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To Charlie Carter, Re: AISC

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I feel I owe you:

1.  A reply.

2.  An apology -- I apologize for offending you.  I have not attempted to
attack you personally, but I have some recent, serious, heartburn with
AISC.  I was told last week that one of my "serious" problems
(k-dimensions) originates with the mills, rather than AISC.    

3.  A perspective...  correct me if I err. 

The purpose of AISC is to promote the use of structural steel.  AISC is
largely funded by the American steel industry -- the mills and the
fabricators.  I understand that fabricators who are members of AISC pay a
fee based on the amount of steel that they sell

Very little structural steel is sold unless it is designed by a structural
engineer, and until it is detailed by a detailer.  

In response your question, "I mean really Fountain, what message am I
supposed to take when you say you spit when you say AISC? Shall I
categorically ignore your future request for help for fear of making you go
parched?", I ask that you listen to screams of agony from the design
profession when you hear them (and it seems you are).  

Case in point, every time an AISC database of member properties hits the
street, it *sells steel*.  Shouldn't AISC (the steel industry) consider
*paying* structural software writers a royalty for every copy they
distribute?  Penalizing the distribution (at no additional *cost* to AISC)
of a tool to sell steel is in conflict with the purpose of AISC. 
Penalizing the users of that tool is in further conflict with AISC's

The same applies to the AISC Manual, and every other resource you offer. 
Every time a structural engineer picks one up, he sells steel.

In 39 years, I have used every edition of the AISC Manual from the 5th thru
the 9th. I have designed (sold) *a lot* of structural steel.  I am offended
at the thought of buying the Manual from AISC, and having to pay AISC again
for the same information from my software vendor.  

I've seen some excellent suggestions on this list. Your most recent is a
good one.

"Going back to the bigger picture, it may soon come to pass that the only
cost you will have to bear for all the technical information we develop at
AISC is a membership in AISC. That's my idea about how to offer more value
to more people, while still breaking even as all non-profits that want to
stay in business must do. Even still in that system, I suspect an
alternative would be maintained where you could still choose to buy item by
item if you preferred.
I'd be interested in having some feedback on how this kind of a model would
be received."


Fountain E. Conner, P.E.
Gulf Breeze, Fl. 32561

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