Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Arrival

This blogger made it to the conference hotel late Tuesday night. Hailing originally from the Chicago suburbs myself (and a sometimes visitor to the Yorktown mall!), I know this to be an auspicious place to launch our experiment in group-blogging the NSDI conference and beyond.

We don't know what this venue will become, but it will surely be shaped by the people who choose to participate. Anybody who is attending NSDI or publishing here will be an asset to this community and is encouraged to email <signup at layer9.org> for an account and to join in.

My own hope is that this becomes a venue where networking & systems results are discussed and put in context, both by their authors and others who care, because for me, it is the conversation and the back-and-forth that make research interesting. An eminent computer science professor recently told me, not cynically but ruefully, that the average number of readers of a systems paper was less than 4. Let us prove this person wrong.

In a past life, I was a newspaper reporter who covered medical conferences. There was always a certain frisson the night before, because nobody (except for the reporters under embargo and the authors and their corporate sponsors) knew what the results of the high-stakes late-breaking clinical trials would be. Here at NSDI, things are a little different, thanks to Usenix's policy of opening up all the papers to attendees weeks ago. For me, the frisson comes from a different place this time: this will be my first NSDI presentation, on the last day of the conference.