Framework for the BoF

Will Deich (WDeich@NFRA.NL)
Tue, 17 Oct 1995 14:52:10 +0100

To all FADdists,

After one-and-a-half weeks of e-mail discussion we are pleased to observe
that the list has produced roughly what we expected from it, and perhaps
even a bit more. Although there has been very little actual discussion
(there never is), we have had some thoughtful contributions. Moreover,
isolated thinkers in various institutes around the globe have realized
that they are not alone in their concerns. But most important of all,
there are 54 people who will actually have thought about the subject
of our BoF before ADASS begins. Many of them will be listening to the
talks and looking at the posters in that particular context, and hone
the arguments they will bring to the BoF (which fortunately is right
at the end).

The next step is to provide a clear framework for what we want to
achieve at the BoF itself. Our point of departure is that rapid
changes in technology will force the astronomical software community
to change its ways. In particular, we believe that the old-style
monolithic package is doomed. However, we do not believe for a moment
that a BoF-mob will be able to come up with a clear and/or sensible
strategy for what the astronomical software community should or could
do collectively. We therefore propose the following Resolution:

1) The participants of the `futures' BoF session at ADASS'95 ask the
ADASS Program Organizing Committee (who else?) to appoint a small
committee to investigate how the astronomical software community can
best face the future, and to explore the (im)possibilities for
collective action.

2) This committee is to report its findings to ADASS'96.

3) The 4-6 members of this committee should be `shapers'. I.e. they
should have the right mix of knowledge (hands-on and up-to-date),
vision (progressive but realistic) and authority (others must follow
where they lead). Most likely, such persons are to be found in the
second rank of large software projects.

Apart from lending weight to such a resolution, the BoF participants
can suggest a suitable mandate for this committee. We will produce a
draft before the BoF session, but we would like to invite the loyal
subscribers to our FADS e-mail exchange to make their suggestions

We look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you at ADASS.
Will Deich
Jan Noordam