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> If this proposal were to be accepted, we would need to figure out how
> to accommodate many more papers at the physical meeting.  How to
> achieve this is secondary to my main proposal, but a number of
> proposals have been floated, including
> * Parallel sessions
> * A lottery among accepted papers
> * Voting by conference registrants
> * Program committee decision

I know this is secondary, but I want to make sure I get my two cents in: the 
only rational choice is to go to parallel sessions or to extend the length of 
the conference.  

I believe that voting, either by PC or conference registrants, has the 
potential to be much more unfair than current paper selection practice.  If 
part of the voting explicitly depends upon answering the question "who will 
give a good talk?" as opposed to "what is the content of the paper" then this 
introduces an extreme bias towards old, famous, successful researchers and away 
from young, new, unheard of researchers and students.  Whereas we now at least 
try to judge POPL papers purely on the merit of the current technical document, 
we would instead be veering away from that crucial principle.  And the more we 
start asking personality-based questions such as "who will give a good talk," 
the more we may be susceptible to subconscious biases against various 
minorities (women, racial, etc) or the more we may try to overcompensate for 
such biases, resulting in reverse-discrimination.

I also believe that lottery for talks is bad.  What a lottery does is select 
some set of papers for which the talk audience is zero.  With parallel sessions,
the talk audiences will be smaller, but not zero.  If I had a really great 
idea, I'd rather present it 6 months later at PLDI than have it appear 6 months 
earlier in the POPL proceedings, but not have the chance to give a talk.  

One last thing:  while we may be getting all tied in knots over this popl 
review process right now, from what I've heard, within computer science, our 
community is really pretty great when it comes to selecting papers for 
inclusion in conferences based on their merits.  I've heard of all kinds of 
dysfunctionality and biases and turf wars and sketchiness in other communities 
that we don't seem to be suffering from at all.  Of course, that's probably 
because we're constantly working to try to make the process better and more 
fair to all.


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