Please read these guidelines carefully. They are written to help you give your
submission its best possible chance to be accepted. (As you know, the Program
Committee can't accept every submission to the conference.)
A good presentation is one that advances the state of the art in the XFree86 world. It should acknowledge previous work done in the area, as well as current related work. Implementation of ideas or technologies that have been previously presented is fine, but the presentation should concentrate on how the idea or technology was integrated with XFree86. If you have any questions about whether your proposal is appropriate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The XFree86 Technical Conference will be held in Oakland, California, November 7-8, 2001.
Dates for submissions:
THE CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS:For your convenience, here is a summary of the important information in the Call For Presentations:
WHAT KINDS OF PRESENTATIONS DOES USENIX ACCEPT?
The most important thought to keep in mind when deciding whether to propose a talk is "what will the audience or readers learn from my presentation?" We don't expect every tool-related presentation to report on a major breakthrough, but we do look for something new, potentially useful, and not entirely obvious. Think about how different your work is from previously presented work; it may be good work but it should also be an improvement over the previous work. Think about how other people might find your work useful; can they apply what you are teaching them to their own systems or environments? Or does it show how other people have been confused? "Negative results" that contradict the conventional wisdom are often more important than positive results, especially in case studies.
Also think about whether the XFree86 conference is the right place to present your work. Perhaps it belongs in a more theoretical conference, or a conference with a different kind of focus. If it is very short or is more of an opinion piece, it might be more appropriate for the USENIX newsletter ;login:. Also try asking if they would find the talk interesting, and try asking them to identify the most important aspects of your presentation.
When you are preparing your submission, keep in mind "what do I intend to teach the listener?" That means keeping the presentation focused on one or a few main points. Don't try to cram too many big issues into the talk, and don't fill it up with irrelevant details. Do include enough background for the listener to understand why your problem is important, how your work relates to previous work in the field, and how it might fit into a practical system. Also, provide enough detail for the listener to put your performance measurements or other technical evaluation in context.
You are encouraged to submit a paper for publication in the conference proceedings. The proceedings will be given to all attendees and provide an excellent place to extend ideas from your presentation while providing additional background information. It is also a chance to provide a good bibliography, both so that you give proper credit to previous work, and so that a reader can know where to turn to find additional background information. The Program Committee will not look kindly on a paper if the author doesn't appear to be familiar with the current literature. A complete list of papers previously published by USENIX is available at http://www.usenix.org/publications/library/. If you have questions, feel free to ask the Program Committee.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY AN EXTENDED ABSTRACT?
An extended abstract might better be thought of as a "condensed paper." The Program Committee will be trying to evaluate your final presentation, not merely whether the work you are reporting on is good. This means that we will view the extended abstract as a sample of your ability to communicate clearly about your topic, to organize your thoughts, and to convey sufficient information to the audience. This also means that outlines, copies of presentation slides, or 1 paragraph summaries are quite unlikely to be accepted. In addition, the Program Committee will also try to judge if the presentation will make a good 25 minute talk.
When you write an extended abstract, you are explicitly leaving things out of the presentation. Each time you do that, ask yourself, "Will it make it hard for the Program Committee to judge my work?" There are no easy rules to follow here: something that might be vital in judging the value of one submission would be irrelevant detail in another case. It's best to leave out things that take a lot of explanation but are not central to the main point of the proposal. You might also leave out descriptions of variations on, or extensions to, the main concepts. Don't leave out references to related work, but you can probably reduce this part to an explanation pitched to the Program Committee, rather than an "introduction to the field" written for the benefit of a non-expert reader. Include graphs, figures, and tables that are central to understanding the concepts! We don't count these against the 2-page limit, because they make an extended abstract easier to read. Try to design figures that can be understood without lots of explanatory text.
Also, it's perfectly okay to write notes to the Program Committee in your extended abstract! Tell them why you left something out, if a section may be fundamentally changed in the final presentation, or similar comments that will help them better understand your extended abstract.
MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO WRITE A GOOD PAPER:
For those willing to submit a complete paper to this conference, we recommend that you read the proceedings of some recent LISA conferences to get an idea of what kinds of papers are published. Not every one of these papers is perfect, but most of them are better than most of the papers that did not get accepted. A few papers to consider are:
You can also refer to the "USENIX Online Library and Index" (at http://www.usenix.org/publications/library/index.html) for additional papers that may be of use.
Finally, if you have any other questions, at any time during the entire submissions process, especially if you have a proposal but have concerns about it not being "right" for the conference, PLEASE send mail to the Program Chair at email@example.com.