> < ^ Date: Wed, 09 Jul 1997 09:36:57 -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 and distribution of materials of value to users and potential
users of GAP, including not only share packages and library programs
but also other products, such as single-purpose programs and
instructional 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 exploring ways in which
major contributions can be given appropriate professional recognition.

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

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
GAP 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:

/gap Gap-language routines that perform various tasks;

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

>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.

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

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


Charles Wright, Chair,
For the GAP Council

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