1995 Annual General Meeting of the BCS Fortran Specialist Group was held at 7 Mansfield Mews, London, at 11.00am on 18th October 1995.

 Miles Ellis Oxford UniversityVice-Chairman
Mike GearyNAG Ltd
Edward GoltonDRALTreasurer
Martin HarmanRoke Manor Research
Chris LazouHiPerCom Consultants LtdChairman
Zohair MaanyNAG Ltd
David MironAustralian Nat. University
David MuxworthyEdinburgh University
Mike NunnRetired
John ReidRAL
John YoungAWE Blacknest

1.0 Apologies for absence:
Carol Hewlett & Peter Crouch

2.0 Minutes of Last AGM:
The minutes of the last AGM held on July 11th 1994 were accepted and signed by the Chairman. It was decided that for future AGMs to re-circulate the minutes of the previous AGM with the meeting calling notice.

3.0 Matters Arising:
3.1 The Chairman, Chris Lazou, would be very pleased to hear from a BCS member willing to carry out secretarial work for the group.
3.2 BCS HQ has indicated that officers of specialist groups must be members of BCS. In exceptional cases a special dispensation can be sought from Chair of Technical Board.

4.0 Chairman's Report:
4.1 The Chairman tabled his circulated report and answered queries. He then reported that the next Technical Board meeting will be at Birkbeck College 18th December. The agenda for this meeting was changed into a brainstorming session to discuss (i) ideas on how specialist groups can better interact with the rest of the BCS and (ii) how they can collaborate with other groups to become more effective. Up to 3 members (preferably officers or activists) from each specialist group can attend. If you are interested contact Chris Lazou.
4.2 There was some discussion on the proposal to the Technical Board about altering the criteria of how the £500 annual allocation from BCS is to be decided in the future. The meeting expressed concern of any loss of funds.

5.0 Membership Secretary's Report:
5.1 Membership is looked now after by E. Golton, the Treasurer, who gave us a report.
5.2 Answering a question about the Fortran Group's size the Treasurer reported that there were 168 members at present of whom 109 were members of the BCS.
5.3 Miles Ellis proposed that non-members who failed to pay the £10 fee should be deleted from the mailing list. After some discussion it was decided the Treasurer is to monitor the financial situation and take appropriate action, in collaboration with BCS HQ who hold the mailing list, when deemed necessary.

6.0 Treasurer's Report:
The Treasurer (Ted Golton), talked the meeting through the Group's annual accounts, which were accepted. He pointed out that three separate accounts are operated by the group viz. (i) Gold Account (run by BCS and pooled with funds from other groups), (ii) Current Account (which includes subscriptions) and (iii) HQ Account (which was credited with £500 from annual BCS allocations). These money can only be used to buy services from BCS HQ such as defraying mailing costs and renting a room for meetings.

7.0 Election of Officers:
All officers resigned and an election took place for new officers. The new elected officers are:

 Chairman Chris Lazou:Re-elected unopposed
Vice-ChairmanMiles Ellis:Proposed, Seconded and elected
TreasurerEdward Golton:Re-elected unopposed
SecretaryVacant:No one was willing to serve. Chairman would welcome anyone wishing to be seconded.

8.0 Any Other Business:
8.1 A retirement card for Les Russell, a long standing member, was circulated for signing by AGM attendees. We all wish him well in his new life situation.
8.2 David Muxworthy would welcome any input from anyone in the group about the future of Fortran. These can be used for BCS pages on the WWW and articles to journals.
8.3 The Fortran Specialist Group has agreed to pay for an Internet Address using the BCSNET Gold. This is likely to be: Fortran@bcs.org.uk, and we aim to provide information and navigation paths on the WWW for accessing the latest information on Fortran standard activities. Watch this Space for further developments.
8.4 NAG are proposing a major European Fortran event to be held in the spring of 1996 to coincide with Fortran 95 standard. The aim is to promote the use and availability of Fortran. The Chairman said this event was timely and the meeting agreed to sponsor it.

NOTE: Since the AGM, the Fortran Futures'96 event will be at the RAMADA Hotel, Heathrow, on 25 & 26th April 1996. Contact Robert Iles at NAG Ltd. or Peter Anderton at Visual Numerics for further details.

9.0 Date of Next AGM::
The next AGM will be held on 22nd May 1996.

10. Afternoon Talks:
John Reid gave a talk on the proposed exception handling package. (See enclosed report).
This was followed by Miles Ellis who gave a status report on Fortran 95 and the projected schedule for progressing towards Fortran 2000. A summary of this is reproduced here.

1. As reported previously Miles Ellis is Convenor of the ISO committee WG5.

2. What is WG5 doing currently in the area of Fortran?

  1. It is responsible for Fortran Standard development
  2. Maintaining Fortran 90
  3. Developing Fortran 95
  4. Preparing for Fortran 2000

It is also responsible for the supplementary standard on varying character string extensions and the technical report on portable floating point.

3. Fortran 90:

  1. The Fortran 90 standard was found to have some errors. So far there have been two corrigenda issued and a third and final one will be published during 1995. The latter is expected about the same time as the DIS for Fortran 95 standard.
  2. Fortran 95 will include all Fortran 90 as amended by the three corrigenda documents.

4. Fortran 95:

  1. Unlike previous Fortran standards, this time WG5 is responsible for the development of Fortran 95 and has appointed the X3J3 ANSI committee as the primary development body to develop the Fortran 95 standard. The key change is that WG5 is responsible for determining what Fortran 95 will contain whereas X3J3 will develop the language definition text.
  2. The overall content of Fortran 95 was decided in 1993. The aim was to have a small revision of Fortran 90 with a major revision deferred for Fortran 2000.
  3. The draft Fortran 95 has been submitted to institutional ballot and approved with some comments. WG5 is meeting in November to process these comments and passed on to X3J3 for implementation. The intention is that Fortran 95 should go to a final ISO ballot in April 1996 and a likely date for publication of the new standard is October 1996.
  4. It should be noted that Fortran 95 is a relatively minor evolution of Fortran 90 and also provides interpretation of areas of uncertainty.
  5. Compared with Fortran 90, a few things have been deleted from Fortran 95 including the PAUSE statement, Real and Double Precision DO control variables, the ASSIGN statement, etc.
  6. Features in Fortran 95 designated as obsolescent (which may therefore be deleted from Fortran 2000), include arithmetic IF, STATEMENT functions, DATA statements, Fixed Form source code, assumed size arrays etc.

5. Technical standards:
WG5 philosophy is that development of new Fortran standards should not be held up because of urgently required new features. Instead ISO Technical Reports of Type 2 should be used for the latter to bring desirable features.

6. Distribution of language drafts:
WG5 is moving towards electronic distribution of all documents via the Internet. Paper copies are limited to one per country for local copying if desired.

7. Comments on Fortran 95 and Ideas for Fortran 2000:
David Muxworthy had sought comments on Fortran 95 and ideas on Fortran 2000 from BCS Fortran Group. He would welcome your input. David is chair of the BSI Panel which represents the UK view at ISO Ballots. It is very important that your views are taken on board.

Minutes taken by Mike Nunn, typed by Chris Lazou:
20th November 1995.

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