Download PDF version of this article PDF

Version Status: Still Finding the Right Questions

Branching out and changing with the times at acmqueue

George Neville-Neil and Steve Bourne

Welcome to the newest incarnation of acmqueue. When we started putting together the first edition of ACM Queue in early 2003, it was a completely new experiment in publishing for ACM. Targeting a practitioner audience meant that much of what we did would differ from academic publishing. We created a new editorial board whos e role was not only to vet articles, but also to identify topics and authors that would be of interest to both practitioners and academics. The board created the concept of guest experts who would take on an issue of the magazine and help the board acquire content and sometimes write the overarching piece that tied it all together. Along the way acmqueue has published columnists such as Stan Kelly-Bootle and brought in new voices like Poul-Henning Kamp, who writes "The Bike Shed," and George Neville-Neil, who is Kode Vicious.

As times have changed, acmqueue has branched out and changed as well . The move from a paper magazine to a Web site was one of the more significant changes we made that allowed us to develop new types of content, including the "Portraits" video series, "CTO Roundtables," and "Case Studies." Of special note is acmqueue's problem focus, which has helped it stand apart from other publishing efforts in computer science.

What you hold in your hands is our latest experiment—a n interactive, socially networked, electronic magazine. While the delivery form at has changed, the quality of the content remains excellent, and we use the same process we have used over the past decade to find, develop, polish, and publish the best work in computer science for both the practitioner and the academic.

Our goal at acmqueue, as ever, is to bridge the academic and industrial sides of computer science and software engineering so the people who are building systems and those who are researching them have an idea of what is going on just next door. It is the long-held belief of everyone involved with acmqueue that this type of information exchange enables practitioners to build systems based on the latest research and researchers to see how their ideas fare in practice.


George V. Neville-Neil works on networking and operating-system code for fun and profit. He also teaches courses on various subjects related to programming. His areas of interest are code spelunking, operating systems, and rewriting your bad code (OK, maybe not that last one). He earned his bachelor's degree in computer science at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and is a member of ACM, Usenix Association, and IEEE. George is the co-author with Marshall Kirk McKusick and Robert N. M. Watson of The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System. He is an avid bicyclist and traveler who currently lives in New York City.

Steve Bourne has held senior engineering management positions at leading computer systems and networking companies including Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment, and Silicon Graphics. At present he is chief technical officer at Icon Venture Partners in Menlo Park, California. Bourne is well known for his work on the Unix operating system and designed the Unix Command Language or "Bourne Shell."


© 2015 ACM 1542-7730/15/0500 $10.00


Originally published in Queue vol. 13, no. 8
Comment on this article in the ACM Digital Library

More related articles:

Nicole Forsgren, Eirini Kalliamvakou, Abi Noda, Michaela Greiler, Brian Houck, Margaret-Anne Storey - DevEx in Action
DevEx (developer experience) is garnering increased attention at many software organizations as leaders seek to optimize software delivery amid the backdrop of fiscal tightening and transformational technologies such as AI. Intuitively, there is acceptance among technical leaders that good developer experience enables more effective software delivery and developer happiness. Yet, at many organizations, proposed initiatives and investments to improve DevEx struggle to get buy-in as business stakeholders question the value proposition of improvements.

João Varajão, António Trigo, Miguel Almeida - Low-code Development Productivity
This article aims to provide new insights on the subject by presenting the results of laboratory experiments carried out with code-based, low-code, and extreme low-code technologies to study differences in productivity. Low-code technologies have clearly shown higher levels of productivity, providing strong arguments for low-code to dominate the software development mainstream in the short/medium term. The article reports the procedure and protocols, results, limitations, and opportunities for future research.

Ivar Jacobson, Alistair Cockburn - Use Cases are Essential
While the software industry is a fast-paced and exciting world in which new tools, technologies, and techniques are constantly being developed to serve business and society, it is also forgetful. In its haste for fast-forward motion, it is subject to the whims of fashion and can forget or ignore proven solutions to some of the eternal problems that it faces. Use cases, first introduced in 1986 and popularized later, are one of those proven solutions.

Jorge A. Navas, Ashish Gehani - OCCAM-v2: Combining Static and Dynamic Analysis for Effective and Efficient Whole-program Specialization
OCCAM-v2 leverages scalable pointer analysis, value analysis, and dynamic analysis to create an effective and efficient tool for specializing LLVM bitcode. The extent of the code-size reduction achieved depends on the specific deployment configuration. Each application that is to be specialized is accompanied by a manifest that specifies concrete arguments that are known a priori, as well as a count of residual arguments that will be provided at runtime. The best case for partial evaluation occurs when the arguments are completely concretely specified. OCCAM-v2 uses a pointer analysis to devirtualize calls, allowing it to eliminate the entire body of functions that are not reachable by any direct calls.

© ACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.