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The C Conference (cconf.github.com)
165 points by zdw on Mar 17, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments

You should not use the signature design of someone else's book if you have no affiliation with them: come up with your own branding.

Meh. I thought it was clever. K&R is a little like the bible; nobody's going to think this guy was involved with it.

sigh I did... :( Now, thanks to the over-the-top "nobody's going to think that" comment, we get to have an argument over whether I'm stupid instead of looking at similar situations (such as the many people who do that to my brand, and the real confusion I can demonstrate among both my user base and the people I network with, many of whom are not so technical as you, I, or even my users), the problems with accepting that specific excuse at face value (as I have found it equally used by people running real money-related scams in addition to people with good intentions), the potential for damage to the brand for the people we admire who built it (Kernighan is still alive, and it seems pretty evident that he is paying homage to this with the cover of his new book, D is for Digital), or any of the interesting moral questions behind the sentiment (for a humorous example of where this can go, see the episode "I'm Not That Guy" of How I Met Your Mother).

Uh, what? I don't think you're stupid.

I am not certain how to reconcile this comment of yours with your earlier flat dismissal.

Here, try this: he both thinks that you are not stupid and that "nobody" would confuse who wrote the book (evidently, the second thought was shown to be factually incorrect).

Not so hard--I, however, think you're being silly.

'Stupid' and 'ignorant' or 'naïve' are not the same thing.

Uh... what? I don't think he's ignorant or naive. Jiminy. You can disagree with an idea casually around here, right?

no we are very serious business

I thought it was clever too, but the paranoid side of me thinks if this is to go ahead, Prentice Hall may not like it.

Maybe nobody is going to think of his involvement, but they may think that the K&R folks are endorsing this...

One technology development which makes this increasingly relevant are the prevalence of Arduino (Raspberry Pi, etc) - embedded platforms that take care of a lot of the hardware heavy lifting for you.

But there is a gap between what the Arduino libraries let you do and the capabilities of the hardware itself. And it is for these things, projects of increasing sophistication, which require some C and assembly, for which there is value in wider dissemination of expertise.

Incidentally, I (a few months ago) created an "NYC C and Assembly Enthusiasts" meetup group, which seems to be in a similar vein. I have not yet hosted any meetups, but since C Conference Enthusiasts seem to be on this thread, please send me a note!

Embedded development is another important niche for C. (There are already many embedded conferences, of course.)

A track on testing C projects would be good. For example, check out Unity (http://throwtheswitch.org/white-papers/unity-intro.html), CMock (http://throwtheswitch.org/white-papers/cmock-intro.html), and greatest (https://github.com/silentbicycle/greatest). (disclosure: I'm involved with all three.)

Pick a date and a location. Contact the venue and make a tentative booking. Then, only then, spread the word publicly. Right now, no one can help because no date or format is set.

Here's a tip: use cvent.com to post a RFP (request for proposal). It's a great way to contat tens of venues/hotels with only a few clicks, and never have to talk to anyone on the phone to get pricing for various locations, rooms and sizes. A geek's paradise :-)

Or you can do like I did for the Startup Conference: start small (the first conference was officially half a day but I crammed 6 hours of content, crazy). See that people loved it, and grow from there. You'll learn as you go.

I think your suggestions are really useful, but on the other hand, I think for something as broad as C, an initial test with a measuring stick is required before figuring out the specifics. I mean, with C, you could go in such diverse directions as microcontroller programming all the way to desktop application development. It may be better to figure out how to reconcile C's broad applicability before booking a venue.

So far this seems more like "the vague idea that a C conference might occur somewhere at some point if someone wants to pay for it and someone wants to organize it" than "The C Conference".

Can we have more action and less wishful thinking?

Woah, this hit Hacker News and Twitter before I expected. I started contacting people today to start organizing this and created the site to have a point of discussion. If you want to discuss ideas, sponsorship or venue stuff email me directly or post to the Google Group.

If you want to discuss in person stop by 231 27th St. SF, CA.

cconf@googlegroups.com brandon.cconf@ifup.org

Discussion is good, but it needs to start somewhere. All you've got -- or at least, all you've published -- is a vague list of ideas, most of which would individually make a big conference.

A conference is defined as much by what it isn't as by what it is. Start by narrowing your scope a bit; a conference which is about everything relating to the single most widely used language in the history of computer programming isn't even remotely feasible.

Chill, man. It's clear he posted this as a "Here's a good idea, let's start to flesh it out" sort of page, and it got exposure before it had even been fleshed out. I'm sure he's looking for people who are really excited about making it happen to help him do just that. I think this is a fine way to go about it.

Two weeks from now nobody will remember that this took off on GitHub, HN, Twitter, etc.

If you like the idea, or even just the potential of the idea, why don't you offer up useful suggestions instead of being uselessly critical? What would you want to see? Since it needs more focus, where would you focus it? If you were giving a talk, what would you give? Do you know anyone who would be excited about helping to organize it?

If I were Brandon, I'd be ecstatic that this took root so quickly and people are already responding emotionally -- even if negatively.

why don't you offer up useful suggestions instead of being uselessly critical?

I thought "you need to narrow your scope" was a useful suggestion. I guess you think differently.

No, a suggestion would be:

"You need to narrow your scope. I personally would be more interested in X and Y, but not Z, J, or N."

What you did was give a vague criticism without offering a concrete solution in response. Those kinds of criticisms are always difficult to respond to primarily because, should he follow your suggestion and it fail, you can simply say:

"Well I just said narrow your scope, I never said narrow it to those failed topics."

I'm not so egotistical as to think that the topics which interest me would be the ones which interest lots of other people. In fact, I have ample evidence to the contrary.

Nobody is saying that's the case, but surely you see the (qualitative) difference between:

"Why did you even do this? It's really unfocused. This needs to be more focused if you ever hope in seeing something happen. We need to see more action and less wishful thinking."


"Interesting! This has a lot of potential. I'd love to see topics X, Y, and Z, although that's just me. Send me an email and I can introduce you to some people who might be interested in helping to organize this."

Yes, the current list is a dump of possible ideas.

I am focusing on contacting people behind newish ideas and best practices. There is a lot of innovation but I don't know if it get disseminated out of certain communities e.g. CCAN, libabc, compile time code hardening and gyp

Would love your help narrowing scope.

I agree completely. No idea if Brandon intended to sign himself up for this, but it seems like if somebody takes point on actually getting this conference started (provided they narrow it down as you suggest), that's simply the tipping point from nothing into a conference actually happening. So even if the plan isn't perfect yet (and certainly there is more to be said about than than even your comments), it still has a much larger chance of happing now that Brandon has gotten the proverbial ball rolling with this post. I am excited, personally!

Didn't know about CCAN http://ccodearchive.net/ I plan on investigating. Am home bound so attending the conference is not possible as much as I would like to. Am hoping for videos and similar post conference so I can get what I can :)

I would absolutely pay for and go to this. Such amazing potential for keynote speakers.

Wish I could afford to go to this as a computer science student. Currently taking a course on algorithm implementation in C; http://cs.lth.se/edaf15. Our lecturer (http://www.linkedin.com/in/jonasskeppstedt) wrote the second C99 certified compiler. He also co-authored a book on writing efficient C code: http://writing-efficient-c-code.com // http://www.adlibris.com/se/product.aspx?isbn=9197794007. Meaning; this feels really relevant and interesting!

Wow, random. I'm also taking that course right now :P My last course at the school.

Do people really go to programming conferences for keynotes? My experience has been that the hallway conversations are alone worth more than keynotes.

Many keynotes sessions tend to be disappointing because there is not enough time to dive into technical details, or the presenter is not sure if they should be focusing on the movement as opposed to their technical contributions.

I go to conferences I've attended before because of the hallway track. But that won't get me to attend a new conference, because I don't know if the hallway track will be any good yet.

David Beazley proved to me at PyCon 2012 that keynotes are occasionally worth attending.

It might turn out to be interesting. So far I was only aware of such conferences by ACCU.

Every time I use Grand Central Dispatch on Mac OS X, I get the feeling that "C99 + Blocks" is actually a pretty great language for many things, and I'd love to use it on other platforms.

One of these days, I need to look into the state of Clang on Windows...

If you haven't used blocks, Wikipedia has a concise article with a readable code sample, although it doesn't really give a very good idea of what real closures in C are good for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blocks_(C_language_extension)

uh, looks like some webdev hippster read the 2nd ed. and now wants to start a C-rockstar/ninja cult.

Would that be a bad thing?

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