Dear GAP Forum,
The announcement below from the Queen Mary Design Theory project may be
of interest to those of you working on block designs ("properties"
include group theoretical ones), as well as those interested in
electronic formats for mathematical objects.
I have written a GAP package "Design" for the construction,
classification and analysis of (not too large) block designs, and this
package can read and write block designs in the proposed XML format, as
well as generate and write (in this format) combinatorial and group
theoretical properties of these designs. This package makes use of
GRAPE and the XML parser in GAPDoc. I plan to make the Design package
publicly available and to submit it for refereeing after the release of
GAP 4.4 and GRAPE 4.2.
Regards, Leonard Soicher.
A standard format for block designs and their properties ========================================================
(A proposal and an invitation for public debate)
At DesignTheory.org we are developing a web-based Design Theory Resource
Server for combinatorial and statistical design theory. These resources
will include an online database of designs, an Encyclopaedia of Design
Theory, and software packages for the generation and analysis of
designs. We hope to address the needs of both researchers and
practitioners of design theory.
One critical element is our XML format to represent designs and their
properties in a standard platform-independent manner. This will allow
for the straightforward exchange of designs and their properties between
various computer systems, including databases and web servers, and
combinatorial, group theoretical and statistical packages. The XML
format will also be used for outside submissions to our design database
and to store designs in perpetuity.
Our initial development is in the area of block designs, and we invite
you to read and comment on our proposal for the External Representation
of Block Designs, available online at:
Please send your comments (and follow-ups) exclusively to:
This is a mailing list to which you are welcome, although not required,
to join. Alternatively, you can follow the discussions through the
public archives of the list. For further details, please visit:
We will finalize the XML format for block designs after sufficient
public debate, after which we shall release GAP , R , and Python
 software for block designs. We are committed to the open source
model and all products of our development will be released to the public
free of charge.
We shall also start developing a database of block designs, and look
forward to your contributions (in the XML format) to this database.
Please feel free to forward this announcement to anyone you think may be
 GAP - Groups, Algorithms and Programming
 The R Project for Statistical Computing
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