There is a fraction of our community who is in love with the idea of publishing in journals, and would like to see our conferences go away or assume a radically different role. In many of the cases, it seems to me that the driving force behind this idea is nothing more than snobbery. Basically, the argument goes like this: (1) I think Mathematicians are cool; (2) Mathematicians publish in journals.
- The authors thought seriously about it and wrote down all the details. Regardless of what you think about journals, this should already be achieved at conference level. Yes, a conference is an announcement -- but I care when you announce "I've done this!" rather than "I'm reasonably sure I can do this." It is beyond my comprehension why conferences do not require full proofs (despite several successful attempts in the past).
- Interested people read it. Yesterday, Timothy Chan sent me a breakthrough paper. Between giving two talks, kayaking on the Charles, and driving back from STOC, I really couldn't read it. But today I read it, and flipped it upside down in my mind until I got it. The value of putting such a paper in a journal? (cdr '(a))