The electronic proceedings from Graph Drawing 2009 is now available, for those with subscription access to Springer's LNCS series: LNCS 5849, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-11805-0. I imagine that this means that paper copies will soon be finding their way to the conference registrants.
For those of you wondering why Graph Drawing's proceedings come out so much later than the conference, when every other conference has its proceedings available at the time of the conference: the usual explanation is that this way the authors get to incorporate feedback from their talks when preparing the final proceedings version. But my suspicion is that the actual effect of this delay is that the version of the paper that everyone reads is whatever preprint they can find at the time of the conference, and that the final conference versions are not actually read much. So I'm not convinced it's a great way to do things, but it is the way it has always been done with this conference and that makes it difficult to change.
I think you underestimate future uses of conference papers. I regularly read computer science papers from 1980s and 1990s, and I would certainly appreciate if the authors had had an opportunity to revise their papers once more before publication. There will always be new computer scientists who don't yet follow the field, and who will need to catch up with the state of the art once they start doing research. Well-written papers will help them tremendously, and the delay of roughly one year is immaterial.
I do not know GD 09, but some previous GD requiered the final conference version during the conferece itself. So changing the text because of comments obtained at the conference was essentially impossible.
GD 2002 had the system you describe. I'm not sure about other ones but probably it happened more than one year. This year the deadline was some time after the conference, though. Maybe that's why it's March and we still don't have the paper proceedings — I seem to recall them arriving in January or February in previous years.
Hi 11011110, I've seen a lot of journals today, your's is one of the good ones. caroljudy.