TITLE: Thinking Ahead to OOPSLA AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 10, 2007 5:53 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I haven't written much in anticipation of OOPSLA 2007, but not because I haven't been thinking about it. In years when I have had a role in content, such as the 2004 and 2005 Educators' Symposia or even the 2006 tutorials track, I have been excited to be deep in the ideas of a particular part of OOPSLA. This year I have blogged just once, about the December planning meeting. (I did write once from the spring planning meeting, but about a movies.) My work this year for the conference has been in an administrative role, as communications chair, which has focused on sessions and schedules and some web content. Too be honest, I haven't done a very good job so far, but that is a subject for another post. For now, let's just say that I have not been a very good Mediator nor a good Facade. I am excited about some of the new things we are doing this year to get the word out about the conference. At the top of this list is a podcast. Now, podcasts have been around for a while now, but they are just now becoming a part of the promotional engine for many organizations. We figured that hearing about some of the cool stuff that will happen at OOPSLA this year would complement what you can read on the web. So we arranged to have two outfits, Software Engineering Radio and DimSumThinking, co-produce a series of episodes on some of the hot topics covered at this year's conference. Our first episode, on a workshop titled No Silver Bullet: A Retrospective on the Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering, organized by Dennis Mancl, Steven Fraser, and Bill Opdyke, is on-line at the OOPSLA 2007 Podcast page. Stop by, give it a listen, and subscribe to the podcast's feed so that you don't miss any of the upcoming episodes. (We are available in iTunes, too.) We plan to role new interviews out every 7-10 for the next few months. Next up is a discussion of a Scala tutorial with Martin Odersky, due out on July 16. If you would like to read a bit more about the conference, check out conference chair Richard Gabriel's The (Unofficial) How To Get Around OOPSLA Guide, and especially his ooPSLA Impressions. As I've written a few times, there really isn't another conference like OOPSLA. Richard's impressions page does a good job communicating just how, mostly in the words of people who've been to OOPSLA and seen it. While putting together some of his podcast episodes, Daniel Steinberg of DimSumThinking ran into something different than usual: fun.
I've done three interviews for the oopsla podcast -- every interviewee has used the same word to describe OOPSLA: fun. I just thought that was notable -- I do a lot of this sort of thing and that's not generally a word that comes up to describe conferences.And that fun comes on top of the ideas and the people you will encounter, that will stretch you. We can't offer a Turing Award winner every year, but you may not notice with all the intellectual foment. (And this year, we can offer John McCarthy as an invited speaker...) -----