Editorial, March 2010

[A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…]
it has been a long time since I sat down and wrote an editorial for the ALP newsletter. But did not forget about our beloved audience – you, dear logic programmer – and finally the ALP Newsletter is back, and it is here to stay.

First of all – what happened during the last year? After several discussions, within the ALP Executive Committee and the newsletter team, it became clear that the previous model of publication had become outdated – requiring an excessive amount of work and, as result, causing delays that frequently caused the news items to be… well, just not that “new” any longer.

Thanks to the the help of a new co-Editor (Agostino – see also his welcome message below) we move forward to re-invent the structure of the ALP Newsletter.
The newsletter that you are now looking at is radically different. We have moved to a content management system that will enable quick updates and quick turnaround time in producing the newsletter. Even more important, we expect news to be posted on the newsletter not just once every three months (as we used to do in the past), but on a continuous basis. As a result, the quarterly digest that the ALP members will receive represents simply a summary of all the materials that have been posted on the CMS over a 3-month period.

Even more important, the CMS will enable the audience of the newsletter to comment on the postings – and we hope that this will enable a greater participation of the community to the life of the newsletter. Of course, we, as editors, will reserve the right of moderate the discussions (so, if you have a large inheritance from a former african king that you would like to transfer abroad, please don’t use the newsletter to solicit help…).

Naturally, we expect a few hiccups at the beginning and we hope that you will help us in ironing them out. And we always welcome your comments and suggestions on how to improve this new version of the newsletter. Please remember, this is YOUR newsletter, so help us making it the best and most effective tool to serve our LP community.

Some more news… we have a brand new team on board! I would like to personally say my heartfelt “THANK YOU” to our previous team of editors (Roberto, Paolo, Brigitte, Eric, Frank, C.R., Fariba, Francesca, Son, Agostino, and Axel) that have assisted me during the last few years. Their service and dedication to the newsletter and to the LP community have been commendable.

Last but not least… I would like to pass to transfer the keyboard to my new partner in crime, Agostino Dovier, the new co-Editor-in-Chief for the ALP Newsletter.

[… Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire… ]

Hi all. We’re trying to build a space bridge between the hidden rfainy base of Udine to the sunny one in Las Cruces to embrace the entire Logic Programming comfmunity.

More seriously, I reacted enthusiastically to the possibility of helping the logic programming community as newsletter co-editor. I need to start by asking you to accept my apologies for the choices of the colors of the WordPress theme. Of course I will be glad to consider new themes if someone of you will prepare nicer ones.

As Enrico has anticipated, we would like to add the possibility of posting information like, e.g., call for papers and call for positions as soon as you’ll send us them by email (these infos are useless a month later).

Although originally coming from a rather theoretical research area, close to computable set theory, I have always tried to apply logic programming techniques on real applications. I believe that doing that is a fundamental task for making logic programming widely popular. Performances of the recent Answer Set Solvers and the consolidated results of the CLP framework can definitely help for this task. For this reason the report of any new successful application in any area is absolutely welcome in the newsletter.

We strongly encourage you to write brief reports of meetings (possibly with links to the pdf of the presentations and/or photographs of the event).

Other contributions (technical, surveys etc.), as in the past are to be sent to the proper area editor (the new list will be appear in this CMS in the following weeks).

OK, I think it’s time to leave you. We must hurry to register to ICLP 2010. As many of you know this is the first edition of the post Springer era. Proceedings will be published by Theory and Practice of Logic Programming. But this is another story. We’ll develop it in the June issue.

March  2010,

Enrico Pontelli & Agostino Dovier

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