PL Perspectives

Perspectives on computing and technology from and for those with an interest in programming languages.

Welcome to PL Perspectives, the SIGPLAN blog!

I am Michael Hicks, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, USA, and the Past Chair of SIGPLAN. I am the organizer and the current editor of this blog. I am really excited that we are getting this off the ground!

What is it?

The mission of PL Perspectives is to showcase programming languages-based ideas and results, and their connections to the wider world. Posts may cover a broad range of topics, from concepts to realization, theory to implementation, and education to practice. They will be broadly accessible, assuming a technical background but not necessarily a deep expertise in PL research. The hope is that readers of PL Perspectives will gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the breadth and depth of PL ideas, and perhaps apply them to their own work.

What kind of posts can we expect?

We envision several categories of posts:

  • Research and technical ideas
  • Ideas for teaching, courses, and outreach (with a PL focus/theme)
  • Shorter, accessible versions of award winning research papers
  • Viewpoints on technical and non-technical topics
  • Interviews, reflections
  • Summaries of conferences and other group activities
  • News and events, and analysis of them
  • Announcements and calls from SIGPLAN volunteers and leaders to the broader community

We aim to publish 1-2 posts per week.

What makes the PL Perspectives different?

PL Perspectives was inspired by Computer Architecture – Today, the SIGARCH blog. It was also inspired by blogs written by PL researchers and practitioners. It is not meant to replace them. Individuals’ blogs are more personal and technical than we envision PL Perspectives will be. As the blog of SIGPLAN, PL Perspectives also aims to gather a diversity of voices in one place, including those without the time to maintain their own blog. We hope that all of these things serve the goal of expanding the footprint of PL ideas, and inviting a broader participation in the PL community.

How can I contribute?

PL Perspectives will have regular contributors from a rotating cross section of people working on or interested in PL. We also solicit contributions from the wider community. If you have an idea for a post, or series of posts, please share the idea via the request for contributions box. Include in your request:

  1. Your idea (in a sentence or two)
  2. What material you will draw on to write it (e.g., a class you teach, a paper you wrote, work you’ve done)
  3. Links to writing samples, ideally that show things you’ve written for a more general audience

We are happy to re-publish prior work (with attribution to the original), likely with adjustment to the PL Perspectives audience.

Stay tuned!

Special thanks to Alvi Lebeck, the editor of SIGARCH’s Computer Architecture Today, who provided copious helpful advice while I was getting PL Perspectives off the ground!

Disclaimer: These posts are written by individual contributors to share their thoughts on the SIGPLAN blog for the benefit of the community. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal, belong solely to the blog author and do not represent those of ACM SIGPLAN or its parent organization, ACM.