Writer's Workshops, Gifting


(Many of you will get this message twice; if so, please just delete the
second message.)

PLoP is just two weeks away; I hope you're getting excited.


If you haven't registered yet, please do so at
http://st-www.cs.uiuc.edu/~plop/plop99/registration.html and
https://st.cs.uiuc.edu/registration/. We need you registered so that
we'll be expecting you. If you haven't bought airline tickets yet (and
need to), go ahead and do so; they're not getting any cheaper.

Writers' Workshops

The main activity at PLoP is what we call Writers' Workshops. They're
where authors meet to discuss and improve their papers. This makes PLoP
very different from most computer conferences. Rather than being in the
audience, everyone participates at PLoP. Yet ironically, the person who
participates least when a given paper is being discussed is the author
of that paper; he sits quietly and listens to the discussion. So as
author, you don't need to prepare to give your paper, you need to
prepare to discuss the other papers in your group.

Doug Schmidt wrote up a great discription of how Writers' Workshops
work. It's at http://jerry.cs.uiuc.edu/plop/Activities.html and

We'll be posting the workshop groups soon (hopefully this weekend). Once
it's up, you should find your group, find those papers, and read them
before coming to the conference. For each paper (besides your own), you
should be prepared to discuss it as Doug describes. There's time in the
confernce schedule for reading/napping/socializing, but that reading is
mostly to remind you what you read a week ago so that you can go discuss
it later that day. You should do the majority of your reading before the
conference; I do a lot of mine on the plane ride to Illinois.


Gifting is a tradition at PLoP. Ultimately, you can do whatever you
would like to with gifting. Some people do a lot, some pretty much skip
it. But if you've never done it before, let me give you a few

Don't spend a lot of money, load down your luggage, or otherwise make a
big production out of gifts. Just bring small, simple, inexpensive items
that will remind people of you. Remember that people will need to be
able to carry their gifts back in their luggage, and they don't want it
to weigh a ton. You don't need to bring enough gifts for all 50-100
attendees (unless you want to). You can bring enough gifts for your
10-40 closest friends.

The theme for this year is pictures and postcards of your homeland.
We'll have people at the conference from all over the USA and all over
the world. I've never been to most of these places, so I'd kind of like
to see what they look like. I plan to find some postcards that show
different parts of North Carolina, which is where I live. You might like
to do the same for where you're from.

We're going to have a great conference this year. I hope you're looking
forward to it.

Bobby Woolf
PLoP '99 Program Chair