I meant to write this earlier, but I have been occupied with a family medical emergency. The EL camp was a great experience, and I hope they do it again. I met more interesting people, and heard more interesting ideas, than at any other conference I have attended. Naturally there were ups and downs. There were some me-too languages with no purpose other than to entertain and glorify the author. But there were also quite a few serious efforts to try out new ideas and advance the state of the art. I would like to thank the organizers, Alex Payne and Brady Forrest, for perceiving the need and making this event happen.
I thought my talk was received pretty well. A video will supposedly be available shortly. Not everyone bought the motivating example as proof of the deep flaws of sequential programming. I definitely need some better examples. But nevertheless people seemed to appreciate my exploring some radical ideas, and respected the effort even if they didn’t fully embrace it. That was a good feeling, and quite the opposite of what I experience at academic conferences, where many people consider what I am doing not to be proper Computer Science. Actually they are right, but that is more an indictment of Computer Science than me. Which brings up the other outcome of the EL camp.
I spent most of my socializing time stirring up trouble. Computer Science is now so obsessed with rigorous evaluation that programming language research has become stultified. I found that a number of people agree with me, and wish there was something that could be done about it. The EL camp was a perfect place to foment insurrection. I don’t know where this is going, but I am going to keep rabble rousing and find out. Stay tuned – the revolution will be blogged.