I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all those that have just joined us from The European C++ User Group. I hope that your first year with us will prove rewarding and satisfying.
Please try to find some way of actively contributing to the Association. We have a developing tradition of participation. You should not feel guilty because you do not have the time or skills to contribute but in the long term the health and well being of ACCU lies in the hands of its members.
Participation takes many forms. Writing for one of our publications is an obvious point of departure for many. Informative articles presenting a problem that your company seeks to solve with one of their products is acceptable (and we will even mention the company and product in a side bar) but pure hype of a product will simply result in an advertising bill. I actually believe that good well thought out informational articles from companies are a good way of enhancing a company's image. As tool users we like to know that tool providers understand our problems.
Programming experiences, product reviews and a little humour are all welcomed. The editor of Overload will make his more specific needs known.
Representing ACCU at exhibitions and shows, raising our profile by writing to magazines, including contact information in your email signature, mentioning us to your software and book suppliers are all positive methods of helping ACCU grow and prosper.
If you have the time to deal with problems that other users of a product may have then letting us publish contact information with an offer to help is most welcome.
As time goes by we will need speakers, meeting organisers and a vast range of other things that help to make an organisation such as ACCU beneficial to its membership.
Finally, you may remember that the original purpose of ECUG was to develop cost effective conferences. This has not been lost.
Indeed one reason for our absorption of ECUG membership into our own was to provide an effective structure for administration that did not rely on the good will of a single company's employees. By doing so we release the time and enthusiasm of those such as Mike Banahan and the committee members of ECUG to pursue the development of excellent cost effective conferences.
It is not clear at the moment whether such conferences will be run from within ACCU or merely strongly supported by us. I hope it is the former because I dream of the day when we have a strong union of national groups putting on regular cheap conferences (much as the world of Science Fiction does). The achievement of such a dream lies in the hands of people like you.
Now a brief word to those who are only receiving a complimentary copy of Overload because their membership of ECUG lapsed before we absorbed its membership. You will find a membership application form enclosed. On completion you will receive a copy of the disk that normally accompanies each issue of Overload. I believe that whatever your reason for not continuing your membership of ECUG you will benefit from joining ACCU.
Finally I thank Mike Banahan for all the work he has put into the two conferences that ECUG ran so successfully. I have some idea as to how much work was entailed. I hope that we will establish a long and successful partnership that will benefit all programming in C++ in Europe (and even elsewhere).