François-René Rideau (fare) wrote,
François-René Rideau

Monthly Boston Lisp Meeting - Call for Speakers, Participants and Sponsors

(Please forward this message to interested people. Apologies for message received multiple times. Permanent URL so far: for this call and for the monthly meeting in general)

I will be organizing a monthly Boston Lisp Meeting.

By "Lisp", I mean any programmable programming system. However, speakers and attendants will be welcome to discuss any ideas relevant to programmers using or developing such a programmable programming system, whatever language was or wasn't previously used to express those ideas. (Note how I specifically avoided including or excluding any given system as Lisp. Anyone programming a programming system is welcome; people writing COBOL with parentheses will probably get bored.)

The meetings will usually take place on the last Monday of every month at 6pm. (Not the first Monday, which conflicts with the meetings of Grey Thumb, not the 4th Monday which is harder to figure out, not on Tuesdays, and not according to any of the other rules that were or weren't considered. Exceptions will be made to accommodate speakers or organizers.)

The regular format of these meetings would be a one hour conference followed or preceded by free-for-all discussions around drinks and food.

Conference meetings would include one or two speakers, on a strictly timed schedule, typically one 50' presentation + 10' Q&A, or two 25' presentations + 5' Q&A each. Additional slots of 3' flash presentation + 2' Q&A would be available for project updates, demos or calls to the public. We may give more time to exceptional speakers, especially those who come from afar.

We encourage both veterans and newbies to come and meet, maybe becoming collaborators, mentors or disciples on some Lisp project, whether as a hobby, as an academic endeavor, as a paid job, or as a startup. Lisp users and gurus are invited to socialize and chill out with a group of fellow-minded other lispers.

I am seeking corporate or academic sponsors to host the event, offer drinks, offer food, cover travel expenses for remote speakers, keep up a website, fund free software community projects. I have a few leads but no definite answer yet. The event will take place with or without such sponsorship.

I am also open to suggestions for improvements about these meetings: different timing, food before the conference, etc. Also, I'll adapt the meetings to the availability of interesting speakers. If we are short in speakers, we may include such a conference only bimonthly or quarterly, and skip directly to the drinks and food the rest of the time. If we are overwhelmed with great speakers, we may have conferences more often.

The mailing-list boston-lisp from will be revived as the place to discuss these events. You can subscribe at

The mailing-list boston-lisp-announce maintained by Neil Van Dyke will carry announcements but without lengthy discussions. You can subscribe at

To contact the organizers, use the mailing-list boston-lisp-organizers at

The next meeting will be on Monday, March 3rd 2008. We'll meet at 1800 at the CBC ( ). No conference is scheduled at this time, only a meeting for Lispers to have fun and for potential conference organizers to prepare the future meetings in April and beyond.

The first meeting with a conference will be on Monday March 31st 2008.

Topics to be discussed include but are not limited to:

  • Programming languages: How to use, implement or combine programming language features such as metaprogramming, macros, modules, non-determinism, security, concurrency, reversibility, persistence, resource management, competing strategies, etc.
  • Domain-specific languages: interesting ones, how to implement and combine them.
  • Program synthesis: overcome issues in software engineering by providing adequate programming semantics, aka "Paradigms".
  • Program analysis: types, proofs, tests, abstract interpretation, using formal semantics or clever statistics, etc.
  • Declarative Programming: How to concisely express abstract programs, view data as programs, distribute semantics, etc.
  • Implementation: code generation conventions, garbage collection, debugger hooks, concurrency control, interfaces with alien environments, etc.
  • Systems Evolution: How programming languages and systems evolve, and Lisp systems in particular.
  • Lisp Communities: How Lispers can better help each other.

Whether you are an academic, an industrial programmer, a student or a hobbyist, you are invited to join us at these meetings.

If you have something interesting to say or know someone else who has, please suggest a potential talk by sending mail to boston-lisp-organizers at

I am also looking for co-organizers to make sure these meetings will be of better quality than I could achieve on my own, and will survive my eventual temporary or permanent unavailability or disinterest. A Lisp web developer to maintain a site would be a good organizing team member, too.

Finally, I request the intended audience to send me feedback so as to know what best date and time to pick, how big a room to reserve, and how much food and/or drink to beg sponsorship for. For the latter reason, I may even require (free) registration of participants so as to make sure to not order too much or too little.

Tags: boston, boston-lisp-meeting, en, lisp, meetings

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