Editorial: Is There Anybody Out There?
Does anybody read the notices we send out inserted in Vector?
APLers who organise meetings, write articles or edit magazines need to know what you think and what you want. After a while we will have commissioned all the articles we can think of that we really want to read and organised all the meetings with the speakers we most want to hear. When that time arrives we don’t know what to do next unless you tell us.
When we ask you and not one person suggests a speaker or subject (there was one offer to speak!) we get worried. What would you do?
What Sort of Conference?
One prominent member of the APL 96 committee has suggested to me that the traditional APL conference is dead and that what is needed is something much more organised than a tidy arrangement into streams of the papers that fall through the letterbox onto the doormat. “What we need is workshops.”
Is it true that the number of papers submitted for review is steadily declining? Is it true that the number of delegates paid for by their employers is steadily declining? Is it true that the importance of APL skills is declining relative to those skills needed to control the operating system? Should APL conferences contain Windows workshops? (Once I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life learning a new word processor every six months; now I think I may have to learn a new operating system every year.)
Who can provide the information needed to enable conference planners to do a good job? All the conferences have been run by SigAPL so they ought to be able to do this.
It would also be nice to know, for each conference, how many exhibitors there have been (and how much money they contributed), how many nationalities attended, how bookings were distributed between the earliest and the latest (this is really vital for people doing the financial planning) and a whole lot of other things which any intelligent person could suggest. If someone at SigAPL would do this we will be glad to print it in Vector. (Or to read it in Quote Quad.)
If we want to buck the trend, we need to know what the trend has been.
(webpage generated: 6 December 2006, 12:18)