Dash Project/Submission System
- Algorithm for preliminary scheduling: do an auto-fill with user-definable constraints (minimal category overlap, even category distribution throughout the week, forced talk ordering, no speaker overlap, minimal categories that always end up in parallel.) Then the program committee can tweak from there.
Use Cases That Must Be Covered
- Primary contact who is not one of the speakers (not the usual case, but we should handle it).
- Defining the order of speakers shown on the website (this is important for travel approval for some companies) (and important for correct credit for others)
- Handle a change in speakers at any point in the process, including after the talk has been accepted, after all the agreements have been signed, after speakers have registered. Upon a change, make sure that all the agreements are signed, coupons distributed/disabled, etc. to return the talk to the previously achieved state.
- All reports that are available as lists or tables on the website must also be downloadable as spreadsheets (CSV or XLS).
For EclipseCon 2004 and 2005 and Eclipse Summit Europe 2006 and 2007, we used email submissions. For EclipseCon 2006 and 2007, we used a customized bugzilla written by a contractor for a submission system. For EclipseCon 2008, we used a custom php program written by a contractor.
Using emails has many problems, not the least of which are that it does not provide visibility to the authors and that it is a huge amount of administrative drudge work. The bugzilla system was pretty good because the developers are familiar with bugzilla, but our increasingly different (non-bug) workflow required an increasing number of customizations. The custom php program was started with great hopes (new! improved!) but the contractor was unable to deliver.