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Re: The group

In article <x7ivbvoynm.fsf@omphalos.maths.bath.ac.uk> jpff@maths.bath.ac.uk (John Fitch) writes:

> It is just that it has been silent for so long that I was wondering
> why I was bothering to keep it on my list of groups read.
> I do not remember much activity for a very long time.  For exampel
> when is the next ALU meeting due?  When was the last?

The most recent meeting of the ALU was at Object World East.  I THINK
the next one will be a year from that date, also at Object World East.
I'm sure it will be announced on the ALU home page when it's firm.


As to the issue of staying subscribed, I can't really comment since
obviously your newsreader is different than mine--mine is very good
about not showing me things that have no recent mail, which makes the
overhead nearly non-existent.

I do often wish the ALU would have a life away from the meetings.  At
some ALU meetings there has even been discussion of that, but so far
newsgrouping is not one of them.  On the other hand, web contributions
to the home page above have been pretty good--there's a lot of
resource there, and that's an example of non-meeting activity.  Also,
the comp.org.lisp-users list does exist for people to ask questions
of, as you have.

Back to the issue of ALU meetings, here are some more of my personal
impressions about that meeting (which we had at 7am and for which we
had surprisingly good attendance even for the early hour)...


In past years, the ALU has sponsored the Lisp Users and Vendors (LUV)
conference annually, in August.  Last year, a decision was made to have
the ALU meet in the spring at Object World East in Boston, which it did.

The consensus of most people I talked to was that this didn't work quite
as well as they'd hoped, but that it still had many major pluses and so
people wanted to try it again one more year before giving up on 
Object World East.

I think there was a sense that Object World was not organized as well
as we'd expected.  It was also very expensive.  But even so, it also
had the advantage that the higher price tag was probably easier to
justify (for those who could get the funds at all) because there was
more going on than just Lisp.

There was discussion among ALU members of how to get the Dynamic
Objects event better integrated with the main event.  A lot of people
present seemed to feel outreach to non-Lispers at forums like Object
World is something the ALU should be keeping as a central focus.

There was some discussion of moving to OOPSLA instead, but the sense
was that this was a better conference for the time being.  A lot of
people have negative vibes about OOPSLA's goodness as a match for this

Some lamented the loss of intimacy from the smaller LUV conference.
But that conference was more of a financial risk at the size it
typically runs.  Object World was very low-cost for the ALU.

There was also some talk about alternating between Object World West
and Object World East so that the ALU meeting would be in different
places in different years, rather than always Boston for Object World
East.  But others observed that there is value for budgets and other
things for it to always be the same time of year.

There was discussion of renaming ALU to ODO (Organization of Dynamic
Objects).  It wasn't obvious to me that this got enormous support, but
I think no particular vote was taken on the matter.

There was talk of Lisp and the marketplace, and what could be done
there to boost its image.  Interfaces to this or that database,
communication protocol, etc.  It's an "object" conference--some
discussion of how to play into that better.

I'll leave it to the ALU officers and board to comment on the plans of
the ALU or to expand on any of what I've said (or to correct anything
I may have misstated here--I'm just relying on personal notes--the above
is not an official account of any kind).