October 14, 2004

Tcl 2004 -- Day 1

I came to New Orleans for the 11th Tcl/Tk Conference, of course, and yesterday morning it was time to buckle down to some serious conferencing--and it was some serious conferencing. The hotel gave us breakfast at 8 AM; they gave us lunch at noon; they gave us dinner at 6 PM; and with the exception of a few half-hour breaks we were busy at it from after breakfast until 10 PM. At least, I went back to my room at 10.

Consequently, I don't have a whole lot to report. The most surprising thing, from my point of view, is the reception that Snit is getting this year. Snit first saw the light of day as a short "Work In Progress" talk at the 9th Tcl/Tk Conference two years ago in Vancouver, B.C. At last year's conference Snit got a couple of public mentions, and I talked about it with a couple of people. This year Snit has been right up front, and several people have asked me what they could do to make Tcl faster so that Snit can be faster. More than that--one such optimization was discussed at the Snit Birds-of-a-Feather session last night, and Donal Fellows (on whom be praise) implemented, tested, and committed the optimization first thing this morning. (A Birds-of-a-Feather session, or "BOF", is a block of time set aside for a bull session on some topic of interest to some subset of the attendees. The conference schedule usually has time scheduled for some number of BOFs; the subjects are determined as the conference goes on.) I requested and got a Snit BOF because there were several people who were disappointed that the Snit tutorial was cancelled, and quite a few people showed up for it.

It's all very gratifying, of course. I told Dave that if all the attention goes to my head he has permission to clout me.

Posted by Will Duquette at October 14, 2004 01:26 PM

Mark D. said:

I'm sure your head won't get too big - peers are great at avoiding that. It's fun to glimpse a little of your "day job", though I gather Snit combines both business and pleasure. I haven't got much of a clue what it is, but I admire all creative and efficiency efforts, and am happy for you that your efforts are being recognized. And, I've eaten enough "foodie" stuff for two on my own trip!

Will Duquette said:

Mark,

I use Tcl/Tk in my day job, which is why my boss is willing to send me to the conference; and the two papers I've given in the past were both on work I've done at JPL. But Snit, amazingly, is a personal project, a Tcl programming tool I've been working on during evenings and weekends over the last couple of years. So I'm definitely wearing two hats at this conference.