The 10th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs 2003

September 8th - 12th, 2003

Focus Groups

 

Call for Papers and Proposals

September 8-12, 2003
Robert Allerton Park and Conference Center
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL, USA


Introduction

Software developers and researchers have long observed that certain themes recur and endure across different applications and different domains. The emerging interest in software patterns and pattern languages represents an effort to document and communicate these themes and to provide handbooks of proven solutions to common problems.

PLoP brings together practitioners and researchers whose interests span a broad range of topics, who share an interest in exploring the power of the pattern form. PLoP invites you to add your expertise to the growing body of patterns. At PLoP, we focus on improving the written expression of patterns through writers' workshops. You will have opportunities to refine and extend your patterns with the assistance of knowledgeable and sympathetic patterns enthusiasts.

This year's PLoP will add events designed to help people arrive at their first written expression of a pattern.

It will also add activities in which people put patterns to use as a way of deepening their understanding of both particular patterns and patterns in general. We especially hope these activities help people generate new ideas and insights.

Focus Groups

Last year's PLoP introduced focus groups, in which someone with a burning interest in a particular design domain collected a group of like-minded designers to submit papers for discussion at the conference. The combined experience of several experts in a field led to strong results.

This year's PLoP will concentrate on focus groups. If you wish to be a focus group leader, send a proposal to the program chair. The successful proposal will briefly describe:

  • the domain of interest and your background in it,
  • potential attendees and how you will persuade them to come,
  • how you will evaluate submissions from potential attendees, and
  • the format of your sessions at PLoP.

The default format will involve some number of writers' workshop sessions each morning of each conference day, perhaps extending into the afternoon. In the afternoon and evening, members of your group will participate in the activities with the rest of the conference. We particularly solicit proposals in which your group hosts at least one afternoon activity, since one of our goals for PLoP is cross-fertilization among focus groups. How can you expose the rest of the conference to your domain or to your patterns?

When considering potential attendees, please include those who do not yet see the value of patterns, but might.

We expect proposals to be short, at most two pages in length. Please include your contact information (surface mail address, email address, and telephone number). Proposals may be in Word, RTF, PDF, HTML, or plain text. Accepted proposals will be posted on the PLoP web site as HTML.

Last day for focus group proposals Monday, April 7, 2003
Checkpoint: is there a critical mass of attendees? Friday, July 18, 2003
Conference Starts Monday, September 8, 2003

Focus Groups Convened by Book Authors

There's been a recent upsurge in the number of pattern languages and book-length works being published. We want to support such efforts.

Since each such long work is directed at a particular design topic - enterprise integration patterns, configuration management patterns, organizational change patterns, refactoring, and the like - we invite their authors to convene focus groups to both improve the work and explore the domain.

The submission criteria are the same as for other focus groups, but the proposal should take care to describe what benefits attendees will get beyond the warm feeling of having helped an author polish her work. Will they submit patterns that will also be workshopped? Will there be conference activities of particular interest to them?

Other Patterns

While this PLoP will emphasize focus groups, we maintain the tradition of the writers' workshop. The conference solicits papers written in pattern form and will also consider papers that discuss experiences using patterns.

All aspects of programs and their production are suitable topics. Patterns might be so specific as to name particular objects, interface elements, or implementation structures in a solution. They might be so general as to document high-level architectures. They might describe configurations of hardware, software, or even people in the process of writing programs. Patterns may or may not be specific to a particular domain or programming language.

The actual subject of patterns and pattern languages need not be original. Rather, preference will be shown to authors who are best able to document patterns of software. Authors will be able to revise their original patterns based on insights obtained at the conference's writers' workshops.

Send submissions to the program chair. After submittal, the paper will be selected for shepherding, a process of refining the work before the conference. Final acceptance depends on the results of shepherding.

Paper submissions due Monday, May 19, 2003
Shepherding begins Monday, May 26, 2003
Shepherd recommendations due Monday, July 7, 2003
Notification of acceptance or rejection Monday, July 14, 2003
Final conference copy due Monday, July 28, 2003
Conference starts Monday, September 8, 2003

Activities

While we expect writers' workshops to be a large part of what focus groups do at PLoP, we are reserving a part of every day for activities. Whereas the writers' workshops allow people to talk about design, the activities give people the chance to use, demonstrate, and build design knowledge. We will be accepting a wide range of activities, so long as the focus is on design and on learning through doing. We have a bias toward odd and innovative activities. We are happy to accept ambitious activities with a good chance of failure.

Send activity proposals to the program chair. The successful proposal will describe:

  • the topic of the activity and how it's relevant to patterns or design.
  • the goal of the activity: what, to the organizer, will constitute success?
  • the process: how will the activity be run?
  • the deliverables: what will the participants take away if all goes well?

We expect proposals to be short, at most three pages in length. Please include your contact information (surface mail address, email address, and telephone number). Proposals may be in Word, RTF, PDF, HTML, or plain text. Accepted proposals will be posted on the PLoP web site as HTML.

Proposals will be considered as they arrive, so we recommend that you submit before the deadline.

Last day for activity proposals Monday, July 7, 2003
Notification of acceptance or rejection Friday, July 18, 2003
Conference Starts Monday, September 8, 2003

Writer's Aid

Traditional writers' workshops are a wonderful benefit to writers who have a solid first draft that expresses their idea. What of authors who need help getting started? What of people who feel they've almost got hold of an idea, but need some help jumping a conceptual barrier?

We solicit proposals for events that will help people move from the point of having an idea to having a first draft of a pattern, a first outline of a pattern language, or a presentation they might make on a later evening of the conference. We especially solicit proposals that will help novice authors.

We expect proposals to be short, at most two pages in length. Send them to the program chair. Please include your contact information (surface mail address, email address, and telephone number). Proposals may be in Word, RTF, PDF, HTML, or plain text. Accepted proposals will be posted on the PLoP web site as HTML.

Last day for writer's aid proposals Monday, May 26, 2003
Notification of acceptance or rejection Monday, June 16, 2003
Conference Starts Monday, September 8, 2003

Conference

The conference will be held at Allerton House, a mansion on a large, mostly wooded estate that is owned by the University of Illinois. Accommodations are available on site, in the nearby village of Monticello, or in Champaign-Urbana. Airport limousine service is available to and from the conference site.

In addition to the events described above, open time in the afternoons and evenings will offer attendees the opportunity to organize informal birds-of-a-feather sessions. Every effort will be made to provide an informal and creative atmosphere for the entire conference. The organizers are open to additional out-of-the-ordinary proposals so long as they, like patterns, celebrate the elusive quality called good design.

The conference begins with a pizza social the evening of Monday, September 8th. It officially ends on Friday, September 12th. However, those wishing to stay over Saturday will be able to stay at Allerton and take part in post-conference activities. Those activities will be organized at the conference.

Registration

Everyone who plans to attend PLoP should register in advance. This includes authors, non-authors, students, staff, and conference organizers. Space is limited, so please register early.

Registration will be handled electronically, beginning in June.

For More Information

If you have any questions, please check the PLoP home page. If you still can't find the answer, please feel free to contact the conference organizers:

Program Chair Brian Marick [email protected]
Conference Chair Mark Schwenk [email protected]

Last modified: March 14, 2003


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