The ideal view of writing a paper:
- The paper is written weeks before the deadline, so that all the authors can check correctness of the proofs and possibly improve the results.
- The day of the deadline is spent doing final polishing, to make sure the paper is clear and readable. After all, the goal is to disseminate your ideas throughout the research community.
The real way most papers are written:
- We had the results 3 months ago, but we’ll only finish writing them the day before the deadline. (We were too busy getting other results, that we will sit on until the day before the next deadline.) We don’t really need to check correctness — conference reviewing is so good that the referees will surely verify whether the proofs are actually right.
- The day of the deadline is spent playing with margins and moving random portions of text to the appendix, just to satisfy a ridiculous page-limit requirement. I guess we’ll sacrifice readability; the main goal anyway is to get the paper published so we can add a line to our CVs.
(No, I’m not cynical at all…)