Now, that’s it. The program for the upcoming Eclipse Summit Europe 2010 is final. In a few days, maybe even only hours you will be able to see the conference schedule. More than 240 e-mails have been sent after Anne pushed the “Big Button” this afternoon letting people know if their submissions where accepted or not. 242 submissions is a new all time record for ESE after 206 proposals from last year. I think this is great! And I want to thank everybody who submitted something, especially those people whose talks were now rejected. I know that many people are now unhappy about their talk being not in the program. In fact, I already got some messages indicating that only minutes after the mails where send out. Obviously, people are curious to know why their session has been rejected and asked for more transparency. So I will try to explain a bit what has been going on and how we (this is Boris Bokowski, Christine Mitterbauer, Doug Clarke, Ed Merks Peter Siwon and myself) came up with the program which is now online.
In most of the cases the talks were not rejected because of their quality but because of the lack of rooms and time. ESE is a three-day low-cost conference. In the location we have 5 rooms which can hold 40 to 730 people. The first day is reserved for tutorials and symposia. Each tutorial and symposia is scheduled to be 4 hours. This year we can offer interesting 5 tutorials in the morning and 4 great symposia in the afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday are then classical sessions where one room is reserved for sponsored talks. Sponsored talks are as well technical sessions, sometimes with, sometimes without advertisement. They are necessary to keep the fees low.
On Wednesday we start at 9:00 in the morning; the last session closes at 6:30 followed by a poster reception and BoFs which you can propose on site. On Thursday we again start at 9:00 and close at 16:00 as many attendees need to catch their trains or plains to get back home again. This gives us a bit more than 11 hour of technical content for those two days all together (given that we need some breaks and food in between as well J). In order to keep the conference fees minimal we can only give away a very limited amount of free passes. We as the program committee decided that we want to have as many sessions possible, but still allow the speakers to have enough time to deliver insightful presentations. This is why we decided to have 8 long talks (50 min each) 52 short talks (lasting 25 min) and no lightning talks. This decision had to be made even before the submission system was opened. Now you know the cornerstones on which our decisions are based on.
As in recent years we had 5 categories – E4, Embedded, Modeling, Runtime and Other / New & Noteworthy. Although we had a fairly large spreading on the number of submission per category (Other/NN had the most, followed by Modeling) we wanted to have roughly the same amount of talks per category. Later, as the program continued to shape this changed a bit, but in general I think this idea is still very much reflected in the program. In total we had to decide for 60 talks out 240 submissions which means that we could only accept 1 out of 4! The criteria to accept a talk was to attract as many people as possible. This means that we tried to figure out what is currently of high interest in the community, which projects have been very active during the last year and thus can tell a story, which speakers are known to deliver great presentations, where are new projects with high potential which are currently only known to few people, … But in addition to that we wanted to have some real user stories in. We think that this as well adds high value if people know not only *how* things can be done but also get some inspirations on *what* can be done with Eclipse technologies. And maybe even the committers (so the people typically giving the presentations) can have some take-away from that and know where they or their projects can improve. I am grateful for having Boris, Christine, Doug, and Ed with me on the PC this year. Everybody of them is deeply involved in the Eclipse community and has deep insights into the projects and the very diverse Eclipse ecosystem. Together we managed in about 20 conference calls and many, many hours of work to read carefully through all submissions, to bring them into an order, to discuss them where we had different opinions, to ask for clarification where necessary and finally, to decide on what we think will be the best program for this year. Being a member of the program committee is for sure an honor but it is as well a lot of work, so once again, kudos to all PC members and thank you for the time you invested. At this point I’d also like to thank Anne for helping us with the various organizational issues we had to discuss and deal with.
I hope you got some insights on how we worked, how we made our decisions and maybe as well why we took them that way. With the many great submissions I think we could have easily filled another 2 days. If your talk was rejected this time don’t give up and give it a try next time again. Or maybe you want to do a poster presentation? The submission system for that is still open. Your next chance for a talk is EclipseCon 2011. The more proposals a conference gets, the harder the job of the program committee is but as well, the better the program will end up.
By the way, have you noticed that we will have 3 exiting keynotes this year? I am really looking forward to every single one of them. And not only to them Hope to see you all at ESE again to have some fun!