Monday 25 September 2023 at 0:00 (UTC)

The EmacsConf 2023 call for participation period has wrapped up, hooray! We’ve accepted 44 talks and posted them at, with 1 more penciled in (woof - Watch Over Our Folders). This is about ~12 hours of talks. If we were to have 5 minutes buffer in between talks, it would be 15 hours and a pretty cramped conference. I think we can pull off a two-track conference again this year. Shall we give it a try? =) We can set up a schedule for the different roles as we get closer to the conference.

I started drafting a schedule at . Thoughts on the order/grouping of talks? If the schedule looks all right, I can send this draft to all the speakers in case they have any requests regarding time preferences, other talk Q&A sessions that they want to attend live, etc.

Next steps:

  • Schedule: We’ll e-mail the draft schedule to speakers so that they can get a sense of where they are in the schedule, see if they really want to make it to a conflicting session’s Q&A live (they’ll have early access to the videos), etc.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Dust off and document infrastructure, processes
    • Sort out access to so that we can get the upload service up and running
  • Draft brief intros for talks, keeping in mind that we’re going to say them out loud
  • Speakers will work on videos, and we can help with nudges/coordination if needed


Posted Tuesday 26 September 2023 at 1:06 (UTC)

Monday 14 August 2023 at 0:00 (UTC)

The end of the EmacsConf 2023 call for participation is one month away (Sept 14; Whee! So far, we’ve sent early acceptances to the following talks and added them to the program on the wiki (

Duration Title Speaker
10 An Org-Mode based text adventure game for learning the basics of Emacs, inside Emacs, written in Emacs Lisp Chung-hong Chan
20 Authoring and presenting university courses with Emacs and a full libre software stack James Howell
20 Org-Mode workflow: informal reference tracking Christopher Howard
20 GNU Emacs for electronics, note-taking, and as lightweight IDE Anand Tamariya
10 A modern Emacs look-and-feel without pain Pedro A. Aranda
10 Writing a language server in OCaml for Emacs, fun, and profit Austin Theriault
20 LLM clients in Emacs, functionality and standardization Andrew Hyatt
10 The many ways to browse Hacker News from Emacs Mickael Kerjean

There’s one talk that’s waiting for feedback on the emacsconf-submit before we send the early acceptance in about a week:

Duration Title Speaker
20 one.el: the static site generator for Emacs Lisp Programmers Tony Aldon

There are several talk proposals that are in progress (need to coordinate, don’t have speaker releases / full details / etc.):

Title Speaker
Emacs MultiMedia System (EMMS) Yoni Rabkin
Emacs development updates John Wiegley
Watch Over Our Folders Bastien Guerry
Emacs community information sharing? Jake B
Emacs saves the Web Yuchen Pei
How to build an Emacs 2: Revenge of the Lem Fermin

This time last year, we had 2 proposals, with most of the proposals coming in at the end of the CFP. This was usually when we started panicking about not having lots of proposals, but I think we can skip stressing about it this year. Even with the program as it is now, we’d already have a pretty fun EmacsConf. Can’t wait to see what it’ll look like when more people get their proposals in!


Posted Tuesday 15 August 2023 at 0:50 (UTC)

Sunday 16 October 2022 at 0:00 (UTC)

Hi everyone!

Here's what's been happening backstage.

  • Speakers have been submitting their videos, hooray! I added a schedule to the backstage page at so that people can see how the schedule's coming along. We expect more talks to come in the next two weeks. Not panicking yet. =)

  • Thanks to all the people who've been working on captions so far! Bhavin, Andrea, and Ramin did the captions for their talks, and Jai captioned Bala's talk. Tom, Bhavin, and Hannah are currently working on captions. There are three more talks backstage if anyone wants to work on them.

  • I just posted some notes on how I reflow and edit subtitles in case they're helpful: It's also linked from the backstage page under More info: editing captions.

  • We added the Emacs development updates talk from John Wiegley and updated the times of other talks based on messages from the speakers.

  • We did a dry run of the OBS streaming setup with Leo, Amin, and Corwin. I think we're on track to being able to broadcast two streams this year.

  • IRC announcements, BBB redirection, and media file publishing can now all automatically happen when the talk status changes, simplifying our work during the conference. Video playback and Q&A browser windows can happen automatically if streaming from I want to get the publishing workflow all smoothed out too, so that talks and transcripts can be more easily published to the wiki pages during the conference.

Plans for this week:

  • More videos and captions!
  • I plan to work on talk page publishing so that it happens smoothly during the conference
  • Leo's going to review the videos submitted so far and prepare intros for them
  • Might be a good idea to reach out to speakers for tech checks and bios

EmacsConf is a little less than four weeks away. Stuff is happening!


Posted Monday 7 November 2022 at 12:57 (UTC)

Hello, everyone! Here's the weekly update on what's happening backstage for EmacsConf 2022 in case you notice something that you want to help out with. =)

  • Help wanted - Captioning: There are three talks open for captioning in , so feel free to e-mail me if you'd like to reserve one. I've tweaked the captioning process a little bit so that I can reflow the transcripts into shorter subtitles before people edit the captions, so editing is easier to do because you don't have to split along the way. (If you're curious about the technical stuff, I switched to manually splitting the text using emacsconf-reflow from emacsconf-el and then the using aeneas for forced alignment, because I couldn't figure out how to get torchaudio unstuck sometimes.)

    If you don't have the username and password for the backstage area and you would like to access it, please e-mail me and I'll send you the details.

  • Help wanted - tech checks: For sessions with live Q&A, we'd like to set up tech-checks with speakers to make sure that their setup works well with BigBlueButton. A rough outline of the process is in the tech-checking protocol heading at . If you would like to help with tech-checks, please e-mail us with your general availability (including timezones) and preferred public contact information so that we can include you on the list at and in the e-mail to speakers.

  • Help wanted - intro/intermission slides, OBS overlay, ??: It might be interesting to design something to show right before and right after a talk so that people can see the title, speaker name, talk page URL, Q&A info, pad URL, pronouns, etc. Ideally we'd be able to generate a whole bunch of these from the talk data, so maybe SVG or a TikZ picture? If this is your jam, let us know.

  • OBS in the cloud: We've been able to figure out how to stream both streams using OBS, VNC, and PulseAudio on Ry P.'s virtual server, so it's even more likely that we're going to pull off two tracks this year. Yay!

  • Tom Purl has joined as a captioning volunteer. Hi Tom!

This week we hope to get lots of talks submitted, processed, and on the way to being captioned. We're also planning to make the captioning workflow even better, and to improve the OBS streaming workflow. Whee!


Posted Sunday 30 October 2022 at 23:44 (UTC)

Sunday 16 October 2022 at 0:00 (UTC)

Hello, folks! Here's the weekly update on what's happening backstage for EmacsConf 2022 in case you notice something that you want to help out with. =)

  • All the speakers have confirmed that they've gotten the acceptance e-mails. Many speakers have confirmed that the schedule works for them after I reshuffled a few talks for better availability. I've posted the schedule at . We'll announce the schedule on the emacsconf-discuss mailing, Reddit, and various places this week.

  • zaeph has been working on the ffmpeg incantations for preprocessing the videos that will be submitted soon. bandali is working on getting the FTP and web-based uploads sorted out so that speakers can submit their videos.

  • I created some watch pages to support viewing different tracks: . The livestreams won't work yet and it would be nice to figure out something that can dynamically display info for recent/current/upcoming talks, but it's a start.

  • We set up a self-hosted Etherpad (ex: with an easy way to redirect to using Wikimedia in case we run into scaling issues. I've added it to our Ansible playbook ( and I'm looking forward to incorporating Ry P.'s improvements. Karl Voit gave feedback on the first draft of the template.

  • vetrivln volunteered for some of the dev hosting shifts, Karl Voit volunteered for some of the gen pad shifts, and FlowyCoder volunteered for some of the gen check-in shifts. Thanks!

Next week, we hope to:

  • Announce the EmacsConf 2022 schedule in the usual places (got any wording/JS/CSS suggestions?)
  • Finalize the upload instructions so that speakers can start submitting their files
  • Put together volunteer training materials
  • Set up per-speaker BBB rooms and friendly URLs


Posted Wednesday 26 October 2022 at 16:18 (UTC)

Sunday 23 October 2022 at 18:07 (UTC)

Hello, folks! Here's the weekly update on what's happening backstage for EmacsConf 2022 in case you notice something that you want to help out with. =)

  • We've e-mailed the speakers instructions for uploading their files through either a web browser or an FTP client, and three speakers have already done so! Those talks are now available in the backstage area (, along with the first set of edited captions (thanks Jai Vetrivelan!). If you don't have the username and password for the backstage area and you would like to access it, please e-mail me and I'll send you the details.
  • We've created a BBB room for each speaker's live Q&A session. The URLs are in in the private repository if you need them.
  • We've drafted some documentation for different volunteer roles. If you'd like to volunteer as a captioner, check-in person (hmm, reception?), Etherpad scribe, IRC monitor, or host, please check out the appropriate link and let me know if I need to add anything to the docs:
  • Thanks to David O'Toole for signing up for some IRC shifts! If you would like to volunteer for a shift, check out .
  • We've updated our streaming configuration for the General and Development tracks, and have started testing them using mpv and the watch pages. Videos aren't currently streaming, but you can check out the layout of the watch pages at:
  • There are now Q&A waiting rooms with friendly URLs so that it's easier for people to join the live Q&A when the host decides it's okay to let everyone in. They're linked on the watch pages (along with the pads) and they'll be linked from the talk pages once we're ready to share them.
  • zaeph has been busy tweaking the ffmpeg workflow for reencoding and normalizing videos. Thanks to Ry P. for sharing the server with us - we've been using it for all the processing that our laptops can't handle.
  • We experimented with using the OpenAI Whisper speech-to-text toolkit to create the auto-generated captions that captioning volunteers can edit. Looks promising! If you'd like to compare the performance between small, medium, and large models, you can look at the VTT files for the sqlite talk in the backstage area. I've also added support for tab-separated values (like Audacity label exports) and a subed-convert command to subed.el, which might give us a more concise format to work with. I'll work on getting word-level timing data so that our captioning workflow can be even easier.

Next week, we hope to:

  • improve the prerec and captioning workflows
  • get more captions underway

Lots of good stuff happening!


Posted Sunday 23 October 2022 at 18:07 (UTC)