parallel sessions

Henry Spencer henry at utzoo.UUCP
Wed Jun 22 13:07:14 AEST 1983

I don't like parallel sessions either, but the other big gripe people
had about the San Diego conference was that the presentations were
too rushed and often the Q+A period had to be cut short.  The Program
Committee sort of had three choices:

	1. Go for parallel sessions.
	2. Force most of the talks to be really short.
	3. Reject a lot of decent papers.

Clearly one doesn't really want to do any of these things, but that
would have meant at least a four-day conference.  (The overall schedule,
i.e. three days of conference, was outside the Program Committee's
control.)  There just really isn't any good compromise.

The plan I like, personally, is the one that was used for at least one
of the very early Usenix meetings:  evening sessions too.  The result
was that one did very little except eat, sleep, and attend, but it did
give more time for the material (or for hanging around in the corridors
gossiping, depending on your preference).  But I doubt that this is
politically palatable now that the conferences have gone beyond being
informal gatherings of the wizards.  Other problems like the cost of
accommodations arise from the same cause:  the conferences are too big
for informal organizers anymore.  Few colleges have dorms that can hold
2000+ people.  Certainly U of T doesn't.

					Henry Spencer
					U of Toronto

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