Monday, October 22, 2012

ECE 2012: Starting Soon

Just arrived in Ludwigsburg a couple of hours ago. Weather is great, the trees ave the fall colors, temperature is very nice. A golden October day.

At the Ludwigsburg Forum, the staff is tearing down from a industry show that ended last night. While the current status doesn't create a lot of confidence that we'll be all set in another 12 hours, I have seen it now many times, and to my surprise they managed to get everything set up just fine and in time.

People are starting to arrive in the Nestor hotel next to the Forum. Most of them have been attending before, but just a minute ago I ran into a guy from the US. It's his first time in Germany and obviously the first EclipseCon Europe. He's trying to hide his excitement - or is he feeling a little overwhelmed? In the hallway the packages that the sponsors sent in are piling up.

So, in a couple of hours we will start. I believe we got a good program, we have the folks from the OSGi community invited, and we got some good social activities planned for the evenings. Food's usually good, beer will be served. And my Adrenalin level is going down.

I'm hoping for a good conference.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saying "No" Nicely

EclipseCon Europe 2012 starts in about two weeks, and lots of attendees are figuring out which talks to add to their personal ECE schedules. There are lots of great talks, so it's not easy. But it's one of those "good problems" to have.

Another good problem the ECE program committee had back in July was deciding which talks to accept from among so many excellent submissions. Accepting talks is the most obvious task of a program committee. Declining talks -- carefully and thoughtfully -- is less obvious, but even more important.

Anyone who's had a talk declined knows it's disappointing, and that can't be avoided. But declining talks well can prevent a disappointed submitter from turning into a demoralized submitter who won't try again.

This year's ECE program committee left comments on every declined submission, explaining why it was not accepted. They answered a lot of follow-up questions to provide more detail. This task was considered essential, and the accept/decline emails didn't go out until all the comments were added.

The expectation -- and hope -- is that by declining talks well, we encourage new submitters to try again, and keep our EclipseCon content fresh and interesting.