RacketCon: 29 September 2013

RacketCon is a public meeting for everyone interested in Racket: developers, contributors, programmers, educators, and by-standers. It is an opportunity for all members of the community to come together to share plans, ideas, and enthusiasm. RacketCon will enable the entire Racket community to mingle: to update each other, to exchange ideas, to collaborate, and to help shape the future of Racket.

RacketCon is hosted by the College of Computer and Information Science of Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts. See Getting to RacketCon below.

Register for the event here.

We will also run a Hackathon on Saturday (28th) in the same room as RacketCon from 10AM-5PM. For details, see the wiki page.


 9:30–9:55 Coffee
 9:55–10:00 Welcome
10:00–11:00 Matthew Eric Bassett Racket in the Film Industry [video]
11:00–11:15 Break
11:15–12:15 Dan Liebgold Racket on the Playstation 3? It's Not What you Think! [slides] [video]
12:15–13:15 Lunch
13:15–14:05 Matthew Flatt A Dinosaur's Thoughts on Programming Language Evolution [slides] [video]
14:05–14:20 Break
14:20–14:50 Jay McCarthy The Racket Package System, or Planet 5.0 and beyond [slides] [video]
14:50–15:00 Greg Hendershott Frog: a static blog generator using Racket, Pygments, and Bootstrap [video]
15:00–15:20 Neil Toronto Debugging Floating-Point Math in Racket [slides] [video]
15:20–15:35 Break
15:35–15:45 Matthew Butterick The World's Most Dangerous Racket Programmer [video]
15:45–15:55 Tony Garnock-Jones Marketplace: Layered Pub/Sub Networks in Racket [slides] [video]
15:55–16:05 Kenichi Asai Introductory PL Course for non-CS Major Students in Ochanomizu University [slides] [video]
16:05–16:15 Carl Eastlund Generic Sets for Racket [video]
16:15–16:25 Éric Tanter #lang play [slides] [video]
16:25–16:35 Max New Every Program in Your Redex Model, in Order [video]
16:35–16:50 Break
16:50–17:00 Claire Alvis The Reasoned Racketeer [video]
17:00–17:10 Vincent St-Amour Contracts on a Budget [video]
17:10–17:20 Joe Gibbs Politz #lang pyret and Captain Teach [video]
17:20–17:30 Christos Dimoulas Option Contracts [video]
17:30–17:40 James Swaine Automatic Complexity Analysis [video]
17:40–17:50 Burke Fetscher Random Test Case Generation with Redex [video]

Google Hangout Videos

The talks were captured in two Google Hangouts, linked below. Higher quality recordings are linked next to each of the talk titles in the schedule.

  1. Stream 1: Part 1 Part 2
  2. Stream 2: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Keynote Speakers

Dan Liebgold (Naughty Dog)

Racket on the Playstation 3? It's Not What you Think!

In this talk I will give a brief overview of DC, a custom data scripting system developed in Racket at Naughty Dog. It has been an essential tool for us to develop games for Playstation 3.

When developing our codebase for the Playstation 3 we decided we needed a comprehensive scripting system to enable the creation of significant amounts of customized data typically necessary to develop a Naughty Dog game. Using C++ in conjunction with off the shelf tools like Maya, Photoshop, and even internal custom game layout tools usually leaves many large gaps in our ability to piece together the game design we envision.

As a result we selected Racket (then MzScheme) as a platform upon which to develop a system that provided the abilities we needed. In our Racket based system (DC), we develop a multitude of domain specific languages, a powerful gameplay scripting system, and systems for implementing animation, effects, and sound.

My talk will give a brief overview of our experience at Naughty Dog building this system on top of Racket. I'll cover the nuts and bolts of how our system works. I'll cover the challenges of C++ programmers utilizing Racket while under the deadlines of retail software development. I’ll talk about the many opportunities this approach afforded us, some of which we were able to capitalize on to great success, others which lay tantalizingly just out of reach. I’ll talk about the culture clash of getting C++ programmers, technical game designers, and non-technical artists to be productive in a world of S-expressions and syntax transformations. And I’ll give an overview of some metrics of the impressive contributions our system was able to make to the development of "Uncharted" series of games and "The Last of Us" for the Playstation 3.

About the Speaker

Dan Liebgold has programmed games in one form or another for most of his life, starting on an Apple II in 4th grade. He has worked as a professional game programmer for 17 years, 11 of them at Naughty Dog, Inc. Some of the games he's contributed to are: Starcraft, Sacrifice, the Jak & Daxter series and the Uncharted series.

Matthew Eric Bassett (NBCUniversal International)

Racket in the Film Industry

Getting to RacketCon

RacketCon will be held in West Village H, Room 108, at Northeastern University. West Village H is located at 440 Huntington Ave, Boston Massachusetts, and is building #23H on the campus map. See also the building on Google Maps

Getting there...

by Car:
There is very little on-street parking near Northeastern. Visitor parking is available at the Renaissance Garage, a few minutes walk from the conference. Driving directions from many points are available here.
by Subway:
Northeastern is conveniently located near both the Green and Orange subway lines. The MBTA has more information. On the Green ‘E’ line, the Northeastern stop is the closest, and appears on the campus map below as the ‘T’ symbol on Huntington Avenue. On the Orange line, the Ruggles stop is closest and appears on the campus map below as the ‘T’ symbol in the middle-left of the illustration.
by Bicycle, Commuter Rail, Amtrak:
Northeastern is located near the major Amtrak lines, and is also accessible by commuter rail and bicycle. Please contact the organizers for more information.

Where to eat

While there are no conference dinner plans, there are numerous restaurants near Northeastern:

Symphony Sushi
A sushi restaurant, 5 minutes walk
Pho and I
Thai and Vietnamese food, 5 minutes walk.
Pizzeria Uno
Deep dish pizza, 5 minutes walk.
Punter's Pub
A bar, adjacent to Northeastern.
The Squealing Pig
A bar with food, 15 minutes walk.
Woody's Grill and Tap
Brick oven pizza, 15 minutes walk.

This is just a small selection; Google and Yelp have many more.

Where to stay

Numerous hotels are located close to Northeastern. The three closest are:

The Colonnade Hotel
A ten minute walk from RacketCon. Ask for the Northeastern discounted rate. Even with the discount, this is likely to be expensive.
The Midtown Hotel
A ten minute walk from RacketCon. A less expensive and less fancy option.
The Best Western Inn at Longwood
A fifteen minute walk from RacketCon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a Racket programmer to attend?
No. We welcome anyone interested in or curious about Racket to come to RacketCon and learn about why we're all so excited about Racket.
Will there be a registration fee?
No. RacketCon is free to everyone who wants to attend. We ask that you register ahead of time, so that we can plan appropriately.
Will the conference provide lunch?
Yes! We will provide complimentary lunch to registered attendees.
Will the talks be recorded?
We hope to record and post the talks given at RacketCon. If you are interested in assisting with this, please let the organizers know.
Who is in charge of RacketCon?
RacketCon is organized by Asumu Takikawa and the rest of the Racket development team.


Support for RacketCon is generously provided by:

Northeastern University NBC Universal NU ACM