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Perception of WoTUG and occam and transputers


As a committee member of WoTUG I am seeking information about how an issue
affects you (if at all) and what your thoughts are on it. I am asking you 
because occam-com is the closest WoTUG has to an email list for its 

At the Twente conference the name WoTUG was brought up by some of the
delegates as being a stumbling block to getting funding and achieving academic
acceptance. They proposed that we should therefore change the name to
something less problematic, for example "Occam User Group -- OUG"[2] or
possibly "Communicating Process Architecture Society". No alternative name is
especially favoured at the time.  Reasons to do this included a perception
that we are still stuck with 80's viewpoint and technology (transputers) and
that we were playing with a dead language (occam). This is to some extent
based on the knowledge of how the name WoTUG used to be derived.

Opposition to changing the name, notably from some on the committee, includes
the brand recognition we have developed over the years (about 10) and the fact
that the world is now finally catching up with the transputer concept[3]. Some
people have noted that more recent generations of researchers have latched on
to transputers and occam very well and without negative connotations. It is
also important to recognise that difficulties do exist in selecting an
appropriate internet domain name and redirecting visitors looking for WoTUG to
look for X instead (and not just on the internet).

Please note that it is as useful to know that this issue is not important to
you as knowing that it is.

There has been some really exciting things happening in recent times; the work
done on CSP and FDR has been really promising and the teams at Kent and Twente
have shown us what can be done when you try: we on the committee want to take
this impetus and run with it, but concerns about perception don't help.  
Please Help us to make occam, CSP and the work derived from them as well known
in their field as SQL and relational databases are in the database world!

My thanks for your time,

Ruth Ivimey-Cook
WoTUG Treasurer.

1] If you would like to comment on WoTUG-managed email lists or policies
please feel free. And if this mail doesn't get to people you feel should 
comment, do pass it on.

2] OUG was the name the group had until Inmos requested that we change it.

3] There are 2 recent highly parallel chips based on transputer-like cells --
one from ?Intel, one from picoChip, both recently developed, and many of the 
supercomputers of today borrow much from the ideas.

Ruth Ivimey-Cook
Software engineer and technical writer.