Minutes of the BCS Fortran Specialist Group AGM

Held at BCS London Office, First Floor, The Davidson Building,
5 Southampton Street, London, on 8th June 2006.

The 2006 Annual General Meeting of the British Computer Society Fortran Specialist Group was held at 11.00 am on Thursday, 8th June 2006.

Present:  Ian ChiversRhymney Consulting
Peter CrouchRetired
Phil DysonSpecialist Groups Officer BCS HQ
Sam EllisTechnical Enabling Services (MoD)
David MuxworthyBSI Fortran convenor
John PelanUniversity College London
John ReidJKR Associates
Jane SleightholmeKings College London
John YoungInternational Seismological Centre (ISC)

(i). Apologies for absence:

Apologies for absence were received from Lynne Sturgess (BCS HQ), Sammani Abdullahi and Philip Kraven.

(ii). Minutes of previous AGM:

The minutes of the 2005 AGM were accepted as a correct record. The minutes were approved unanimously (proposed by David Muxworthy, seconded by Ian Chivers).

(iii). Matters Arising:

(1) The JISC e-mail list still appeared to be alive - John Reid would attempt to rectify this.

(2) Peter Crouch had intended to give a presentation to the Specialist Groups Assembly on Fortran - this would fit in with the 50th anniversaries of both the BCS and Fortran - Peter Crouch would discuss this with BCS.

(3) The possibility of using Fortran in the BCS programming competition was discussed - a response had been received from BCS HQ asking for system requirements for a Fortran compiler - Sam Ellis would discuss this with BCS again.

(iv). Chairman's Report:

The Chairman's report was tabled. The Chairman drew attention to a number of topics:
(1) Refinement of the requirements for the next revision of the Fortran language (to be known as Fortran 2008) was continuing - John Reid and David Muxworthy would describe this later - and the chairman thanked John and David, and other members of the group who had been involved, for their efforts.

(2) There had been some correspondence between David Muxworthy and the Guardian regarding some negative comments on Fortran that had appeared in the Guardian Technology Section.

(3) The meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the first Fortran compiler by IBM, in collaboration with the Computer Conservation Society, would be held at the BCS London offices on Thursday 25th January 2007.

(4) Despite agreement at the 2005 AGM that the Group would start charging a fee for membership of the Group to those who were not members of the BCS this had not happened - this would be discussed later on with the Membership Secretary's report.

The report was approved unanimously (proposed by John Young, seconded by John Reid).

(v). Treasurer's Report and SG Development Fund Report:

The Treasurer gave a verbal report and presented the accounts for the year. The key points to note were:
(1)With the accounts now being handled by BCS HQ the Treasurer had had little to do during the year, other than checking claims for expenses before forwarding these to HQ.

(2)There had again been a small deficit on the accounts for the year.

(3)The accounting requirements placed on the BCS by the Charity Commissioners had some implications for the way Specialist Groups handled their finances. The system whereby the Group could keep a surplus within its own accounts had been removed and any spending from these surpluses had to be part of the overall spending budget of the BCS. This meant that each Specialist Group had to submit an annual budget estimate at the beginning of each financial year. A budget for the Group had been prepared for 2006-2007 and was presented with the accounts.

The report was approved unanimously (proposed by David Muxworthy, seconded by John Young).

David Muxworthy (in his role as BSI Fortran Convenor) presented a report on the Specialist Groups Development Fund Programme.

The report was approved unanimously (proposed by John Young, seconded by John Reid).

(vi). Membership Secretary's Report:

With the Membership Secretary (David Briggs) not being present Peter Crouch presented a summary report that provided a breakdown of the membership.

A lengthy discussion regarding charges for membership of the Group followed. Lynne Sturgess (BCS HQ) had provided details of the benefits obtained from being a member of a Specialist Group. Previous discussions had suggested a charge of £10 for affiliate membership - Phil Dyson said that a charge of £20 gave BCS Affiliate membership, which gives access to many of the BCS resources. As there were 118 non-BCS members in the Group the BCS policy of paying £20 should be put to these 118 people. In previous discussions John Young had not been keen on the suggested charge of £10 but Phil Dyson said that the paying members were subsidising the non-paying members. Sam Ellis and John Reid believed that the FSG ought to follow the BCS policy. This prompted Peter Crouch to suggest a charge of £20 to non-BCS members providing there would be no burden on the FSG officers - i.e. BCS HQ would handle the membership lists and process the payments. This was unanimously accepted (proposed by John Reid, seconded by John Young). Peter Crouch would liaise with Phil Dyson, who would provide a suitable letter to be sent out explaining BCS policy and the benefits obtained from membership of the FSG.

(vii). Web Editor's Report:

The Web Editor, Peter Crouch, presented his report for 2005-2006.
Phil Dyson enquired as to whether Peter had seen the proposed future changes to the Society's main website - to which Peter replied that he had not but would look at them shortly.

The report was accepted unanimously (proposed by David Muxworthy, seconded by Ian Chivers).

(viii). Election of Officers:

All the officers resigned and elections for new officers took place. There had been no nominations before the AGM and John Young proposed Peter Crouch as Chairman for another year and this was unanimously accepted (seconded by Ian Chivers).
The Chairman proposed that existing officers should stand again. In addition he suggested that the other attendees (Jane Sleightholme and John Pelan) should be co-opted onto the committee as "members without portfolio". Both proposals were accepted unanimously. For the committee members not present (David Briggs and Alistair Mills) it was suggested that a vote should be taken on their standing with the Chairman contacting them afterwards to obtain their agreement. This was accepted unanimously (proposed by John Reid, seconded by Ian Chivers).

The offices for the year 2006/2007 are thus:

ChairmanPeter Crouch
Vice-Chairman & Archivist  David Muxworthy
SecretarySam Ellis
Membership SecretaryDavid Briggs
TreasurerSam Ellis
Web EditorPeter Crouch
Standards OfficerJohn Reid
Committee MembersIan Chivers
Alistair Mills
John Pelan
Jane Sleightholme
John Young

(Since the meeting Alistair Mills has stepped down from the committee.)

(ix). Future activities of the Group:

The two main activities that had been planned to take place (the Fortran Golden Jubilee meeting in January 2007, and the ISO WG5 meeting to be held in the UK in July/August 2007) were discussed.

An agenda for the Fortran Golden Jubilee meeting had been developed and this was reviewed. John Young wished to add some items, including the possibility of the Meteorological Office presenting on the "Climate Prediction.net" program that was written in Fortran. It was proposed to cut the lunch interval down to one hour, and use BCS internal catering. Peter Crouch undertook to discuss payment for the lunchtime catering with BCS. John Reid mentioned that he had discussed attendance at the meeting with Malcolm Cohen of NAG Ltd.

With regard to the ISO WG5 meeting bookings had been made at BCS London offices and we were awaiting confirmation. The possibility of the Group hosting an evening reception was raised and Jane Sleightholme would investigate the use of the Western Room at Kings College in Chancery Lane. A half day trip (for example a river trip) as part of the meeting was discussed - David Muxworthy felt that time should not be taken from the meeting and that trips could be done in the evenings. It was decide that the Group reception would be held at Kings College with a river trip being separate from the meeting and Jane Sleightholme and Ian Chivers would check timings for the river trips.

(x). Any Other Business:

There was no other business.

(xi) Date of next Annual General Meeting:

The date of the next meeting was discussed and Thursday June 14th 2007 was agreed.

This concluded the formal AGM business and the meeting was closed.

After a break for lunch, two presentations were made:
(1) The language features that have been chosen for Fortran 2008: co-arrays, intelligent macros, bits, ... by John Reid, ISO WG5 convenor.
(2) Experiences with free and open source Fortran 95 compilers by Peter Crouch, FSG Chairman.

The chairman thanked everyone for coming, in particular the speakers. He hoped that the meeting had been useful and that the reports would be posted on the website with the minutes.

Comments on this or any other of the Group's pages should be sent by email to the FSG Web Editor.
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Last modified: Wed 9 Jan 2013 19:08:59