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Tcl/Tk '98: the 6th Annual Tcl/Tk Conference

This message contains instructions for submitting papers, posters, demonstrations, and panel proposals. Read it carefully. As you know, the Program Committee can't accept every submission, but if you follow these instructions, your submission will have the best possible chance to be accepted.

Information on registration and scheduling WIP and BOF sessions will be available separately in June 1998.


All forms of participation provide an opportunity to report on original Tcl/Tk research. Topics include, but are not limited to

  • System extensions
  • Novel Tcl/Tk-based applications
  • Experience reports on building applications in Tcl/Tk
  • Comparative evaluations of Tcl/Tk and other languages or toolkits
  • Use of different programming paradigms in Tcl/Tk
  • Proposals for new directions

The audience for all submissions is practitioners and researchers who are experienced users of Tcl/Tk. For this reason, reports on experiences and applications must draw out lessons for other Tcl/Tk developers.


The Tcl/Tk Conference will be held in San Diego, CA, September 14-18, 1998.

Dates for paper submissions:

  • Paper, demonstrations, and panel proposals: April 8, 1998
  • Acceptance notifications: May 11, 1998
  • Poster submissions: June 26, 1998
  • Camera-ready papers due: July 28, 1998


For your convenience, here is a summary of the important information from the Call For Papers:


Full papers written in English must be submitted for review. Paper authors are encouraged to include black-and-white figures in their papers. Papers are limited to ten pages. (USENIX formatting is very compact. Consider using all the extra room you'll have for references.) Authors of accepted papers will be given twenty minutes to present the paper at the conference.

Papers will be reviewed by the program committee and evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Quantity and quality of novel content
  • Relevance and interest to the Tcl/Tk community
  • Quality of the presentation of content in the paper
  • Suitability of content for presentation at the conference

Papers should present a cohesive piece of work. Papers so short as to be considered extended abstracts will not receive full consideration. Papers may report on commercial or non-commercial systems, but those with blatant marketing content will not be accepted.

Application and experience papers need to strike a balance between background on the application domain and the relevance of Tcl/Tk to the application. Application and experience papers should clearly explain how the application or experience illustrates a novel use of Tcl/Tk, and what lessons the Tcl/Tk community can derive from the application or experience to apply to their own development efforts.

This conference requires that papers not be submitted simultaneously to other conferences or publications, and that submitted papers not be previously published or accepted papers subsequently published elsewhere for a period of one year after acceptance. Papers accompanied by non-disclosure agreement forms will be returned to the author(s) unread. All submissions are held in the highest confidentiality prior to publication in the Proceedings, both as a matter of policy and in accord with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.


Poster submissions provide an opportunity to present interesting or preliminary results. They are the ideal category for material that is better suited for discussion in small groups as opposed to large groups.

Posters will be displayed during one day of the conference. A poster session will provide an opportunity for attendees to interact with poster authors individually and in small groups. Display space will be approximately 3 feet wide by 4 feet high. Poster authors should submit a draft of their poster's contents along with a one-page abstract. Abstracts of accepted posters will be published in the conference proceedings.


There will be a demonstration reception one evening. Demonstrations will be held in parallel, allowing attendees to more closely interact with the demonstrators. Space will be available for demonstrations in the following categories:

  • Reviewed demonstrations will be given a demonstration station for the entire session and will have an abstract published in the conference proceedings. Submissions should include both a one-page abstract and six copies of a videotape (VHS) showing the demonstration. Some demonstrations may also be scheduled for a conference session.

  • Informal demonstrations will be assigned a specific time during the demonstration session. Authors of accepted papers as well as those with demonstration- ready Works-in-Progress are encouraged to sign up for informal demonstration time slots. More information on the facilities available for informal demonstrations will be provided in the registration materials and on the conference Web site.

Demonstrations of commercial products of interest to the Tcl/Tk community are encouraged. The abstract for the proceedings, however, should avoid commercial content (i.e., it should not include pricing and sales information or marketing content).

Panel Proposals

The program committee is organizing panel discussions of up to 90 minutes. Proposals should include a list of confirmed panelists, a title and format, and a panel description with position statements from each panelist. Panels should have no more than four speakers, including the panel moderator, and should allow time for substantial interaction with attendees. Panels are not presentations of related research papers. Papers should be submitted individually and the program committee will group them into sessions of related material.

WIP Presentations and BOF Sessions

Works-in-Progress (WIP) presentations and Birds-of-a-Feather sessions (BOFs) are not reviewed. Slots for both are available on a first-come, first-served basis starting in August 1998. Specific instructions for reserving WIP and BOF time slots will be provided in the registration information in June 1998. Some WIP and BOF time slots will be held open for on-site reservation, so we encourage all attendees with interesting work in progress to consider presenting that work at the conference.


Conference submissions should be sent electronically, via e-mail. Since e-mail systems can mangle mail, wrap up your submission as described in the "Electronic Submission" section below.

Paper, poster, panel and demonstration proposal submissions must be sent in BOTH of the following forms:

  • Postscript or PDF files formatted for an 8.5 x 11 inch page with 1 inch margins. (Be sure that it will print on a variety of printers.)

  • Plain text or HTML (standard mark-ups only, no browser-specific tags).

Some PostScript generators are quite buggy and we may not be able to print their output. For example, many programs generate PostScript that can be printed only on Apple Laserwriters. If you send PostScript, remember the following:

  • Use only the most basic fonts (TimesRoman, Helvetica, Courier). Other fonts are not available with every printer or previewer.

  • PostScript which requires some special prolog to be loaded into the printer won't work for us. Don't send it.

  • If you use a PC or Macintosh-based word processor to generate your PostScript, print it on a generic PostScript printer before sending it, to make absolutely sure that the PostScript is portable.

Don't send files meant for specific word-processing packages--Word, WordPerfect, MacWrite, etc. We don't have the resources to deal with them.

If accepted, the final submission (full paper, poster abstract, or panel summary and position statements) will be required in three forms:

  1. PostScript/PDF
  2. plain-text/HTML
  3. camera-ready hardcopy

Demonstrations should also submit six copies of a VHS videotape showing the demonstration. The videotapes are for review purposes only, and cannot be returned. If accepted, both camera-ready and electronic versions of the abstract will be required.

Submission Checklist

For all submissions:

___ Cover letter. Cover letter must include
___ title of submission
___ category (paper, poster, demonstration, panel)
___ contact info including name, e-mail address, day and night phone numbers, postal mail address, and fax (if available)
___ names of the authors (indicate which authors are full-time students)
___ 100-200 word abstract
___ anticipated A/V needs (for planning only, not for review purposes)

For papers:

___ Full contents of the paper, no longer than ten pages. Paper should include title, authors and affiliations, abstract, content, and references. Paper should be submitted in both plain-text/HTML and Postscript/PDF formats.

For posters:

___ One page poster abstract that includes title, authors and affiliations, content, and if appropriate, references. Abstract should be submitted in both plain-text/HTML and Postscript/PDF formats.

___ Poster draft indicating the poster contents and general layout. Draft should be submitted in both plain-text/HTML and Postscript/PDF formats.

For demonstrations:

___ One page demonstration abstract that includes title, authors and affiliations, content, and if appropriate, references. Abstract should be submitted electronically in both plain-text/HTML and Postscript/PDF formats.

___ Six copies of a VHS videotape showing the demonstration (limited to ten minutes). Videotape should show and describe the intended demonstration at a level sufficient to judge its appropriateness and interest.

For panel proposals:

___ Panel summary and position statements, including
___ title for the panel
___ summary of the background and topic of the panel (2-4 pages)
___ list of panelists and their affiliations
___ position statements from each panelist

The summaries of accepted panels will be included in the conference proceedings. Summaries should be submitted electronically in both plain-text/HTML and Postscript/PDF formats.

___ A panel format description that describes the format, intended timing, and plans for audience participation for the panel. This will be used for review purposes only and should be submitted in plain-text format.

Electronic Submission

Mail your submission to:

All components of each submission (text, postscript, cover letter, etc.) must be transmitted together. Acceptable formats are:

  • MIME mail using X-UUENCODE, BASE64, or QUOTED-PRINTABLE encoding for all files.

  • UUENCODED tar files, with or without GZIP compression. All files should be relative (./filename) -- no absolute paths!

Submissions must be received by 11:59 PM, Pacific Time, on the date due. Acknowledgment will be sent by e-mail to the contact address. If you have not received acknowledgment within one week, contact the program co-chairs at

All submissions will be acknowledged.

Video Submission

Email your cover letter to: as explained above. Send six copies of your video and another cover letter to:

USENIX Association
2560 Ninth Street, Ste. #215
Berkeley, CA 94710

Phone 510/528-8649
Fax 510/548-5738


You will have the opportunity to revise your paper before the camera-ready copy deadline, so it's okay to have a few rough edges or to include a few explanatory notes for the program committee. However, a submitted draft of your paper should include all of your important results and a substantial portion of your analysis. Do not omit any essential details.


Lots of papers and books have been written about how to write a good paper. We strongly suggest that you read a paper called An Evaluation of the Ninth SOSP Submissions; or, How (and How Not) to Write a Good Systems Paper. This was written by Roy Levin and David D. Redell, the program committee co-chairs for SOSP-9, and first appeared in ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, Vol. 17, No. 3 (July, 1983), pages 35-40.

Although SOSP and USENIX papers do differ somewhat (SOSP submissions are often more theoretical), they give good advice for authors of any kind of systems paper.

The authors have graciously agreed to make this paper available online,. You can also retrieve a separate copy by sending e-mail to, including the line send advice papers in the body of your e-mail.

Another helpful paper is:

"The Science of Scientific Writing", George D. Gopen and Judith A. Swan, American Scientist, Vol. 78, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1990), pp. 550-558.

This article describes not how to write an entire paper, but how to write sentences and paragraphs that readers can understand. Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions we cannot make this available online or send you photocopies, but almost any library should have copies of this magazine.

We also recommend that you read the proceedings of some recent USENIX conferences to get an idea of what kinds of papers are published. Not every one of these papers is perfect (or even great), but most of them are better than most of the ones that got rejected.

Finally, if you have any other questions, feel free to send mail to the Program Chairs at

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