Attention Users of Functional Languages: ICFP wants the Benefit of your Experience!

The ACM International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP) is actively soliciting practitioners to write and present Experience Reports that describe how functional programming works---or fails to work---in the real-world.

What is ICFP?

ICFP is the premier academic conference on the theory and practice of functional programming. It draws hundreds of researchers, practitioners, and enthusiasts from all over the world. ICFP 2009 will be held the week of 31 August in Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition to the three-day main technical program, there will be many associated workshops, including one for Commercial Users of Functional Programming (CUFP) and a Developer's Track (DEFUN).

What is an Experience Report?

An experience report is a short paper (about 5000 words) providing evidence that functional programming really works---or describing what obstacles prevent it from working.

Possible topics for Experience Reports might include:

Why does ICFP want Experience Reports?

The entire functional-programming community benefits from being able to draw on the experience of practitioners that shows FP is important in the real world. Evidence about the utility of FP is much more valuable when it has been carefully written up, formally reviewed and published in a citable proceedings. ICFP has always welcomed full-length technical papers concerning practice and experience, but reports of experience are inherently different from research papers, and when judged by the criteria of scientific merit, novelty, or research contribution, they have not competed well against traditional ICFP submissions. To address this problem, Experience Reports were introduced as a separate category of paper in ICFP 2007. Unlike a regular paper, an Experience Report doesn't need to present novel results or conclusions, although it still needs to present a clear thesis and provide supporting evidence. About a dozen Reports have been presented so far, and they have been well-received by conference attendees.

Why should I write an Experience Report?

The most obvious reason is to get your own work on view in a competitive forum. But it's also a chance to share your wisdom about FP with an appreciative audience. And it's a way to give back to the research community that has helped produce the languages you use---and also to subject that community to your constructive criticisms. Incidentally, even if you have already presented in CUFP or are considering doing so, we'd still love to see an ICFP submission from you. Remember that CUFP has no published proceedings, and has a different target audience than ICFP.

I'm interested; what's next?

You need to write and submit your paper by March 2, 2009. Submissions will be reviewed by the ICFP program committee; authors of accepted papers will be expected to present them in person at Edinburgh. Complete details of the process and timeline can be found in the full call for papers on the conference web site.