TITLE: That's a Wrap AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: November 12, 2008 6:57 AM DESC: ----- BODY: I have posted all of my reports from the 2008 SECANT workshop. In sum, SECANT is a worthwhile community-building effort. It brings together such a mix: academia and industry, different disciplines, and different kinds of schools, from large Big Ten and other R-I universities down to small liberal arts colleges. This one of the reasons why I love OOPSLA, but this venue provides a smaller, more intimate setting. (Of course, while SECANT lies at the intersection of computing -- and especially programming -- OOPSLA's domain is really Everything Programming, which is even better.) The workshop was again a great source of ideas and inspiration for me. This seems like a good use of a relatively small amount of money by NSF. The onus is now on us participants... Will we do the work to grow the community? To develop courses and materials? To transform our institutions and disciplines. A tall order. As for being done with my reports, I feel a small measure of pride. Sure, last year, I posted my final workshop report only five days after the workshop ended, and this year I'm at eleven days. But my report on SIGCSE -- from March -- is still incomplete, with two entries on top: a general description of a panel on bringing the joy and wonder back to CS, and a more detailed report on one of the presentations from that panel, by Eric Roberts. Is there a statute of limitations on blog entries? Has my coupon to post on that panel session expired? If I were Kent Beck, I'd probably call this long delay a "blog smell" and write a pattern! For me, blogging suffers from a stack-of-ideas phenomenon. I have ideas, and they get pushed onto the to-blog list. Sometimes, I have more ideas than time to write, and some ideas get pushed deep in the stack before I get a chance to write them up. Time passes... And then I look back at the list of ideas, and most feel stale, or at least no longer have their original hold on my mind. I currently have three levels of "blog ideas" folders, and each one contains a bunch of ideas that I remember wanting to write now -- but which now I feel no desire to write. Sounds like it's time for a little rm -r *.* Going to a conference only makes the stack-of-ideas problem worse. The sessions follow one upon another, and each one tends to stir me up so much that I push even the previous session way back in my mind. That's one advantage of a 1.5-day workshop over a several day conference like SIGCSE or OOPSLA: the scale does not overflow my small brain. Do readers care about any of this? Is SIGCSE stale for them? Perhaps, and I figure anyone who was wondering what went on in Portland has likely found the information elsewhere, and in any case moved on. But the topic of the unwritten entry may not be stale yet, so hope remains. To return to the beginning of this blog, on the end of my SECANT reports: I hope you get as much from reading them as I did writing them. -----