Planning for EmacsConf 2016 + Talk Ideas


Hey all! We’re starting to plan for EmacsConf 2016, and we need your input!

Here are the plans so far:

  • The conference date will be sometime late Summer before colleges start in the US/Canada.
  • The conference location will be in Boston if we can find someone in Boston that can put together a local EmacsConf team and find a sponsor for a room and food. If we can’t, then it will likely be in San Francisco again. If you’re interested, let us know!
  • We want to get the FSF more involved.
  • We are going to make a greater effort to reach out to emacs developers and international emacs folks. We’ll also try to find a date that John Wiegley, RMS, and Stefan can all make.
  • We’re currently talking with Alex (dotemacs) to transfer the domain over so we can switch to it.

First things first, though. We need to start gathering talk/session ideas + people that want to give talks. These are my ideas:

  • I think a “state of the emacs union” given by John Wiegley would make a great keynote talk :slight_smile:
  • An emacs retrospective on what it was like to be the last maintainer given by Stefan would also be awesome.
  • I can give a talk on eshell.
  • @gopar had the idea of having another “Bug Crushing Emacs” session like the one we had in SF a couple weeks back.

Ideas? Interested in giving a talk? Feedback on the plan so far? Want to help out? Let us know!

Let’s get hyped, ya’ll :smiley:

  1. I have doubts about being able to make it to Boston this summer, but will see as the date gets closer. I can help with preparation here in California of course.

  2. If the conference is in Boston it might be better to have it in March, just before or after the Libre Planet conference. That’s going on right now, so the next one would be almost exactly a year from now. Maybe we could have a miniature one in San Francisco in the summer and make a longer range plan for Boston?

  3. Logistics, sponsorship etc. in Boston will probably benefit enough from Boston local presence and knowledge, that it might be best if people at that end could take on primary organizing duties for a Boston conference, with us assisting as we can.

  4. For the last conference there was some interest in having me speak about hacking the C part of Emacs (I did that in the distant past, though my knowledge is now way out of date). That didn’t happen but it’s something we could consider again if people still want it.

  5. For a SF conference there’s again the questions of venue and sponsorship. If Goodsearch wants to host us again, that would be great, but otherwise we’ll have to line up alternatives. We should probably start looking around if we aren’t already.

  6. I missed the bug crushing session! Is there an announcement list for stuff like that?


I am an Emacs developer, live near Boston, and would be happy to help organize.


Hi all,

good idea @phr to hold a (possibly larger) Emacs conf close to LibrePlanet 2017.

I’m in France but I would be willing to join in Boston if I could get the most of the trip.

I would happily speak about org-mode and give a personal testimony on why Emacs is great for non-programmers too.


Hey folks! Sorry for the slow reply, but I’d be happy to help put things together in Boston.

I suspect that we won’t have too much trouble finding a venue. There are a number of hackerspaces in Boston and Cambridge (which is right across the river), and I bet one might be willing to help us out. hack/reduce, in particular, has a great space and location and often hosts events. They might even host us gratis, if we’re lucky. If we’re committed to Boston, I’d be happy to ping them about it.

Funding for food might be a little trickier. My employer, thoughtbot, sponsors the Emacs meetups in NYC and Boston, and they might be able to chip in for food and some miscellaneous expenses. They’ve also helped with video editing and production. I’ll sniff around and see what they’d be willing to do.

The FSF is pretty good at putting together a conference (LibrePlanet was this weekend, and it went very smoothly), so I definitely agree that we should try to get them involved. They could probably help us with finding venues and sponsorship, and I’d sure like to have RMS come talk.

Personally, the ideal weekends for me would be July 16-17, Aug 6-7, or Aug 20-21.

@tzz: Hi! If you’re near Boston, we’d love to have you swing by EmacsBoston some time! In fact, there’s a meetup this very evening!


Hello friends! I’m new to Emacs (working on moving over from Sublime) but I’ve helped organize events in the past and I’d like to get involved.
Let me know if there’s something you’d like me to tackle and I’ll keep listening on the thread and jump in where I can!


Thanks @hrs I’ll try to come by. It’s short notice so I’ll do my best. I’ll keep track through in the future.


Hi folks! I’m also new to Emacs and excited for the prospect of a conference in Boston. I wish I could be there at the meetup tonight…


There are two reasons I think having the conference in Boston make sense:

  1. We want as many people as possible to be able to come to EmacsConf as possible. If we move locations every year, more people can have the experience of coming to EmacsConf :smiley:
  2. It’s near the FSF, and we want to get them more involved.

Keeping 1. in mind, I think moving the conference every year makes sense. For example, Pycon 2016 is in Portland, and it was in Montreal last year. So tying it to LibrePlanet would have actually been a pretty good idea, but we started EmacsConf 2016 planning too late :slight_smile: I think going forward, it would make sense to keep the timeframe consistent (late summer/early fall) so people know what to expect.

You’re an important part of EmacsConf, so I hope we can figure out a date that works for you. Do any of Harry’s proposed weekends (July 16-17, Aug 6-7, or Aug 20-21) work?

I think that would make a great topic!

I found out from an email, but it was posted to the meetup: Maybe it would make sense to post about the events to discourse too? I personally never check meetup and disabled all emails from them haha.



Last year, GoodShop, Sufyan’s employer, hosted the conference. We were able to use their space, and they paid for the food.

We can check with MIT to see if they can host us for free, too.

All of those dates work for me. I’ll check in with other people so we can decide on a date.


[quote=“samer, post:9, topic:107, full:true”]I personally never check meetup and disabled all emails from them haha.

Yeah I never check it either. Amusingly, searching for Emacs in and choosing “within 5 miles of San Francisco” doesn’t find anything, since Emacs-SF is actually registered in Oakland, which is about 10 miles away. Heh.

Folks at MIT could maybe wangle some meeting space for us there, but I doubt MIT would pay for anything.

My main concern about Boston (besides my own ability to get there) is that we barely had the energy and bandwidth to do it in San Francisco even though we could all meet up regularly, we got sponsorship from Goodsearch because one of us worked there, and logistics were relatively easy. Doing it cross-country sounds scary by comparison.


Moving the conference each year sounds like a good idea, but perhaps if we tied-in multiple virtual venues, it would be even nicer. I will start looking around at space in Portland, where I could display the streaming feed, but still get local people around here to attend.

I’d like to pitch an idea for speaking about the lighter/weirder side of working with Emacs … some of the odd things I’ve connected to Emacs… that is, if we run out of real talks. :smile:


That’s an excellent idea! If we had a virtual presence in Portland, it would be awesome to have someone (like yourself!) give a remove presentation during it!

Haha, I’d love to hear your pitch!



My request is to make sure that all parts of the event(not just the talks on the stage, may be like having casual conversation with RMS and others) is captured with max resolution possible with good quality audio and uploaded as soon as possible to the internet and the link is shared. Since like me most of the emacs users can not attend the conference in person, having high resolution video captured at the correct angle will be a huge joy to watch.

Thanks for this event.