The Feyerabend Project at ChiliPLoP, EuroPLoP, & OOPSLA

Fifty years into the First Computing Era some of us in the computing arena have come to realize we’ve made a false start, and for us to finally be able to produce lasting, correct, beautiful, usable, scalable, enjoyable software that stands the tests of time and moral human endeavor, we need to start over. Perhaps we’ll be able to salvage some of what we’ve learned from the First Era. Perhaps not.

ChiliPLoP (May 1-4, 2001, Carefree, Arizona), EuroPLoP (July 4-8, 2001, Irsee, Germany), OOPSLA 2001 ( October 14-18, Tampa Bay, Florida), and Santa Fe (April 17–19, 2002) were the venues for the first four in a short series of workshops working up to the initial starting place for a massive reinvention of computing. The way to think of this reinvention is that we have experienced 50 years of computing all the way from machine language numerical computing to performing software on the Web in Java; and some of our tools, languages, processes, methodologies, and educational practices are suitable for and conducive to creating humane software, and some aren’t. Now that we have a better idea of the kinds of software and systems we need to routinely build, the proper place of users in the design process, and what it takes to get software built, we need to take a look at what we do and how we do it in order to better match tools and processes to reality.

These are brainstorming events—I come prepared with about an hour of material with ideas for new programming languages and new educational practices, and after that the group works to gather more ideas to start sketching the new landscape of computing. You are the right person for these events if you are a creative thinker, know several areas of computing well, and are sympathetic to (though perhaps are not a believer in) the goals of the patterns community.

To be invited to one of these workshops, please send me a 1-page description of your computing interests and expertises along with a 1 or 2 paragraph essay on your initial thoughts on how to approach this work. A maximum of 20 people will be invited.

E-mail: rpg at

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