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* [TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference]
@ 2021-04-05 16:20 Norman Wilson
  2021-04-05 18:31 ` arnold
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 5+ messages in thread
From: Norman Wilson @ 2021-04-05 16:20 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

Arnold: 

  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.

===

I guess it depends on your interests, and also on what you look at.

I've got way behind in reading ;login:, but have been regularly
attending conferences: the Annual Technical Conference (ATC) and
some workshops (HotStorage, HotCloud) that are usually co-located;
LISA.  I still find plenty to interest me, both in talks and in
the hallway tracks, though LISA has been drying up over the years
(and it's clear that USENIX know that too and are working on
whether it should just be subsumed into the already-burgeoning
SREcons).

As I say, interests differ, but I've learned plenty of new things
about OS and networking design and implementation tradeoffs,
security at many levels, file systems, and storage devices.

Thanks to COVID, USENIX-sponsored conferences have all been
online for the past year and are expected to stay so through
the end of 2021.  For obvious reasons that greatly reduces
the expenses of the conferences, so the registration fees are
about 10% of normal.  Thanks to that, I've been able to sample
conferences I've never had time or money to travel to, like Security
and FAST (file systems and storage).  It's been well worth my
time and money even though the money comes out of my own pocket.

UNIX history is not part of the mainstream USENIX world these
days, alas--I was disappointed that there was no official 50th-
birthday party two years ago in Seattle (though the not-officially-
sponsored one at LCM organized by Clem and others was a fine time,
and USENIX had no objection to hosting announcements of it).
I should point out that the only time I've met Our Esteemed
Leader and Listrunner in person was at a USENIX conference, where
he held a session to show off his reconstructed very-early PDP-11
UNIX from the tape Dennis found under the floor of the UNIX Room.

I too would like to see the organization harbour some less-formal
meetings or publications.  The way to make that happen would
be to run for the Board and to actively sponsor such stuff (with
care about who is selected for the real work to avoid the problems
Ted describes).  Maybe that's a good idea, or maybe it's better
to let the Linux and BSD worlds do their own thing.  Either way
I think what USENIX does is worth while.  I've been a member for
40 years this year, and although it's not the same organization
as it was in the early 1980s, neither is it the same world it
lives in.  I still think they do worth while work and I am proud
to continue to support them, even though I'm not a published
academic researcher, just an old-style systems hack and sysadmin
from the ancient days when those were inseparable.

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference]
  2021-04-05 16:20 [TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference] Norman Wilson
@ 2021-04-05 18:31 ` arnold
  2021-04-06  5:54   ` Dave Horsfall
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 5+ messages in thread
From: arnold @ 2021-04-05 18:31 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs, norman

norman@oclsc.org (Norman Wilson) wrote:

> Arnold: 
>
>   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.
>
> ===
>
> I guess it depends on your interests, and also on what you look at.

Yes, exactly. For me, Usenix provides little added value. I had
been debating leaving Usenix for several years already; the move
to soft copy ;login: clinched it for me. I'm not happy about it,
but I had to recognize my personal reality.

> Either way I think what USENIX does is worth while.

I agree. For example, I would not like to see Usenix disappear.
But I no longer am getting value for my membership dollars.

So, not a value judgement on Usenix as a whole, merely a statement
of my personal situation.

Arnold

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference]
  2021-04-05 18:31 ` arnold
@ 2021-04-06  5:54   ` Dave Horsfall
  2021-04-06  6:01     ` Warner Losh
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 5+ messages in thread
From: Dave Horsfall @ 2021-04-06  5:54 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

On Mon, 5 Apr 2021, arnold@skeeve.com wrote:

> Yes, exactly. For me, Usenix provides little added value. I had been 
> debating leaving Usenix for several years already; the move to soft copy 
> ;login: clinched it for me. I'm not happy about it, but I had to 
> recognize my personal reality.

I was not a member of Usenix; I was just a founding member (and past 
President) of AUUG, which decided to dissolve after we had done our job 
i.e. bring Unix to Australia.

I used to enjoy reading the Usenix snippets in AUUGN, though.

-- Dave

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference]
  2021-04-06  5:54   ` Dave Horsfall
@ 2021-04-06  6:01     ` Warner Losh
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 5+ messages in thread
From: Warner Losh @ 2021-04-06  6:01 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Dave Horsfall; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

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On Mon, Apr 5, 2021 at 11:55 PM Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org> wrote:

> On Mon, 5 Apr 2021, arnold@skeeve.com wrote:
>
> > Yes, exactly. For me, Usenix provides little added value. I had been
> > debating leaving Usenix for several years already; the move to soft copy
> > ;login: clinched it for me. I'm not happy about it, but I had to
> > recognize my personal reality.
>
> I was not a member of Usenix; I was just a founding member (and past
> President) of AUUG, which decided to dissolve after we had done our job
> i.e. bring Unix to Australia.
>
> I used to enjoy reading the Usenix snippets in AUUGN, though.


For some time, those were the only widely available surviving snippets of
the early days of Usenix newsletters. Too bad copyright law severely
limited what was published after the first few times.

I've been quite impressed with the AUUGN having read almost all the early
issues. It's quite the travel log of Unix coming to Australia and
colonizing different niches.

Warner

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference]
  2021-04-05  0:36             ` John Cowan
@ 2021-04-05  7:48               ` arnold
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 5+ messages in thread
From: arnold @ 2021-04-05  7:48 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: cowan, clemc; +Cc: tuhs

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.

Arnold

John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Apr 4, 2021 at 2:23 PM Clem Cole <clemc@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@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"

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2021-04-06  6:02 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 5+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2021-04-05 16:20 [TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference] Norman Wilson
2021-04-05 18:31 ` arnold
2021-04-06  5:54   ` Dave Horsfall
2021-04-06  6:01     ` Warner Losh
  -- strict thread matches above, loose matches on Subject: below --
2021-04-01 14:50 [TUHS] Zombified SCO comes back from the dead, brings trial back to life against IBM Josh Good
2021-04-01 15:12 ` Warner Losh
2021-04-02  3:52   ` Wesley Parish
2021-04-04  2:46     ` Adam Thornton
2021-04-04  2:50       ` Adam Thornton
2021-04-04  5:29         ` [TUHS] How to Kill a Technical Conference (was: Zombified SCO comes back from the dead, brings trial back to life against IBM) G. Branden Robinson
2021-04-04 18:22           ` Clem Cole
2021-04-05  0:36             ` John Cowan
2021-04-05  7:48               ` [TUHS] Whither Usenix [was How To Kill A Technical Conference] arnold

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