If you are following Chapel’s Discourse or social media, you might have seen that this year we are introducing ChapelCon (June 5-7) as the successor of CHIUW—the Chapel Implementers and Users Workshop. CHIUW has been the cornerstone activity for the Chapel community for 10 years. The most recent CHIUWs have evolved towards becoming more than just an academic workshop. The rebranding of CHIUW to ChapelCon symbolizes this change while also enabling us to support the Chapel community in more varied ways. In this article, I will go over some accomplishments from CHIUW’s 10-year tenure, why and how Chapel outgrew CHIUW, and what to expect from ChapelCon ‘24.

Ten Years of CHIUW

CHIUW has been the go-to workshop for Chapel community members for ten years. In those years, CHIUW featured more than 100 submitted and invited talks from Chapel community members. Through these talks and “hallway” conversations, many collaborations were born which strengthened the Chapel community as a whole.

As with everything else in our lives, CHIUW was transformed during and after the COVID pandemic. Before the pandemic, CHIUW was affiliated with conferences like IPDPS and PLDI, where the workshop was held in-person much like any other conference or workshop of the time. During the tumultuous years of the pandemic, CHIUW shifted to become an online workshop, and more importantly, an independent one.

The four most recent installations of CHIUW have been in this format, where participation was free and the event was online. The community welcomed this new format with open arms. The number of attendees soared to around 100 people. Last year’s CHIUW had a record 15 submitted talks.

After a hiatus during the peak of the pandemic, we also re-introduced “Coding Day”. This replaced the in-person pair-programming gatherings where Chapel developers helped users with their applications. Over the last two years, Chapel developers worked with 11 users to improve their applications and help with the issues they are facing.

CHIUW has been a great catalyst for the Chapel community to collaborate and grow for a decade. Meanwhile, it has also grown and evolved organically alongside the community to be more interactive and community-focused. We want to capitalize on this momentum to grow the Chapel community and what used to be called CHIUW even more. While doing so, having a more self-defining and less obscure name for the event is an important part of the equation. That’s why we are introducing ChapelCon.

What to Expect From ChapelCon

ChapelCon is an event where people from different walks of life can come together, exchange ideas, and learn Chapel. Our primary goal with ChapelCon is to build on aspects of CHIUW that the community felt to be the most beneficial and to enable more potential or current community members to participate in different ways.

As part of that, one of the big steps we are taking this year is to host a Tutorial Day on the first day of ChapelCon (which will span 3 days altogether). This year’s ChapelCon will have 2-hour Chapel and Arkouda tutorials. These tutorials will introduce participants to parallel programming using Chapel, and to data analytics using Arkouda. Neither tutorial will require prior parallel programming knowledge.

The second day of ChapelCon will be the Coding Day where you can improve your Chapel skills (which you may have started learning the day before!). Similar to years past, members of the community will have a chance to work with Chapel developers on specific problems with their applications in what we now call Office Hours.

Additionally, we are also introducing an Open Lab session on the same day. In the Open Lab session, you can work on an application or library of your own choosing, or pick one from the list we will curate for the day. Similar to a hackathon, you will have the chance to present your work to the other participants. Throughout the session, Chapel and Arkouda experts will be available to answer your questions. If you have just started learning Chapel or Arkouda during the Tutorial Day, the Open Lab is where you start to sharpen your skills.

Finally, ChapelCon will conclude with the Conference Day, which will feature invited and submitted talks. This year, we are also introducing demos. You can consider a demo to be a more hands-on version of a talk. Presenters can scroll through interesting parts of their code, run it to show the results, and share visualizations. Both talk and demo submissions will only require 1-page proposals. We certainly hope to see and hear from more community members working on a wider variety of problems using Chapel. Whether you have started a hobby project that you think is cool, have published a paper on Chapel in a conference/journal using top supercomputers, or anything in-between, we want to hear from you!

Closing Thoughts

We want this ChapelCon to be as welcoming and engaging as possible for everyone interested in parallel programming and Chapel. If you are completely new to Chapel, this 3-day journey poses a great opportunity to kick-start your Chapel experience while closely interacting with the Chapel community. If you have been working with Chapel for awhile, ChapelCon is where you can meet the rest of the Chapel community, present your work, and exchange ideas with others. We hope to see you all at ChapelCon ‘24!

For more information on ChapelCon ‘24, please visit https://chapel-lang.org/ChapelCon24.html.