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Showing posts from May, 2013

What I wish systems researchers would work on

I just got back from HotOS 2013 and, frankly, it was a little depressing. Mind you, the conference was really well-organized; there were lots of great people; an amazing venue; and fine work by the program committee and chair... but I could not help being left with the feeling that the operating systems community is somewhat stuck in a rut.

It did not help that the first session was about how to make network and disk I/O faster, a topic that has been a recurring theme for as long as "systems" has existed as a field. HotOS is supposed to represent the "hot topics" in the area, but when we're still arguing about problems that are 25 years old, it starts to feel not-so-hot.

Of the 27 papers presented at the workshop, only about 2 or 3 would qualify as bold, unconventional, or truly novel research directions. The rest were basically extended abstracts of conference submissions that are either already in preparation or will be submitted in the next year or so. This…