Suggestions for LLVM Developer's Conference 2012

David,

Sorry I missed the Community Event Planning session. There was this neat session on Backend\Infrastructure competing with it. :slight_smile:

Whiteboards (with markers (and erasers?)).
I was speaking with Dan G about the complexities of trying to get the SelectionDAG to represent physical registers. He mentioned during our conversation that a whiteboard would help. Ballroom Salon V would have been a perfect place for a whiteboard room. Surely others had conversations where if I could just draw a box… with some arrows… this concept would totally make more sense. No DNE allowed :wink:

Hacking Session
It was an absolute blast getting to meet many of the active contributors. I think it was a great meet & greet, and the room we were in was amply stocked with refreshments. Great job on getting that going.

But if we want to get some collaborative coding, must have a conference room with tables, whiteboards, and wifi. Also there wasn’t much direction towards the hacking, we were all coming from different backgrounds and concentrations. I think if there were some air of games/competition we’d get more coding. Perhaps something like make this C code run as fast as possible, or as small as possible on x86 using only clang and llvm to compile. Patches welcome to make the code smaller/faster. Another thought is to have a C/C++ snippet which is laden with errors and or warnings, and enhance clang to diagnose what is wrong. Probably want to have some lottery-style organization of teams, so that the community is strengthened with teams consisting of various backgrounds.

On the other hand, I bet most of the attendees would probably go for boardgame session. Many boardgames, like Settlers of Catan, Bohnanza, Ticket to Ride, Race to the Galaxy, etc etc exercise logic and strategy. I think that would be another way to keep conversations going.

Maybe others have thoughts, too.

Joe Abbey
Software Architect
Arxan Technologies, Inc.
1305 Cumberland Ave, Ste 215
West Lafayette, IN 47906
jabbey@arxan.com
www.arxan.com

One idea for a hacking session would be a “performance analysis workshop”. People could bring their apps, we could sample them track down what part of the compiler would need to change and code it up (if time allowed).

Given the trade offs involved, it could be helpful to many folks, the trick is to get the right people to show up.

-Chris

One idea for a hacking session would be a “performance analysis workshop”. People could bring their apps, we could sample them track down what part of the compiler would need to change and code it up (if time allowed).

Given the trade offs involved, it could be helpful to many folks, the trick is to get the right people to show up.

Chris, is there a formal feedback mechanism for the Developer’s meeting? One comment I’d like to make is that I think we need microphones both for the speakers at the conference and for people in the audience to use to ask questions at the end. Every speaker had to repeat questions because audience members couldn’t hear the questioner.

Of course, I think it speaks to LLVM’s success that the meeting has such a problem: so many people attend that we have to get large rooms where hearing everyone is not possible.
:slight_smile:

– John T.

Hi John,

While this is a good idea, wouldn’t it logistically take longer to get the microphone to the person involved than for the presenter to repeat the question?

Cheers,

James

Have folks queue up in front of a fixed microphone?

Possible, but wouldn’t it make the question session less ad-hoc and raise the required activation energy for people to ask questions in the first place?

It would also make it harder to ask followup questions…

Have enough microphones and volunteers who deliver them so the mic for
the next person arrives during the discussion of the previous
question? Not sure how well that model scales though.

- Ben

This was what I was actually thinking. I’ve seen this done at academic conferences (e.g., Usenix Security), and it works pretty well.

It does have the downside that people in the middle of each row have a harder time getting to a mic, but since people usually know for which talks they’ll have questions, it seems to work okay in practice.

Also note that it’s probably hard for speakers to hear questions as well.

– John T.

Not specifically… yet. In the meantime, sending ideas for improvement to llvmdev is always welcome!

-Chris

Actually no. I say this having done this more than once: what you do is have a person (not the presenter) scanning the audience for questions and taking the microphone to the next question while the current one is being asked. It works remarkably well and the worst problem to overcome ends up being getting the person asking the question to talk into the microphone once they hear their voice amplified.

Greg

IME only one mic is needed (we always ran into problems with more than one as to order of questions).

Greg

One idea for a hacking session would be a “performance analysis workshop”. People could bring their apps, we could sample them track down what part of the compiler would need to change and code it up (if time allowed).

Given the trade offs involved, it could be helpful to many folks, the trick is to get the right people to show up.

Chris, is there a formal feedback mechanism for the Developer’s meeting? One comment I’d like to make is that I think we need microphones both for the speakers at the conference and for people in the audience to use to ask questions at the end. Every speaker had to repeat questions because audience members couldn’t hear the questioner.

For now, please send any feedback to llvm-dev and feel free to cc me directly. We will hopefully have some formal mechanism for getting feedback or gathering some thoughts about next year’s format.

Thanks,
Tanya

The way a lot of technical conferences are structured is that you have a “main day” which is about showing off the latest and greatest, and then either the day before or day after you have tutorials or beginner classes which is more focused on people who are just getting into LLVM. For example, if there was a class on using tablegen I’d probably go to it.

Past LLVM conferences have mainly been focused on “what’s new”, but as the community gets larger I think that there will be a need for bring newcomers up to speed on the technologies.