Packaging Con 2021: Call for Presentations

Software complexity is on the rise, but thanks to package managers, reusing software is easier than it’s ever been. In 2021, nearly every operating system, language ecosystem, and framework has a package manager or several. Package managers take over where your compiler left off; integrating different versions of packages and ensuring they can be installed safely, reliably, and in a compatible configuration on your system. Where compilers integrate large applications, package managers integrate software ecosystems.

Despite their success, package managers are something of a black art. Working on a package manager requires a broad range of expertise–from language runtimes, to OS deployment policy, distribution management, dependency solving and developer workflows, package managers bridge the gap between developers and last mile software deployment.

We want to understand what brings package management communities together and what sets them apart. What makes communities work together on a particular software ecosystem? Are the differences mainly in the implementation language, or are there other key distinctions to software management methodology? How can we get better interoperability and/or cooperation among package manager teams, and what’s missing/required to enable that? Is dependency solving fundamentally the same problem across systems, or does each package manager do it differently?

If any of these questions interest you, we want to hear from you! Packaging Con is a a conference for developers of software package management software, as well as software packagers and communities! Anyone is welcome to participate. Our mission is to bring different software ecosystems together: from Python’s pip to Rust’s cargo to Julia’s Pkg, from Debian apt over to Nix to conda and mamba, and from vcpkg to spack, and even to npm, we hope to have many different approaches to package management at the conference.

See details on submissions below.


We encourage submissions in a wide range of areas related to package management, including but not limited to:

  • Deep dives on particular packaging systems.
  • Package management vs dependency management
  • Issues between distro-provided and developer/language-specific package managers
  • Software supply chains, pipelines, and vulnerabilities
  • CI for package managers and how to scale it
  • Modeling software ecosystems in package managers
  • Modeling compatibility (semver, API/ABI analysis, etc.)
  • Versioning
  • Software release methodology: rolling / LTS / others
  • Monorepos and package management
  • Reproducibility in package managers
  • Functional package management, how it relates to other systems
  • Reliability/robustness of software ecosystems
  • Dependency solving: modeling, methods, and scalability
  • Intersection of containers, registries, and packaging

This list is by no means exhaustive – any topic related to package management is welcome to attend.

How to submit

The presentation length is 20 minutes with 10 minutes for Q&A right after the talk. All talks will be held live via video chat and are recorded (speakers can opt-out of the recording). We will have lightning talk sessions with lightning of max 2 minutes. There is no deadline for the submission of lightning talks. Submissions are handled by “pretalx” and will be reviewed by volunteers from the community.


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