> < ^ Date: Tue, 08 Jul 1997 13:23:53 -0700
> < ^ From: Charles Wright <wright@math.uoregon.edu >
< ^ Subject: Contributions to GAP

Dear GAP Forum members:

The GAP Council was formed in 1995 to provide broad policy advice for the=
future development of GAP. One of its roles is to encourage the creation=20
and distribution of materials of value to users and potential users of=20
GAP, including not only share packages and library programs but also=20
other products, such as single-purpose programs and instructional=20
materials that take advantage of GAP. The Council has recognized from the=
first the desirability of sorting such contributions in a systematic way,=
so that users can be aware of materials that are not available as part of=
the standard GAP distribution. In addition, the Council has been=20
exploring ways in which major contributions can be given appropriate=20
professional recognition.

For over a year now the GAP teams at Aachen and St. Andrews have been=20
developing and gaining experience with procedures for organizing and=20
recognizing contributions. You probably already know the general plan=20
from the description in Joachim Neubueser's Interim Report of December=20
1995 (available from the GAP Web page) and from the brief explanatory=20
paragraphs on the GAP Authors, GAP Share Packages and GAP Contributions=20
Web pages. At its June 1997 meeting in Oberwolfach the Council reviewed=20
and approved the scheme as it has been implemented, established for the=20
record the category of "formally accepted" contributions, and agreed upon=
the following procedures for submitting and organizing externally=20
generated materials.

Contributors should place all materials in the directory
/pub/gap/incoming at ftp-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk, with notification to
the GAP Support Team at gap@dcs.st-and.ac.uk. Submissions should
include brief descriptive abstracts, and should have enough
documentation to explain their purpose and their use. Test input files
and examples of usage are also highly desirable. =20

If the materials are not being submitted for formal acceptance, the
GAP Support Team will run basic checks, such as ensuring that the
subject matter is germane to GAP, that programs are compatible with=0D G=
AP protocols, and that they run (though not necessarily correctly).
The Team will then place the materials in the appropriate subdirectory
of /pub/gap/gap/deposit. The current subdirectories are: =20

/gap Gap-language routines that perform various tasks;

/external External C routines that have some facilities to link to=20

>GAP, and GAP code to link to external routines;

/ports Binary ports to other systems or compilers;

/util       Utility routines;

/doc Documentation that is not suitable for the manual;

/teaching About the use of GAP in instruction.

Materials submitted for formal acceptance as part of the GAP
distribution, typically share packages or proposed additions to the
GAP library, will undergo an additional review resembling the
refereeing process for journal articles. The author of such a
contribution should begin the process by notifying the Chair of the
GAP Council that the material has been placed in /pub/gap/incoming and
is ready to be reviewed. As with submitted journal articles, authors
will have the option during the review process of withholding their
contributions from being made public in the /deposit directory.

Upon being notified of the author's intent, the Chair, acting as
editor-in-chief, will designate a member of the Council as the
associate editor responsible for the submission. The associate editor
may draw upon the services of additional referees, including experts
familiar with the programming issues involved, to determine whether
the material is suitable for formal acceptance or to recommend
revisions. Once the responsible editor concludes that the contribution
is ready to be part of the GAP distribution, it will be announced to
the GAP Forum and listed on the GAP Web page, and the materials will
be included in the next appropriate release of GAP.=20

The intent of the formal review process is not only to encourage the =0Ddev=
elopment of the best possible GAP materials but also to provide=20
authors with recognition for their professional contributions. The=20
Council hopes that it will be possible in the future either to have=20
formally accepted materials covered by Mathematical Reviews and the=20
Zentralblatt or to associate them with articles that will be reviewed.=20
Meanwhile, the process itself will provide some evidence of quality and=20

The Council is actively seeking contributions, not only for formal=20
acceptance, but also for all the /deposit subdirectories. If you have=20
materials that might be suitable, please consider making them available=20
to the whole GAP community. Please also feel free to write directly to=20
any member of the Council about possible contributed materials or about=20
any other GAP-related matters of which the Council should be aware.=20
Council members' names and current mail and email addresses are posted on=
the GAP Web page.


Charles Wright, Chair,
For the GAP Council=20

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