Phil Brashear wrote:
>I read in a message from some SIGAda person that it's now possible to have
>SIGAda membership without ACM membership.  If this is so, how is it
>accomplished?  (I'm just not convinced that the ACM is sufficiently in touch
>with the real world to be worth the money!)

PHIL (& OTHERS):  On 1 July 1998, ACM rules changed to allow an individual
to buy a Special Interest Group(SIG)-only membership without either joining
ACM (~$87) or paying the previous ACM surcharge for SIG-only memberships (=
~ 1/3 the basic ACM membership charge).  Now you can join any SIG(s) by
paying just its/their SIG dues, just $25 in SIGAda's case.

Revised SIGAda MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS reflecting the $25 SIGAda-only
option have appeared in recent Ada LETTERS issues (generally on the inside
back cover) and will continue to do so.  If you do not receive Ada LETTERS
and wish to take advantage of the $25 rate to join, visit SIGAda's website
(www.acm.org/sigada) and follow the link To Join.

If you are currently a member, you can effect the rate reduction on your
next annual renewal.  I do not know if the mailed ACM membership renewal
materials identify or accommodate the new SIG-only memberships (mine comes
up in April, so I haven't seen it yet); if they do not and a member wants
to drop ACM or the surcharge and pay just SIGAda's $25 membership fee, I
recommend you just cross out all unwanted fees, write in the total you want
to pay ($25 for SIGAda, > $25 if you want other SIG's too), and add a bold
annotation saying something like "TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ACM'S NEW SIG-ONLY
MEMBERSHIP OPTION."  Also be aware that if the mailed ACM renewal materials
still indicate that SIGAda members can pay extra for SIGAda's "Member+"
package, this is a mistake; we used to price the conference proceedings
separately as the only contents of our Member+ package, but henceforth the
proceedings will be a regular newsletter Ada LETTERS issue, so we offer no
Member+ option anymore.  Whether your renew as a full ACM member or a
SIGAda-only member, DO NOT PAY FOR SIGAda's MEMBER+ PACKAGE.

Note that $25 is approximately the production cost per member of one year's
worth of our Ada LETTERS newsletter (which becomes quarterly instead of
bi-monthly in 1999, with no reduction in page count as that annual
conference proceedings is now a regular issue, starting with the SIGAda'98
proceedings about to go into the mail).  If you are an Ada fan who is not a
SIGAda member or  if you are (or were) a member who questions the added
value of the extra ~$87 you have paid to also belong to ACM, this new $25
option is a bargain worth more than that price just based on Ada LETTERS,
especially considering that for the past 3 years SIGAda has included a free
Ada CD with one issue of Ada LETTERS annually.  (Twice, including the
upcoming proceedings issue, it was 2-disc editions of the Walnut Creek Ada
CD, a $40 commercial value, and once it was "Discovering Ada.")
Additionally, members get discounts of >= $75 on SIGAda conference
attendance & access to other member offers.


On a personal note, I encourage existing full ACM members to retain their
full ACM memberships.  First, the materials in the regular ACM publications
serve broad and varying interests, with probably something to fulfill the
needs of every computing professional serious about his/her career, field,
and technical community.  Additionally, ACM is playing important centrist
roles in ongoing national and international initiatives and debates such as
Government "regulation" of software and computing services, setting
standards or criteria for academic & industry certification & licensing of
institutions & individuals, and promoting continued evolution and upgrading
of our professional field to assure vitality and relevance of our field and
our colleages in the future.  To me, ACM membership is also a symbol of
support for these objectives  --  an investment in our field's and our
technical community's future.

On the other hand, those vaguer, broader objectives aren't for everyone;
or, the price of their support is too high for some serious professionals.
I presume that's why ACM wisely introduced the flexibility to belong and
support just the narrower ranges represented by individual SIG's.   So, now
you can join SIGAda and independently make the decision about investments
beyond SIGAda's $25 membership dues.

     -Hal Hart, SIGAda Past Chair