Corporate Support
Gold Supporters
IBM logo

Silver Supporters
Microsoft logo

Bronze Supporters
Google logo

Friend Supporters
HP logo

Cisco logo

Sun logo

Springer logo


Important Dates
Submission deadline (hard): March 19, 2007
Notification of acceptance or rejection: May 11, 2007
Deadline for camera-ready copy: July 30, 2007
Conference begins: October 21, 2007

For OOPSLA, an essay is a rigorously peer-reviewed reflection upon technology, its relation to human endeavors, or its philosophical, sociological, psychological, historical, or anthropological underpinnings. An essay can be an exploration of technology, its impacts, or the circumstances of its creation; it can present a personal view of what is, explore a terrain, or lead the reader in an act of discovery; it can be a philosophical digression or a deep analysis.

What makes for a successful essay? At its best, an essay is a clear and compelling piece of writing that enacts or reveals the process of understanding or exploring a topic important to the OOPSLA community. It may or may not have a conclusion, but it must provide some insight or argument. A successful essay shows a keen mind coming to grips with a tough or intriguing problem; it should leave the reader with a feeling that the journey was worthwhile.

An essay should have all of these characteristics:

  • Significance. Motivate why the essay is important.
  • Persuasiveness. Make a compelling case.
  • Clarity. Write to communicate.

Artistry is welcome to the extent that it does not obfuscate; craftsmanship is essential.

Submission Process
Electronic submission of proposals is required through the OOPSLA submission system.

People submitting essays should read "Guide to Successful OOPSLA Submissions," available from

All essays must be submitted electronically in PDF format (or PostScript, if you do not have access to PDF-producing programs, but this is not recommended). Final essays must be in ACM SIGPLAN format, and this is recommended for submission as well. Essays must be set 10pt on 12pt baseline, both for submissions and final camera-ready papers. A template for Word and a class file and templates for LaTex are available; the LaTex class file and its templates are available from; select the 10pt template for LaTex; SIGPLAN is also making a Word template available for the three sizes, but it is available here and not (yet) at the SIGPLAN page. (Please visit this page for instructions on how to use the Word template file.)

PDF files must be created allowing printing, and must be able to be readily printed using a modestly configured color laser printer. Final camera-ready papers must be formatted to conform to the following ACM Proceedings requirements: Ten point font on 12 point baseline, two columns per page, each column 3.33 inches wide by 9 inches tall, with a column gutter of 0.33 inches, etc. You can save preparation time by using one of the templates mentioned above. Note that MS Word documents must be converted to PDF before being submitted.

Essays may not exceed either 10,000 words or 20 pages when formatted under the format above. This typically corresponds to a paper of roughly 13 pages in SIGPLAN format but allows extra room for figures and graphs. Length will be determined by applying a word count utility like Unix's "wc -w" to the result of using Acrobat's "Save as Text" option. Papers violating these guidelines may be rejected; contact the appropriate program chair if you have any doubts.

Each essay will be afforded a 45-minute speaking slot in a special session, and allocated up to 20 pages in the OOPSLA Proceedings.

Policy on Multiple Submissions
If an essay is submitted both to OOPSLA and to another venue, the essay may be immediately rejected from OOPSLA and the other venue notified unless it satisfies all three of these conditions:

  • The submission cites the other essay;
  • the submission contains substantial material worthy of publication that the other essay does not; and
  • the overlapping material is primarily background material.

For More Information

For additional information, clarifications, or questions, please contact the Essays chair, Guy Steele, at

Program Committee

  • Guy Steele, Sun Microsystems Laboratories (Burlington, Massachusetts, USA) (chair)
  • Robert Cartwright, Rice University (Houston, Texas, USA)
  • William Cook, The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas, USA)
  • Mira Mezini, Technische Universität Darmstadt (Darmstadt, Germany)
  • Simon Peyton-Jones, Microsoft Research Ltd (Cambridge, England)
  • Richard Schmitt, West Virginia Wesleyan College (Buckhannon, West Virginia, USA)