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I would like to make a comment on the introduction that appeared in the November 1977 issue to the paper 'Teaching towards an improved understanding of structural behaviour' by D. M. Brohn and J. Cowan.
This paper aims to present a state-of-the-art review of the use of computers in RC detailing and scheduling. It concentrates on the various aspects of the use of computer programs and of their incorporation in the design process rather than on the merits of their engineering content. It finds that the reason for the number of such programs being small may be the difficulty and cost of initial adaptations to their use.
Some aspects of the design process, as applied to calculations for reinforced concrete structures, are considered. The benefits of an interactive system of design as a means of employing computers in this process are discussed and it is concluded that such a system requires only the use of a small computer. The DECIDE system, written specifically for small machines, is described briefly as an example of how design calculations for reinforced concrete may be written into an interactive system.