Participating in the OOPSLA 2001 Feyerabend Workshop

The workshop at OOPSLA 2001 is the third in a series of gatherings intended to explore the feasibility of this project and to gather ideas for its continuation. This specific edition will focus on how object-oriented technology and its offshoots, such as patterns and agile methods, can contribute. If you would like to participate in this workshop you should apply to the organizers according to the following guidelines.

First Steps

Read about Preparing for a Feyerabend Workshop to be sure you are still interested. Think about how you can contribute to this effort. What expertise do you have, either in the computing world or elsewhere that can help us look at the world as it is and envision a better one? How can this expertise be used to move us in a better direction? What circles do you move in where people have such expertise that can be brought to bear.

Applying to Join

There are two parts to a written application.

First, tell us something about yourself that you think is relevant to this project.

Second, write up one of the following exercises and send it along as well.

You Can't Get There From Here

Envision some problem with computing as done today - either technical or social. Describe it briefly. A page or two is plenty. Include pictures and links as appropriate.
Now envision a future world in which that problem does not exist - either because we avoided the problem by taking a different path to the future or because we solved the problem somehow. Describe some characteristics of this world. Again a page or two is enough, though this is up to you.
Finally envision a path between the current situation and your future world. Describe one significant point on that path. What significant event occurred that helped move us from the current situation to a better world? This may be pure scientific fiction, of course.

Buggy Components

What it would mean to design software that assumes unreliable/buggy components, i.e. that everything won't work correctly?


How can we create software that can be "tinkered" with, i.e. that users can locally adapt and then share their adaptations with others?

Impossibilty of Complete Requirements

Acknowledging that it is impossible to totally specify the requirements for a program and that requirements always change over time, what does that say about how we should construct software?

Creative submissions of other forms will be considered. The above is not intended to be limiting, but only to help you open your mind to the direction in which we think we want to move.

Where to Send Your Contribution

Send your applicaton in any reasonable format (pdf may be best) to Richard P. Gabriel (rpg at These contributions will be made available to participants.

Dates and Deadlines

The following dates are suggested. We will consider requests to attend up until we leave for OOPSLA.

August 17: Contributions are due

September 1: Notification of acceptance

Note. The ideas for the first exercise grew out of the first Feyerabend Workshop at ChiliPLoP 2001 as a way to stir up the grey matter. The exercise is called "You can't get there from here, but maybe you can get here from there." It is due to Geoff Cohen.