Minutes of the BCS Fortran Specialist Group AGM 2008

Held at BCS London Office, First Floor, The Davidson Building,
5 Southampton Street, London, on 12th June 2008.

The 2008 Annual General Meeting of the British Computer Society Fortran Specialist Group was held at 11.00 am on Thursday, 12th June 2008.

Present:  Mandy BauerBCS HQ
John CollinsSimCon & Liverpool Hope University
Peter CrouchRetired (FSG Chairman)
Sam EllisDefence Equipment & Support (MoD)
Ian HounamNAG Ltd.
David MuxworthyRetired (BSI Fortran Convenor)
Clive PageUniversity of Leicester
John PelanUniversity College London
John ReidRutherford Appleton Laboratory (ISO WG5 Convenor)
Jane SleightholmeFortranPlus
John YoungInternational Seismological Centre (ISC)
Afternoon only attendees
Peter DzwigConcertant LLP
Nick MaclarenUniversity of Cambridge

(i). Apologies for absence:

Apologies for absence were received from Sammani D. Abdullahi (University of Qatar), John Barr (The 451 Group), Ian Chivers (Rhymney Consulting), Martin Harman, (Roke Manor Research Ltd) and Andrew Kaliazin (University of Cambridge).

(ii). Minutes of previous AGM:

The minutes of the 2007 AGM were accepted as a correct record. The minutes were approved unanimously (proposed by David Muxworthy, seconded by Ian Hounam).

(iii). Matters Arising:

(1) The JISC email list was now closed.

(2) The possibility of using Fortran in the BCS programming competition had been investigated but the competition had not taken place since 2005 and hence this item was considered closed.

(iv). Chairman's Report:

The Chairman's report was tabled. He drew attention to a number of topics:
(1) A number of activities relating to the Fortran 50th anniversary took place during the second part of 2007. These included a panel discussion entitled 'Fortran is 50' held at the Supercomputing 07 Conference in Reno, Nevada. As no one from the Group had attended this meeting and there had been no feedback on the panel John Reid undertook to find out how the discussions had gone.

(2) The August 2007 meeting of the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 Fortran committee was hosted by the BCS London Office on behalf of BSI.

(3) A number of contentious issues had been put forward by BCS HQ regarding SGs. These included the requirement for all SGs to adopt the SG Model Constitution. This would be discussed under item (viii) of the agenda.

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

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

The Treasurer, Sam Ellis, presented the accounts for the year and gave a verbal report. The key points to note were:
(1) The SG had underspent by approximately £1700 with the majority of this being for the ISO SC22 meeting in Las Vegas in February 2007.

(2) A budget proposal for the SG for 2008 had been put together and submitted to BCS HQ in January 2008. This had been returned with a request to reduce the budget for the ISO WG5 meeting in Tokyo (due to take place in November 2008) to only support one delegate rather than three delegates as "It is considered inappropriate for BCS to continue support at that level". The budget proposal had been revised and the approved budget is shown with the 2007 accounts.

A discussion of the budget followed. David Muxworthy though that the Group had been extremely well supported by BCS in the past and was not surprised that the previous level of support would not continue. A list of the number of Group members who would attend the meeting in Tokyo was made. With support from BSI for John Reid and David Muxworthy and funding from employers for Malcolm Cohen (NAG Ltd) and Steve Morgan (Liverpool University) it was decided that funding for one more delegate would need to be found from elsewhere. It was also decided that the Group would aim to stay within its overall budget but would look at reallocating within the budget to support this delegate to some level.

(3) A new form for claiming travel expenses had been received from BCS HQ. This would be circulated. The Treasurer also asked that any one making a claim should sent him an email to avoid the problem of forms being received and "filed away out of sight", which led to a delay in processing and payment.

David Muxworthy (in his role as BSI Fortran Convenor) presented a report on the Specialist Groups Development Fund in support of Fortran Standards. This covered the two ISO Fortran meetings and the public comment period for the draft standard which was now open.

These reports were approved (proposed by John Pelan, seconded by Jane Sleightholme).

(vi). Membership Secretary's Report:

The Membership Secretary, Peter Crouch, presented his report. This explained the activities undertaken to try to get non-BCS members to join the Society and provided a comprehensive analysis of the membership of the Group.

John Pelan asked how many Fortran SG members were not members of other SGs as he thought that this information might support the Group's budget proposals. (The information has subsequently been provided by BCS HQ staff. At the beginning of July 2008 108 BCS members and 85 non-BCS members were not members of any other SGs, out of a total of 167 BCS members and 108 non-BCS members of the Group as a whole.)

The report was accepted unanimously (Proposed by John Young, Seconded by John Reid).

(vii). Web Editor's Report:

The Web Editor, Peter Crouch, presented his report for 2007-2008. BCS HQ had not required any changes to the layout of the Group's web pages but several updates of the content had been made. These included Fortran 2007 activities and membership activities as mentioned in the Membership Secretary's report.

Clive Page made a comment regarding the visibility of SGs on the BCS website. Although Google finds the SGs they are not easily found directly through the BCS website.

The report was accepted unanimously (proposed by Jane Sleightholme, seconded by David Muxworthy).

(viii). Adoption of SG Model Constitution:

Sam Ellis and Peter Crouch gave a brief history of the SG Model Constitution. There had been considerable discussion of the draft put forward by BCS HQ at the SG Assembly in April 2008. The most contentious issue had been the requirement that all SG members should be members of the BCS. As a result of the discussions it was not clear if the "model" constitution had to be adopted unchanged or if individual SGs could tailor it to suit their circumstances. David Muxworthy and Sam Ellis had made a number of changes to the draft, which had been returned to BCS HQ with a request for clarification as to whether this was to be "the" constitution or a "model" constitution.

As no clarification had been received from BCS HQ, Peter Crouch had taken it as a model constitution and produced a version that seemed appropriate to the Fortran SG. This was compared to the existing constitution and a discussion on the documents followed. Two changes were proposed to the wording of clauses 5.1 and 5.6 regarding the membership of the SG Committee to allow any members of the Group to be committee members. Clause 6.1 was changed to allow the Group's AGM to take place in May or June as it had been for the past few years.

Clive Page asked what would happen to non-BCS members if we adopted the new constitution as is and it was decided that no change should be made to the wording as it did not matter what happened and so there was no point mentioning them. (See also the revised Membership Secretary's report.)

Peter Crouch proposed that the Group adopt the modified document. This was seconded by John Young and was unanimously accepted.

(ix). Election of Officers:

All the officers resigned and elections for new officers took place. There had been no nominations before the AGM. The Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Web Editor, Archivist, and Standards Officer were willing to stand again. A proposal by Peter Crouch for John Young to be Vice Chairman was seconded by John Reid and a proposal by Jane Sleightholme for John Pelan to be Membership Secretary was seconded by Ian Hounam. Ian Chivers and Jane Sleightholme were nominated as ordinary committee members. Under the new constitution all were duly elected. The committee for the year 2008/2009 is therefore:

ChairmanPeter Crouch
Vice-ChairmanJohn Young
SecretarySam Ellis
TreasurerSam Ellis
ArchivistDavid Muxworthy
Standards OfficerJohn Reid
Membership Secretary  John Pelan
Web EditorPeter Crouch
Committee MembersIan Chivers
Jane Sleightholme

The Chairman thanked the outgoing Vice-Chairman, David Muxworthy, for his advice and support over the last five years.

(x). Future activities of the Group:

The BCS HQ Outreach initiative, the organisation of events for a wider audience than the Group's membership, was discussed with a view to promoting the use of Fortran and raising the profile of the Group and the Society. A proposal by John Collins for a series of presentations on Fortran (to cover the updating of old Fortran codes to take advantage of the new features of Fortran) was discussed. It was decided that the Group needed to decide what should be presented, who should present, and where these presentations should take place. John Collins thought that there would be a "market" for these presentations in the aerospace industry.

(xi). Any Other Business:

There was no other business.

(xii) Date of next Annual General Meeting:

The date of the next meeting was discussed and Thursday June 11th 2009 was agreed.

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

After a break for lunch, a number of presentations were made:
(1) Peter Dzwig of Concertant LLP spoke about "Multi-core processors - the end of programming as we know it?"

(2) John Reid, ISO WG5 convenor, summarized the new features of the draft Fortran 2008 standard.

(3) David Muxworthy, BSI Fortran convenor, presented on the public discussion of the draft standard to date, which provided an introduction to the following discussion of the draft.

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


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Last modified: Wed 2 Nov 2011 09:30:23