Hofstadter's law states that "it always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law".
Unrelatedly, we can finally announce the speakers and instructors for this year's event, as well as the full schedule!
Before we get to that (although you can hop over to the schedule page to check it out, if you can't wait) we actually have quite a few interesting pieces of news.
As we've announced, previously, we're bringing our workshops (training classes) right into the main programme. We've got five tracks of workshops over two days, including half-day, one-day and two-day workshops.
You don't need to register for specific workshops in advance, although you may choose to let us know (a) to make sure your spot is reserved in case they get too crowded and (b) to give the instructors an idea of what to expect. You can do this when you register, or let us know by email.
The third day is the more traditional "conference" day, with a set of 60 minute talks - but with a twist. Quite literally, in fact. In the past we have had three or four tracks of about three regular timeslots, plus a keynote. That means there are nine, or twelve, talks - but you only get to watch three of them live. Add to that the fact that no matter when we run them, now we're all online, it's going to be inconvenient for someone's timezone.
So we've decided to turn the schedule on its side! This year we have only two tracks, but six timeslots (including the closing keynote)! That means you can choose to take in more talks, during a longer day - or skip some at the beginning or end (or even the middle) - while still catching as many as in previous years. The choice is yours. If you're tuning in from a timezone further afield you shouldn't feel guilty if you come in late or have the leave early.
Last year we pioneered the use of Remo as an online conferencing platform. For many of us it was the first taste of that "real" conference experience (where a big part - maybe the biggest part - is the conversations between the sessions). But Remo is not without its issues and limitations - and wasn't what worked for everyone.
So this year we're moving the virtual venue to Gather, and the sessions (both workshops and talks) to Zoom. If you've been to emBO++ or C++ Now you'll already have seen Gather in action, although we can set the venue up in very different ways. If not I think it's fair to say that it represents another big step towards that "real" conference experience - while also embracing what's different about virtual events.
The simplest explanation is that it looks like a 2D scrolling game, but that may also mislead you. It's built for interaction! For example, as you wander round, if you see other people and move over to them, as you get nearer you start to hear them, more and more loudly, until you reach their group. Not a discussion you wanted to be a part of? Just carry on walking past. No awkward popping in and out of video chats. But there's so much more you can do with it, and we'll be dropping more tidbits as we go on.
So, about that schedule. You can check it out for your self on our shiny new schedule page. It includes many familiar names from years past, as well as a couple of new ones - covering a wide range of topics. We also have lightning talks on the Thursday evening, which you'll be able to propose ideas for closer to the time, and Barbara and Ansel's closing keynote.
Tickets are on sale, now. The best value is the full conference ticket, of course - which includes both workshop days - all for the price of just one workshop day in previous years! But there are also options for those that can only make one or two days.