I did not imagine twelve months ago that I would become Chairman of this Group and hence be responsible for writing this report. The past year has been an important one in the development of the Fortran language. I am proud to have played a very small part in the process by formally leading this Group through which funding is channelled to support UK participation in the international standardisation process. I hope that I and the Group will continue to be able to serve the Fortran community in the same way over the next twelve months.
The details of the funding arrangements and the participation it allowed will be outlined by David Muxworthy in his report on the Specialist Groups Development Fund. This afternoon John Reid will describe what has been achieved in the last twelve months in the development of Fortran 2000 and what is planned for the next eighteen months.
We agreed at last year's AGM that we should hold a meeting to publicise the release of the draft Fortran 2000 standard for public comment and to give Fortran users an opportunity to hear about the new features and changes being introduced and to comment on them. The meeting took place on October 30 2002 at the London University Senate House. Unfortunately it was not well attended, with only 25 delegates registering, but I believe those who did attend found it worthwhile and the comments made were taken forward to the subsequent meetings of the ISO WG5 committee. I hope that my organisation of the event did not play a large role in the poor attendance!
As you will see from John and David's reports a great deal of effort has been put in by the UK participants in the Fortran standardisation process and I should like to take this opportunity to formally thank them all on behalf of the Fortran user community.
For several months I have been waiting to announce the availability of a BCS e-mail list server facility for members of the Group as part of the Society's BCS Connect service. Now it is available and members should have received an e-mail reminder of this AGM. If you did not please ensure that you have an up-to-date e-mail address as part of your membership information held by the Society. See the Contact Us page on the BCS web site for more details
On the wider Society front there has been considerable discussion in the last few months about the proposed changes to the Society's governance and membership rules and regulations. The proposals will be put to an Extraordinary General Meeting later this year and I urge all eligible members to exercise their voting rights either in person or by proxy, whether you are in favour of the proposals or not. These are important changes so do not let apathy be the winner!
I wish to thank all the members of the Committee for their assistance in the smooth running of the Group over the last year, especially David Muxworthy, who is standing down at this meeting from the roles of Secretary and Treasurer. David has been associated with the Group since its formation in 1970 and has agreed to continue to share his experience with us by remaining a member of the Committee. Thank you very much, David, for all your work on behalf of Fortran and the BCS FSG.
If anyone reading this report has any comments about the Group and its activities which they were unable to make at the AGM please contact me, see our web pages for details.
Finally I would like to draw your attention to the presentations which will follow the AGM this afternoon. I have already mentioned that we will be updated on "Progress on Fortran 2000". Following that we have two presentations relating to "modernising" well established Fortran applications. I hope all three talks will help us modernise the image of Fortran as well!
5th May 2003