Editorial, September 2010

By Agostino Dovier and Enrico Pontelli

Dear LPers,
Welcome to the new issue of the ALP Newsletter. We have been busy over the summer working on refining and enhancing the new version of the newsletter, and we are excited about this new communication media for the ALP community.

The summer has been busy with several interesting and fairly unique events. The 26th International Conference on Logic Programming took place in Edinburgh, with an outstanding program, the opportunity to interact with researchers participating in the other events associated to FLoC, and the fascinating setting of Scotland. This year we also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Italian Association of Logic Programming (GULP); the anniversary was recognized during this year International Conference on Computational Logic (CILC) and celebrated with a Springer volume. In this issue of the newsletter you can find reports from some of these events (including two perspectives of the latest Prolog programming competition). Another important event that took place during the summer was a workshop celebrating the 60th birthday of Maurice Bruynooghe (see the report in this issue of the newsletter).

During ICLP, we witnessed several discussions concerning the development of web sites, repositories, and portals dedicated to logic programming. Let us try to summarize here some of the most relevant efforts – and please contribute with the “blog” capability below if you feel we have forgotten something.

The Association for Logic Programming maintains its official web site, located at http://www.logicprogramming.org/. The ALP Executive Committee approved a grant for “revamping the web pages” (and, possibly, changing its style). We are looking forward progress in this area.

If you are reading this editorial you are aware of the new website of the ALP newsletters (http://www.cs.nmsu.edu/ALP). After an initial delay, search engines like Google are finally detecting our new Newsletter site (thanks also to the help of Marcello Balduccini and Bart Demoen, who introduced new links from the old Newsletter site). We are monitoring accesses using google analytics and we are happy to report you that we can count more than 1200 visits in 6 months (with an average of 4.6 pages per visit). Thank you for your interest in what we are doing.

Planet Prolog (http://people.cs.kuleuven.be/~tom.schrijvers/PlanetProlog/) is a very active blog created and maintained by Tom Schrijvers, where various issues related to logic programming are freely discussed.

A quick search of the terms ‘logic programming’ in Google returns some fairly confusing results. The first link returned is to the definition of logic programming in Wikipedia. We had several discussions (sparked by Bob Kowalski) in the previous issues of the newsletter concerning the inadequacy of the Wikipedia entry; it does include a link to the ALP site, but its content appears to be old (and rather biased…) and the links are baffling.
The link to the ALP web site is only the fifth in the returned list of results – this probably denotes the need of revamping the ALP site, to make it more useful and interesting to the broader community.

A search for the term ‘ALP’ returns a wide variety of unrelated results. We have discovered the existence (close to Udine) of the Aquileia Linux Project (a cultural association promoting the diffusion of computer science and of the free software) as well as the Association of Laureati (graduated) from the Politecnico (of Milan). They also maintain their own ALP Newsletter (http://www.polilink.polimi.it/go/Home/English/ALP-Alumni-Society/ALP-Newsletter). Of course there are plenty of associations related to ALP mountains (caves, climbing, mountain biking,…) Our intended meaning of ALP is marginal to the real world.

We have created a Link section in the ALP Newsletter web site (http://www.cs.nmsu.edu/ALP/links/) that we will populate with other relevant references, as they become available; please send us your suggestions.

Let us conclude this Editorial with a couple of notes. First of all, we have recently moved the ALP Newsletter mailing list to a new mailing list management system. We would like to confirm our promise that such newsletter will be used exclusively for the distribution of the Newsletter digests (4 times per year), and for very rare official ALP notifications (mostly related to the ALP elections). The traffic on the mailing list will be extremely low and will not spam your mailboxes.
Second, please take advantage of the comment capabilities provided by our content management system; if you have comments, suggestions, additions to any of the postings, please do not hesitate to leave a note.

As usual, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

‘Till the next one…

Agostino & Enrico