Minutes of the BCS Fortran Specialist Group AGM
Held at 11 Mansfield Street, London, on 19th May 2004.
The 2004 Annual General Meeting of the British Computer Society Fortran
Specialist Group was held at 11.15am on Wednesday, 19th May 2004.
|Present: ||Ron Bell||AWE|
|Peter Crouch||Department for Work and Pensions|
|Sam Ellis||Defence Procurement Agency (MoD)|
|Carol Hewlett||London School of Economics|
|Chris Lazou||HiPerCom Consultants Ltd|
|Alec Matsner||Amrusoft Ltd|
|John Pelan||University College London|
|John Reid||JKR Associates|
|John Stephens||BCS HQ|
|John Young||AWE Blacknest|
The chairman asked John Stephens to introduce himself - John is the BCS Specialist
Groups Officer and he had set himself the target of visiting half of the
Specialist Groups this year and the AGM provided an ideal opportunity to visit the
(i). Apologies for absence:
Apologies for absence were received from David Briggs, Paul Brodie, Miles Ellis,
Martin Harman and David Muxworthy.
(ii). Minutes of previous AGM:
The minutes of the 2003 AGM were accepted as a
correct record. The minutes were approved (proposed by John Reid, seconded by
(iii). Matters Arising:
The only matter arising concerned Dr Abdullahi of UAE University, who had offered
to be the Group's representative in the Middle East and Africa (raised under Other
Business at the 2003 AGM). Peter Crouch reported that he had checked with BCS HQ
about official BCS representation, and had replied to Dr Abdullahi thanking him
for the offer but that there could be no official authorization for a
representative but we would be happy if he could pass on information about the
Group and the Society in general when opportunities arose. Since then there had
been no further correspondence with Dr Abdullahi.
(iv). Chairman's Report:
The chairman's report was tabled. The chairman drew
attention to a number of topics:
(1) The attempts to raise the profile of Fortran and increase awareness of the
publication of the Fortran 2003 standard later this year. Despite the efforts,
including publication of an article in The Computer Bulletin, there were still
many people asking "Is Fortran still alive?", and it was felt that
this should be one of the priorities for the Group in the coming year.
Chris Lazou commented that remarks such as "Dinosaurs like Fortran" were
still being made by some. There was a general view that a new article could be
published when the Fortran 2003 standard was published. John Stephens suggested
that it might be useful to make a presentation on Fortran at the next Specialist
(2) Members of the Group had continued to play a major role in UK participation
in the Fortran standardization process and the chairman gave formal thanks to
David Muxworthy and John Reid for their efforts.
(3) The new governance and membership structure of the BCS had been approved. One
of the new grades of membership, SG Affiliate, would affect the Fortran SG and the
group would need to decide what level of subscription, if any, non-BCS members
would pay. This would be covered under item (v).
(4) Other changes in the Society's structure needed to be reflected in the Group's
constitution and the proposed section on Finances was included in the Chairman's
report. These changes would be covered under item (viii).
There was a long discussion about the audit of the Records of Account, including
comment from John Stephens that BCS HQ were looking at the matter. The proposed
changes with regard to finance were modified to remove the need for a formal audit
prior to presentation of the accounts at future AGMs and the chairman stated that
he would liaise with BCS HQ to keep up to date with their deliberations.
The modified report was approved (proposed by Alistair Mills, seconded by John
The chairman thanked all colleagues for their assistance throughout the year. John
Young in turn thanked the chairman for his efforts.
(v). Treasurer's Report and SG Development Fund Report:
The treasurer presented accounts for the year, and the
chairman presented the SG Development Fund report
(provided by David Muxworthy in his role as BSI Fortran Convenor).
The treasurer described briefly the accounts. The full accounts, completed on
forms provided by BCS HQ, filled six sheets with another sheet added specifically
for the Group and the key pages were provided for the AGM. The Group had a surplus
of £566.80 in the year and the main expenditure had been on supporting UK
participation at ISO WG5 meetings. In addition to the accounts the treasurer made
six recommendations (mainly for the benefit of the new treasurer) and had prepared
a forecast for the coming year's activities.
The chairman described briefly the contents of the SG Development Fund report. The
main point covered the funding provided by BCS HQ for the BSI subscription for
2004 and funding for three people (David Muxworthy, Jane Sleighthome and Ian
Chivers) to attend the May 2004 WG5 meeting and funding of travel costs within the
UK to allow a representative to attend the quarterly BSI IST/5 meetings.
A discussion followed regarding the return of surplus funds to BCS at the year
end, and the various sources of funding. John Stephens stated that, contrary to
the statement in the SG Development Fund report, surplus funding for special
projects carries forward and does not go back to BCS HQ. Chris Lazou commented
that historically money had not come from BCS, but was raised from events and he
welcomed BCS support.
John Reid formally thanked BCS and stated that is was very useful for UK input to
the Fortran standardization effort, which would otherwise be dominated by the US -
the UK pulled over it's weight with the number of proposals only being bettered by
the US. Peter Crouch stated that he considered the support for standardization was
one of the major roles for the Group.
John Stephens stated that the Group needed to apply for funding to cover the cost
of Group representatives attending the BCS SG Assembly as this could be obtained
from BCS central funding. The treasurer added this as a seventh recommendation to
John Stephens also stated that much of the work of the treasurer would be
eliminated as in future BCS HQ will handle accounts centrally. This would also
remove the need for the Group's bank account as the Group's treasurer would
authorize payment and forward items to BCS HQ for them to pay. This centralized
accounting meant that some of the outgoing treasurer's recommendations would not
The subject of a membership fee for SG Affiliates was discussed. Chris Lazou
stated that the Group used to charge a fee but this had been dropped partly
because of the hassles involved in chasing the fees. John Pelan enquired as to
what an affiliate would receive in return for his fee and John Stephens took an
action to provide a definitive answer for inclusion in the minutes. He added that
although a fee was not currently compulsory it was likely to become so. A charge
of £10 per year was proposed (by Peter Crouch, seconded by John Young) and was
carried with 6 votes for and 2 abstentions. Peter Crouch declared that this would
start from the beginning of May.
The two reports were accepted (proposed by Chris Lazou, seconded by John
(vi). Membership Report:
The chairman asked the secretary to obtain a report from the membership secretary
for inclusion in the minutes.
(vii). Web Editor's Report:
Copies of the web editor's report were handed out, to
be read by members in their own time. Peter Crouch stated that
statistics were available from the Group website
and questions regarding the report or the statistics should be forwarded to him
John Reid asked a question regarding the difference between "unique" and
"once". An explanation was provided by John Young but John Reid felt
that the terminology used could be clearer and suggested that it should be
(viii). FSG Constitution:
The suggested changes to the Group's constitution
were presented. These included the clause on finance already discussed under item
(v) and replacement of a clause regarding representation on Technical Board with
a new clause dealing with attendance at the BCS Specialist Groups Assembly.
The revisions to the constitution were proposed by Peter Crouch, seconded by Chris
Lazou, and was accepted with 8 votes in favour, 0 against.
(ix). Future activities of the Group:
Formal discussion of this item was deferred until item (xii) when the date of the
next meeting was discussed after Any Other Business. Informal discussions took
place over lunch.
(x). Election of Officers:
All the officers resigned and elections for new officers took place. There were no
nominations before the AGM and with the exception of the treasurer, who was
standing down the current officers agreed to stand again. Peter Crouch was
proposed as chairman, with Sam Ellis proposed as both secretary and treasurer
(proposed by John Reid, seconded by John Young) and they were elected by 8 votes
to 0. All other officers were proposed by Chris Lazou, seconded by John Young, and
were elected by 8 votes to 0. Alistair Mills, who had stood down as treasurer,
because he would be abroad for the next few years, was voted onto the committee as
an ordinary member so that he could be of assistance when he was available. The
offices for the year 2004/2005 are thus:
|Vice-Chairman & Archivist ||David Muxworthy|
|Membership Secretary||David Briggs|
|Web Editor||Peter Crouch|
|Standards Officer||John Reid|
|Committee Member||Alistair Mills|
(xi). Any Other Business:
John Stephens said that the autumn BCS Specialist Groups Assembly would be held
on the 13th October. As mentioned in the discussion under item (ii) this may be
a good opportunity to raise the profile of Fortran.
(xii) Date of next Annual General Meeting:
The date of the next meeting was discussed, with a view to holding it after the
next WG5 meeting, due in the second week of May 2005. John Reid thought that it
would be more beneficial to hold a special meeting before WG5 met as this would
allow members of the Group to provide input to WG5. It could be smaller than the
Forum held in October 2002 and hence would not require the same level of effort.
The meeting would allow 20 to 25 people to meet around early March 2005 to provide
an opportunity to comment on the language (considered more likely to cover the
features not in Fortran 95, rather than reaction to features in Fortran 2003 as
several years are expected to pass before the new features are available in
compilers). This proposal was adopted leaving the AGM to be held towards the end
of May 2005 (a few weeks after the WG5 meeting).
This concluded the formal AGM business and three presentations were then
"Progress on Fortran 2003 and the Technical Report
on Enhanced Module Facilities" presented by John Reid, ISO WG5
"The Future for Fortran" by David Muxworthy,
but presented by John Reid, and
"Using Fortran on Microsoft Windows" presented by Alistair Mills.
The chairman then closed the meeting. He thanked everyone for coming, in particular the
speakers, and David Muxworthy. He hoped that the meeting had been useful and said
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 e-mail to the BCS FSG Web Editor, Peter Crouch, at firstname.lastname@example.org