TITLE: Hello from Montreal AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: December 09, 2006 1:08 PM DESC: ----- BODY: OOPSLA 2007 logo - embrace the beaver! Bienvenue de Montréal! My previous post was written on the plane to Quebec for the December OOPSLA'07 planning meeting. This year, I am communications chair for the conference, which means that I have a diverse set of responsibilities defined around "getting the word out". (Don't worry; I won't turn this blog into a conference shill.) This includes the design of the advance and final programs, as well as helping to shape the content and organization of the web site. I'm part of a team consisting of a graphic artist and a person focused on advertising, which is good, given my lack of skills in the former and lack of feel for the latter. My big challenge this year is to find a way to communicate the rich diversity of our program -- and it is richer and more diverse than any computing conference I know of -- to the people who should be at OOPSLA next year. We have all been talking about this for a couple of years, but now it's my job. How do I help attendees, especially newcomers, navigate their way through the conference? Someone this morning likened OOPSLA to Paris, a wild circus of ideas and events that can educate and enthuse and enlighten and entertain most anyone who cares about programs and the art of programming. It's a provoking analogy that I'll have to explore. For example, how do we help potential attendees find us as a "vacation spot" and plan their trip? As when I attended SugarLoafPLoP, I find the change in local language to be surprisingly disorienting -- even in a place where almost everyone speaks English as well as I. This exposes my parochial upbringing and my rather limited travel experiences as a professional. It probably also says a lot about a self-insularity that I need to break out of. EuroPLoP and ECOOP are calling me! Given that I'll spend a total of a couple of weeks over the next year among the Quebecois, I think that I should try to learn a little French beyond "oui", "merci", and "non parlez-vous Francais". When I went to Brazil, I set the too-ambitious goal of learning some conversational Portugese. This time, I will set the less imposing and more achievable goal of learning some vocabulary and a few key phrases. (My colleague Steve Metsker says that he sets the goal of learning 50 words in the local tongue whenever he travels to a new land.) At least I can learn enough to show Montreal residents that I respect their bilingual culture. the view of Montreal from Mont Royal I am not running ready to write a new installment of "Running on the Road" yet, but I am looking forward to starting my research. After a long few weeks at the office, three hard days in a row on the track, and a long day of travel, this morning found me resting peacefully. The great news about our location in downtown Montreal is proximity to the running trails along the Fleuve Saint-Laurent and in the wonderful Parc du Mont-Royal. I plan to run tomorrow's 12-miler on the trails of Mont Royal -- not climbing the mountain, but on a trail that circles near the base. Then Monday I'll try the trail along the St. Lawrence. My May visit will give me more opportunities to explore the possibilities. -----