Bourgeois, Eliashberg, Hofer, Wysocki and Zehnder recently proved a general compactness result for moduli spaces of punctured holomorphic curves arising in symplectic field theory. In this paper we present an alternative proof of this result. The main idea is to determine a priori the levels at which holomorphic curves split, thus reducing the proof to two separate cases: long cylinders of small area, and regions with compact image. The second case requires a generalization of Gromov compactness for holomorphic curves with free boundary.
"Compactness for punctured holomorphic curves." J. Symplectic Geom. 3 (4) 589 - 654, December 2005.