Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Questions, Not Complaints

I had the audacity to ask a couple of questions in hopes of getting clarifications that would help me better understand the (seemingly controversial) EclipseCon selection process.

I got a detailed and informative response from Bjorn giving us a behind-the-scenes look on how to produce a good conference schedule. Comments from community members and EclipseCon chairs were also appreciated.

It was very unfortunate though that Bjorn's response had a very defensive tone and that my questions were characterized as 'complaints'.

My comments were not complaints. They were questions. They were good questions. They were fair questions that were on other people's minds. And I am glad I asked them. It brought the discussion out in the open; and the selection process and role of chairs were clarified.

Neil's response (comment #8) is spot on. The point Neil makes about how the allocation matrix may intimidate and/or discourage potential submitters is exactly the reason why I started the dialogue in the first place.

So what is one suggestion to make the EclipseCon process better? Get rid of the matrix.

a. It sends the wrong message about fairness of the selection process and the role of chairs.

b. It is meaningless, since the actual selection process is promised to be a lot more flexible anyway.

c. It is confusing. We had a hard time trying to figure out the appropriate track for our Introduction to Plug-in Development tutorial.
Does it fall under Java? RCP? Then a miracle happened and a Fundamentals track was created, which we presumed was the best fit.

Why do we have a Java track anyway? not like we have .NET and Pascal tracks...
Aren't all development tutorials (with the exception of the cool CDT track) conducted using the Java programming language anyway?

I have two more installments in my EclipseCon series, so I hope that the EclipseCon committee is less defensive in reaction to future questions and comments.

Finally, I do stand by my claim that the EclipseCon 2007 is controversial. Some of its aspects have provoked a healthy debate, and that is the dictionary definition of controversy.

As a result, the community is a lot more informed about the process than they were two days ago, and in the words of ex-con Martha Stewart: "It's a good thing."


Anonymous said...

I personally want a Pascal track, and by Pascal, I mean Pascal Rapicault.

Bull said...

What about a Modula-3 Track! If Eclipse supported Modula 3 I would take CS246 all over again :)

Ian Skerrett said...

I am glad you are raising these types of questions. I agree that it does clarify how things are run.

Bjorn Freeman-Benson said...

(I had a longer comments but I must have closed the edit window or something, sigh.) Anyway, thanks for opening the topic and I've written another longer reply.

Bjorn Freeman-Benson said...

Thanks for bringing your questions and confusions about the EclipseCon submission process to our attention. Rich and I have revised the wording on the EclipseCon web pages to better explain the process being followed.