Onward! 2012 call for papers, due April 13

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Onward! 2012 call for papers, due April 13

Jonathan Edwards
Call for Research Visions

Do you have an idea that could change the world of software development? Onward! is the place to present it and get constructive criticism from other researchers and practitioners. We are looking for grand visions and new paradigms that could make a big difference in how we build software in 5 or 10 years. We are not looking for research-as-usual papers - conferences like OOPSLA are the place for that. Those conferences require rigorous validation such as theorems or empirical experiments, which are necessary for scientific progress, but which unfortunately can also preclude the discussion of early-stage ideas. Onward! also requires validation: mere speculation is insufficient. However Onward! accepts less rigorous methods of validation such as compelling arguments, exploratory implementations, and substantial examples. It bears repeating that we strongly encourage the use of worked-out examples to substantiate your ideas.

This year, Onward! is reaching out to graduate students. You have been taught that conference papers, key to your career, must be solid bricks of incremental research, with scientifically sober claims. But why are you doing research in the first place? You want to change the world with your ideas! You can't talk about that in conference papers. Onward! gives you the chance to spread your wings and share your dreams. We want you to inspire us with your ideas, and perhaps in the process better inspire yourself.

This call is also directed at practicing programmers who are deeply dissatisified with the state of our art and who have thought long and hard about how to fix it. The committee encourages you to share your hard-won wisdom about how to reform software development. Many practitioners have dismissed computer science conferences as sterile academic exercises. Onward! is different, and asks you to join the conversation for the good of our field. How else can we ever make progress if we don't share what has been learnt from practical experience? We suggest that to best communicate your ideas you avoid sweeping principles expressed in general terms, especially terms you have coined yourself. It is often more effective to present serveral detailed examples of how your approach would yield concrete benefits, while also revealing what offsetting disadvantages it may entail.

If others are working on related ideas you might consider proposing an Onward! workshop: see the call for Onward! workshops.

Selection Process

Onward! papers are peer-reviewed, and accepted papers will appear in the SPLASH proceedings and the ACM Digital Library. Papers will be judged on the potential impact of their ideas and the quality of their presentation.


The submission deadline is April 13, 2012. See the online version of this call for further details.

For More Information

For additional information, clarification, or answers to questions please contact the Onward! Papers Chair, Jonathan Edwards, at [hidden email].

Onward! Papers Committee

Jonathan Edwards, MIT, USA (chair)
Bjorn Freeman-Benson, New Relic, US
Bret Victor, US
Brian Foote, US
Caitlin Sadowski, UC Santa Cruz, US
Chung-chieh Shan, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Dave Thomas, Bedarra Research, Canada
Derek Rayside, University of Waterloo, Canada
John Field, Google, US
Kevin Sullivan, University of Virginia, US
Klaus Ostermann, University of Marburg, Germany
Mads Torgersen, Microsoft, US
Mark Miller, Google, US
Martin Fowler, ThoughtWorks, US
Nat Pryce, UK
Sean McDirmid, Microsoft Research Asia, China
Tom van Cutsem, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

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