TLDR: After we had to cancel a first Plat_Forms 2012 effort in April this year, we are now going to try again and hold Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2 on October 9-10 of 2012.
For the April 2012 execution we tried to put Plat_Forms under a cloud computing and scalable applications theme. There were two reasons for that: First we thought that having a popular technology such as cloud computing under scientific scrutinity would yield interesting results. Second we noticed that distinguishing a programming platform for web applications by the language only might not be accurate enough anymore since there are a number of other things, most importantly the web development framework, that play a role here. By moving the focus away from a typical HTML-producing web application to a scalable web service we hoped to get around that problem. The alternative would have been to systematically find out what constitutes a web framework, how to group "similar" frameworks, and what "similar" means in the context of web development frameworks which is something that hasn't been done before.
Although we received a lot of positive feedback during our planning phase and a lot of interest from potential participants, we failed to recruit enough teams. The main reason for that seemed to be lack of confidence in their own skills by potential teams. The argument we heard most often was that the teams feared they couldn't master the relatively complex cloud computing technology good enough to compete with other teams.
We therefore decided to take the extra effort and do the framework classification I mentioned earlier and return to Plat_Forms' roots. Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2 will take place on October 9-10 2012 in Berlin on the premises of the Freie Universität Berlin (exact location still to be determined). The contest will return to its origins and the focus will again be on "classic" web applications. We will however introduce some changes:
- Platform grouping will not only be by language but by a mixture of language and technology stack used (exact details are still to be determined).
- HTML prototypes will not only be provided this time but will also need to be strictly adhered to.
- We will put some focus on good craftmanship. This means that the task will be relatively small (but not trivial) allowing for proper QA, deployment, etc. We don't want to see dirty hacks .
What you can do now
- Assemble a team. We will open up registration for the contest shortly and will publish a detailed announcement.
- In the meantime you can read up on the Plat_Forms 2011 announcement which will probably be quite similar to the one for Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2 modulo the task-specific parts.
- Subscribe to our announcements mailing list (low-volume: about one message per week) or use the RSS feed of our Blog, which will carry roughly the same content.
- Become a sponsor of Plat_Forms 2012 rev. 2. (Make sure you also subscribe to the mailing list!)
- Read about the history of Plat_Forms
What else has been going on
Apart from trying to find out how to progress with Plat_Forms, we were not inactive: