Mon, 01 Nov 2004
OOPSLA essays track
The program chair for OOPSLA 2005, Richard P. Gabriel, wants to shake
things up. As part of that he's going to institute an Essays track,
and I will be program chair for that track. I'm hunting for people to
serve on the committee.
The essays don't have to be original research, the usual OOPSLA
fare. Instead, they'll be of two types.
Richard describes one as "the first draft of your Turing Award
lecture". The Turing Award, as the highest honor in computer science,
comes with the obligation to produce a speech, usually of the sweeping
nature expected from an elder in the field. We're looking for essays
of that sort: a survey of breadth and experience, telling the field
something about itself, making tacit assumptions and habits explicit.
Essays from outsiders who are deeply experienced in a different field,
have some knowledge of ours, and can come to us and say, "It's so odd
that you do X, because we in field Y do that sort of thing completely
differently". These essays should shake us out of our ruts.
To that end, I'd like to get committee members from both inside and
outside the field. When they come from inside, I'd like them to have
serious knowledge of some outside field. I welcome suggestions.
## Posted at 09:38 in category /oopsla
Show, don't tell
As an editor for Better
Software magazine, I sometimes give authors the old
fiction-writers' advice "show, don't tell". The writer Robert
J. Sawyer has written a
nice, short essay on it (though I think the first example
I particularly like this essay because it itself shows how the maxim
applies to nonfiction writing. Sawyer begins with an introduction
to the idea, sketching out the rule. Then he shows a
series of negative and positive examples, presenting both and then
offering commentary. He shows, then tells.
P.S. As always, I need writers for some department articles. They
For more, see my magazine FAQ.
From the Front Line: a story of a (software development)
problem you faced, what you did about it, and what you
generalize from the experience. This is an especially good slot
for novice writers. I enjoy helping such people, and I believe
them when they say I do a good job of it.
Bug Report: the story of some software failure. The
Report describes the failure and delves down into its root cause.
Tool Look: your experience using some tool. This isn't a
full-fledged tool evaluation. The idea is to pique the reader's
interest in a tool you think useful.
The official timing for the
next open slot has a first draft due November 15, but I have some
slack to slip that.
## Posted at 08:50 in category /misc