Re: [Debconf-team] Report from the talks team
martin f krafft dijo [Sun, Sep 21, 2014 at 09:20:12AM +0200]:
> also sprach Gunnar Wolf <firstname.lastname@example.org> [2014-09-21 03:48 +0200]:
> > If we could in some way recover the practice to prepare a small
> > paper for a talk presentation, I think the aspects we are
> > discussing would surely get better. But I don't know how we can
> > require people to prepare a paper.
> For many subjects, it'd be hard to write a "paper". But why not make
> this the description, i.e. require that the description be really
> good and proof that you have thought about it already a lot.
I agree, not every talk can be backed by a paper, and very few BoFs
(if any) can. But we can at least encourage it (maybe doing so by
example when we submit talks and advertising it loudly, doing some
kind of campaign for full usable, readable descriptions). Again, we
*started* being a conference with proceedings, and then relaxed our
ways. It should be possible to go back!
> There will always be people who write their talk during the
> conference, which is their problem and nothing we can or should
> guard against.
However, the talks team can take the "preparedness" of the speaker as
a factor when rating the talks, and a paper (which would not need to
be a rigurous, peer-reviewed paper *at all*) can clearly show the
presenter has done his homework preparint the topic.
FWIW, this could also save us from situations where expectations of a
talk are radically different to what the talk is actually about — An
issue we have often faced.
> Also, I do believe it's good and desirable to provide early feedback
> to the proposers, asking for modifications to the proposal,
> suggesting a smaller time slot, or suggesting to team up with
> another presenter who wants to do something similar. Sure, you as
> the speaker won't like it if you cannot have your way, but we have
> limited time slots available and our goal should be high quality
> content for our attendees, don't you think?
I know you have argued for smaller and larger time slots. I do feel,
however, having regularity in the scheduling tends to help us. When
all talk slots start at the same time, and we have 45-min talks
aligned to 1hr-slots (allowing for some post-session chat, video
rearranging, attendees jumping between rooms), the conference schedule
is regular and easy to understand+follow. I think we have settled on
this model as "quite good" after trying somewhat different
incantations over the years; some talks will, of course, finish after
only 30min, and some could benefit from some extra time, but usually
it's acceptable to speakers and audience alike (and at most sparks
requests for ad-hoc talks ~24h later), and easier for organization.