The most substantial changes concerning SOFSEM have been realized after the 'velvet' revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989. By that time, SOFSEM has subsequently transformed from a mainly national seminar into a truly international conference. In 1993, an international advisory board was created to provide assistance to the program committee in the preparation of a scientific program. Beginning with SOFSEM'95, after two years of exhaustive discussions SOFSEM was shortened to eight days while almost preserving the number of invited lectures. At the same time SOFSEM proceedings now appear as a volume in the Springer Verlag series Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Also after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993 it is still assumed that SOFSEM will continue to be held in either the Czech Republic or the Slovak Republic.
Thus, through its numerous invited papers and selected contributed papers as well as its excellent working atmosphere, the current SOFSEM is a mix of a winter school, a conference, and an advanced workshop. Driven by an international advisory and endowment boards and international program committe in reflecting the recent trends both in theory and practice, the current SOFSEM prolongs its tradition in striving for multidisciplinarity and generalizations in informatics. At the same time it intends to foster international co-operation among professionals working in various areas of computer science.