At least half the conference focused on approaches to design and implementation. On the one hand, I love to marvel at the semantic magic performed by theorists. On the other, I’m a programmer, and am more interested in construction than analysis.
The diverse backgrounds of the participants brought a lot of cognitive firepower to bear on the issues we discussed. This has always been one of my favorite aspects of the conference.
It was great having Brian Magerko and Jeff Rawlings (and, of course, Chris) on hand to discuss their projects. It was also interesting to note how their work informed their thoughts on various topics.
The frequent breaks provided a handy opportunity to delve into topics that, most likely, wouldn’t interest a wider audience.
It was sort of unfortunate that P5 coincided with both Britt/Kenny G and TIDSE.
I thought we had a bit too much material to cover, and the grim time constraints cast something of a shadow over the proceedings. In particular, it would have been nice to delve a bit more into Chris’s chapter on current research.
Another victim of the time constraints was the "Phrontisterion consensus document" debate. I’ve always thought this was a useful exercise to identify points of contention and concurrence. It also encouraged attendees to express opinions on topics outside their area of expertise.