[Haskell-cafe] Asking for advice on category for a paper for ICFP

Richard Eisenberg lists at richarde.dev
Tue Feb 1 15:56:54 UTC 2022

This is a good question, and there's no easy answer. My first impression is that a new implementation of an existing idea probably would not qualify as a big enough contribution to be accepted at ICFP -- but I don't know FRP well enough to really know (and I certainly don't know how impactful your new approach is). It's plausible that a new implementation of an existing idea would be accepted, but it would have to be pretty thought-provoking. A good rule-of-thumb is: if a reader had no particular interest in using your implementation or writing their own FRP implementation, is there something for them to learn? That is, does your approach generalize to non-FRP tasks? Does it use a feature of Haskell or of a lazy programming language or of a functional programming language in a new, surprising way? Does your approach to analyzing why your implementation is better than others offer insight? If the answers to these (or similar) questions is "yes", then perhaps a research paper would work.

On the other hand, a key attribute of a functional pearl is its elegance and beauty. Does your approach take a knot of complication in other FRP implementations and make it go away by construction? Is your approach guaranteed faster by some aspect of its design? Would a reader (who doesn't know about FRP implementations) read what you've written and smile at the ingenuity of it all? Positive answers to these types of question suggest that a functional pearl is best.

Sadly, there are many neat ideas that fit neither of these molds -- implementation-oriented work often doesn't. And, if you don't fit the mold of the category you're writing for, your paper may well get rejected, even if it's a good contribution. I don't have a solution here; I think this is a weakness of the current publication model.

I hope this advice is helpful!

> On Feb 1, 2022, at 10:07 AM, Anton Kholomiov <anton.kholomiov at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi! 
> I'm trying to write a paper for ICFP, This is my first paper of this kind. 
> Can you please help me to choose the right category for it?
> The paper is about a novel technique of implementation of FRP.
> I've studied the Haskell FRP zoo and I can confirm that it's novel.
> In my opinion it's very elegant and simple, but of course I'm biased :)
> So far so good. Can you please help me to choose the right category for it?
> Is it a normal research paper or is it a functional pearl?
> So the FRP is an old technique, but I propose a novel variant of implementation
> which I hope is easy to study even in normal class rooms and does not contain
> unsafePerform tricks. 
> Cheers,
> Anton
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