PLI 2002 -- report from someone who was there?

Francesco Cesarini <>
Wed Oct 23 20:02:40 CEST 2002

Of all the EUCs I've been to,  the quality of the presentations at PLI 
surpassed them all.  A big thank you to all who presented and to every 
one else who made it happen.

The papers should be stored in ACM's digital library at  Some papers are available here and there in 
various user's accounts and  I will soon be putting what is available on, but don't hold your breath...

Oh, and Ulf forgot to mention that we had plenty of good food and beer, 
and there in-between got a few culture points by visiting the odd art 


Ulf Wiger wrote:

>On Wed, 23 Oct 2002, Matthias Lang wrote:
>>There are a bunch potentially interesting papers there. I
>>can't find an online copy of the proceedings anywhere.
>>Anyone know? Anyone who was there care to comment on how
>>big the workshop was (how many people)?
>The proceedings will hopefully appear sometime through ACM.
>At least that's the general idea.
>The workshop was quite good, even though the turnout was not
>exactly enormous (about 30 people, I think). I heard a
>rumour that some other workshops had bigger problems.
>I did peek into another lecture hall where lots of people
>sat listening to someone pontificating about software reuse.
>Oh well. Software reuse was covered summarily in our
>workshop by (I think) Martin Logan who stated that there's
>lots of it in Erlang/OTP. (-:
>Short summary:
>- Phil Wadler explained to us that God gave us static
>  typing, but apparently not Erlang. However, God wants
>  us to use functional languages, so we're probably sort of
>  OK anyway. Phil also expressed great pride in being
>  invited speaker at an Erlang workshop, since Erlang is
>  _the_ most successful functional language in the world,
>  and the one with the most millionaires (no one cared to
>  explain Swedish tax laws to Phil -- God didn't give them
>  to us, anyway.) Lots of theory, and lots of T-shirts
>  coming off... well, you just had to be there.
>- Richard Carlsson talked about the new package concept.
>  It's coming together, but I've come up with some more
>  issues, to which I will return later. Nice talk.
>- Kostis explained about how Hipe may double the speed
>  of Bit Syntax matching. Promising.
>- Thomas Arts gave a high-speed practical demo of his
>  trace analysis program. Great stuff, I think, for
>  those who want to visualize their Erlang programs
>  in different ways.
>- I talked about testing with Erlang, and to my surprise,
>  the auditorium didn't fall asleep. Must mean that people
>  are actually using Erlang for some real stuff.  (:
>- Scott Fritchie talked about the Erlang Driver Writer's
>  Toolkit. This is really good stuff. Kenneth Lundin may
>  have to stop telling people that it's unsafe to use
>  linked-in drivers...
>- Hal Snyder and Martin Logan talked about Erlang use at
>  Vail Systems. Same old story about how a small group
>  of people are allowed to use Erlang to monitor and
>  restart all those Java apps that can't stay up by
>  themselves -- but have to fight to be allowed to tackle
>  the really interesting stuff. Just kidding. Good
>  presentation, down-to-earth, factual, success story.
>- Thomas Arts again, describing how they analysed some
>  properties about a Video on Demand system, using
>  verification techniques on actual Erlang code to
>  determine dimensioning properties like number and
>  size of disks, distribution of movies across disks,
>  bandwith, etc. State of the art stuff, indeed.
>- Kostis offered some ideas on how to speed up
>  inter-process communication in Erlang. The paper
>  states the goal as being "to have truly lightweight
>  processes where message passing is at least as
>  efficient as method invocation in a modern object
>  oriented language". Some interesting ideas, but
>  nothing firm yet. Hope they succeed.
>- Joe Armstrong talked about how his protocol description
>  and contract definition syntax does everything XML
>  and WSDL does, and more, but much more beautifully.
>  Always fun to listen to Joe, and I've already started
>  playing with his new toy. Very interesting.
>- Closing comments, and a preliminary report on the
>  questionnaire. Everyone seemed happy.

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