[TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference]

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Mon Apr 5 17:48:07 AEST 2021

This hits home with me very hard. I have been a Usenix member since the
around 1984. Almost 40 years.  I am finally letting my membership drop,
now that ";login:" is going soft-copy.

But for several years now I have been increasingly dissatisfied with the
research nature of most of the articles. Very few of them are actually
useful (or even interesting) to me in a day-to-day sense.

And this saddens me; I used to be proud to be a Usenix member; I no
longer feel like I get any added value. Especially as I live out of the
US, attending conferences is impossible. (The last annual conference I
went to was in 2004.)

Ah well. The only constant in the world is change.


John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Apr 4, 2021 at 2:23 PM Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> > An issue during the time you are discussing, USENIX had evolved into "two
> > foci" between the practitioners (which included both FOSS community and
> > LISA types) and the more academic-oriented folks looking for respected
> > places to publish papers/develop their tenure files.
> >
> I think this is a long and accelerating trend, and not just at
> conferences.  There simply are no venues for "engineering" papers or
> presentations any more, which doesn't bother me directly, but bothers me
> very much indirectly, because I love engineering papers and have to read
> academic papers, ummm, very selectively.  (In particular, anything labeled
> "formal semantics" just gets skipped.)
> John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
> And it was said that ever after, if any man looked in that Stone,
> unless he had a great strength of will to turn it to other purpose,
> he saw only two aged hands withering in flame.   --"The Pyre of Denethor"

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