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Re: COMPCOMM: Summary of the Commissions requests for the

Dear Ton,

	I am addressing this letter to you as the chair of the Computing
Commission, but it is intended as an open letter to the whole Commission
and is copied to the COMCIFS discussion group for information.

	I am glad to see from Mealli's latest letter (Second Call) that
preparations for the IUCr Congress in Florence in 2005 are moving along
well, though I am surprised that the commissions are being gently blamed
for not providing program suggestions, as I had the distinct impression
from earlier correspondence, that the Program Chair was interested
only in names for the Program Committee at this stage, and did not want to
receive suggestions for the program itself until after the Program
Committee had been appointed.

	I wrote to the Program Chair earlier in my capacity as chair of
COMCIFS, requesting space in the program for open and closed COMCIFS
meetings, I was told that my request should be placed through one of the
commissions as they represent the full range of activities of the Union.
Since the Computing Commission is the obvious choice, I have been
following instructions, trying in a gentle way to make sure that the
Computing Commission provides a channel for COMCIFS' messages.  I assume
that this is the main reason I was asked to serve as a member of the
Computing Commission.

	Since we are now being asked for program suggestions for the
Florence congress, can I, as chair of COMCIFS, ask you, as chair of the
Computing Commission, to note COMCIFS' request for an open meeting or
possibly a microsymposium, and to make sure that this request is passed on
the Program Committee?  COMCIFS will organize the program for this meeting
which will focus on how CIF will help crystallographers get the most
our of the impending information revolution.  Over the past decade we have
prepared the groundwork with a potentially very powerful file structure.
We now need to get the message out to the community so that this
potential can be properly exploited by the programs the Commission members
are writing.  COMCIFS' activities are, I believe, highly relevant to the
work of the Computing Commission and we both should benefit at this stage
from closer collaboration.

	In previous Congresses, COMCIFS has organized its own open
meetings, but since COMCIFS is not a commission but a subcommittee of the
IUCr Executive Committee, we have never been consulted in the early stages
of program planning and our open meetings have always been scheduled as
last minute additions to the program.  I am hoping that at Florence the
interests of COMCIFS will be properly integrated into the program.  By
funnelling this request through the Computing Commission I hope we can
expand the traditional activities of the Commission by including more
of a focus on how the information revolution will affect crystallography.

	I am glad to see that the plans are shaping up for a Computing
School to be run in conjunction with the Congress and I would like to
suggest that this school include at least one lecture on the impact of
information technology on the future of crystallography.  I would see this
as a lecture that would interest all those attending the school, since the
students at the school will become the crystallographers who will have to
live with the changes that this new technology brings.  Such a lecture
would also provide some light relief from the School's more focused
emphasis on algorithms etc.

	I look forward to working with you to help integrate COMCIFS'
concerns into the work of the Computing Commission and trust that you will
be able to add our requests into the suggestions you make to the
Florence Program Committee.

			Best wishes


Dr.I.David Brown,  Professor Emeritus
Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research,
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tel: 1-(905)-525-9140 ext 24710
Fax: 1-(905)-521-2773