[TUHS] How to Kill a Technical Conference

John Gilmore gnu at toad.com
Tue Apr 6 04:07:19 AEST 2021

> >                 There simply are no venues for "engineering" papers or
> > presentations any more...
> It's the main reason I've not had a USENIX paper published in about 15
> years...

I'm an engineer, not an academic.  The only time I submitted a paper to
USENIX, it was about my 1988 project with CSRG to convert the BSD
distribution to using GCC rather than PCC.  The project itself was an
interesting tour through C language history, turning up ancient code
that used ints as pointers, for example.  The paper was rejected by the
program committee, on the objection that "ports aren't research".  So
the pro-academic, anti-engineering mindset was already in place back

Though I was disappointed to have the paper rejected, at the time I
thought (like an engineer!) that the reason for rejection was a bit of a
positive comment -- "Our software is becoming portable enough that
it doesn't take imagination, genius, or innovation to make it run on a
completely different architecture or toolchain."

(I posted the 1988 draft paper to this TUHS list in May 2020, in a thread
with the subject "History of popularity of C".)


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