Tuesday, June 19, 2007

UKOUG 2007: Judging the abstracts

The Call For Papers for the 2007 UKOUG Annual Conference has closed and the next phase has begun: judging the submissions. Unlike certain other conferences I could mention the judging process for the UKOUG is quite open. If you are on the UKOUG committee or if you submitted a paper you are entitled to act as a judge (you won't be allowed to mark your own abstracts). If you fall into either category and you haven't already registered you can do so on the conference website. Please do so: the more people who evaluate the submissions, the more useful the marks will be when it comes to making the final selection.

The marking categories have been expanded. Last year there were only four gradations and the majority of presentations were marked as 1. Which makes it hard to distinguish the very good from the run-of-the-mill. This year there are six grades, ranging from Must have to Don't bother, with some helpful variations in the middle range. So, with a bit of luck we'll get better differentiation of marks.

I have just been doing my bit. There are some very interesting submissions (and a few dogs). In the development stream the hot topics (the ones with the most submissions by different people) are:
  • Application Express
  • Incorporating AJAX into ADF applications
  • Migrating client/server Forms apps to the web

Once again, not that much on PL/SQL or Java outside of building UIs. On the other hand this year had several submissions on process (as opposed to "cookbook" presentations) which is a hopeful sign.

I have tried to reflect the feedback from the DE SIGs, to select papers which I know address common concerns of the delegates, even though they might bore me. But after a while the abstracts for certain topics (such as AJAX and ADF) all start to read the same. And of course, my take on what constitutes a Must have presentation is idiosyncratic. That's why we need more judges.

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