Onward! 2014
Mon 20 - Fri 24 October 2014 Portland, Oregon, United States
co-located with SPLASH 2014

Onward! Papers

Onward! is a premier multidisciplinary conference focused on everything to do with programming and software: including processes, methods, languages, communities, and applications. Onward! is more radical, more visionary, and more open than other conferences to ideas that are well-argued but not yet proven. We welcome different ways of thinking about, approaching, and reporting on programming language and software engineering research.

The Character of Onward!

Onward! is looking for grand visions and new paradigms that could make a big difference in how we will one day build software. But Onward! is 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 typically preclude discussion of early-stage ideas. Onward! papers must also supply some degree of validation because mere speculation is not a good basis for progress. However, Onward! accepts less rigorous methods of validation such as compelling arguments, exploratory implementations, and substantial examples. The use of worked-out examples to support new ideas is strongly encouraged.

Onward! is reaching out for constructive criticism of current software development technology and practices, and to present ideas that could change the realm of software development. Experienced researchers, graduate students, practitioners, and anyone else dissatisfied with the state of our art is encouraged to share insights about how to reform software development.

Onward! welcomes your submissions to join the conversation for the good of our field.

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Wed 22 Oct
Times are displayed in time zone: (GMT-07:00) Tijuana, Baja California change

10:30 - 12:00: Onward! Papers - Session the First at Salon A
Chair(s): Sebastian ErdwegTU Darmstadt
onward2014-papers10:30 - 10:52
Sean McDirmidMicrosoft Research, Jonathan EdwardsMIT, USA
onward2014-papers10:52 - 11:15
Hesam SamimiSAP Labs, Chris DeatonCycorp, Yoshiki OhshimaViewpoints Research Institute, Alessandro WarthSAP Labs, Todd MillsteinUniversity of California, Los Angeles
onward2014-papers11:15 - 11:37
David H. LorenzOpen University and Technion IIT, Boaz RosenanUniversity of Haifa
onward2014-papers11:37 - 12:00
Wouter SwierstraUniversity of Utrecht, Andres LöhWell-Typed LLP

Thu 23 Oct
Times are displayed in time zone: (GMT-07:00) Tijuana, Baja California change

10:30 - 12:00: Onward! Papers - Session the Second at Salon A
Chair(s): Gail MurphyUniversity of British Columbia
onward2014-papers10:30 - 10:52
Bob ReyndersiMinds - Distrinet, KU Leuven, Dominique DevrieseiMinds - Distrinet, KU Leuven, Frank PiessensiMinds - Distrinet, KU Leuven
onward2014-papers10:52 - 11:15
Laure PhilipsSoftware Languages Lab, Coen De RooverSoftware Languages Lab, Software Engineering Laboratory, Tom Van CutsemAlcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, Wolfgang De MeuterVrije Universiteit Brussel
onward2014-papers11:15 - 11:37
Zhongxian GuUC Davis, Drew SchleckUC Davis, Earl T. BarrUniversity College London, Zhendong SuUniversity of California, Davis
onward2014-papers11:37 - 12:00
Eelco VisserDelft University of Technology, Guido WachsmuthDelft University of Technology, Andrew TolmachPortland State University, Pierre NeronTU Delft, Vlad VerguTU Delft, Augusto PassalaquaTU Delft, Gabriël KonatDelft University of Technology
Media Attached
15:30 - 17:00: Onward! Papers - Session the Third at Salon A
Chair(s): Shriram KrishnamurthiBrown University
onward2014-papers15:30 - 15:52
David UngarIBM Research, Harold OssherIBM Research, Doug KimelmanIBM Research
onward2014-papers15:52 - 16:15
Boris SpasojevicUniversity of Bern, Switzerland, Mircea LunguUniversity of Bern, Switzerland, Oscar NierstraszUniversity of Bern, Switzerland
onward2014-papers16:15 - 16:37
James SkeneAuckland University of Technology
onward2014-papers16:37 - 17:00
Raphaël ProustUniversity of Cambridge, Alan MycroftUniversity of Cambridge

Fri 24 Oct
Times are displayed in time zone: (GMT-07:00) Tijuana, Baja California change

10:30 - 12:00: Onward! Papers - Session the Fourth at Salon A
Chair(s): Emery BergerUniversity of Massachusetts, Amherst
onward2014-papers10:30 - 10:52
Svetoslav KaraivanovETH Zurich, Veselin RaychevETH Zurich, Martin VechevETH Zurich
onward2014-papers10:52 - 11:15
Marcel TaeumelHasso Plattner Institute, Michael PerscheidHasso Plattner Institute, Bastian SteinertHasso Plattner Institute, Jens LinckeHasso Plattner Institute, Robert HirschfeldHPI
onward2014-papers11:15 - 11:37
Stéphane ConversyUniversity of Toulouse - ENAC
onward2014-papers11:37 - 12:00
Eric WalkingshawUniversity of Marburg, Christian KästnerCarnegie Mellon University, Martin ErwigOregon State University, Sven ApelUniversity of Passau, Eric BoddenFraunhofer SIT and TU Darmstadt

Call for Papers

Selection Process

Onward! papers are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will appear in the Onward! Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library. Submissions will be judged on the potential impact of the ideas and the quality of the presentation.

We welcome papers that contain promising ideas and have the potential to meet the conference’s standards, but have failed to achieve this in the initial submission. We will thus follow a two-phase review process. At the end of the first phase, all papers will be either: accepted normally; asked to perform certain required revisions; or rejected outright.

We expect the typical strong submission to be accepted normally, with authors expected—as is conventional—to revise the paper using the program committee’s feedback.

The program committee may identify certain papers with promising ideas as needing important revisions. These papers will be handled in one of two ways. They may get a shepherd, in the tradition followed by numerous conferences. Otherwise, they will be given a concrete set of goals to accomplish in the revision. In the latter case, the second submission must then be accompanied by a cover letter mapping the revision requests to specific parts of the paper; the program committee will use the cover letter and revised submission to arrive at a final decision.

The second phase will only be used to elevate promising papers to the conference’s standard, not to require additional work of papers already deemed up to standard.


Onward! submissions must conform to both the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions and the SIGPLAN Re-Publication Policy. Submissions are single-blind (i.e., authors are not anonymous).


Submissions should use the SIGPLAN Proceedings Format, 10 point font. Note that by default the SIGPLAN Proceedings Format produces papers in 9 point font. If you are formatting your paper using LaTeX, you will need to set the 10pt option in the \documentclass command. If you are formatting your paper using Word, you may wish to use the provided Word template that supports this font size. Please include page numbers in your submission (setting the preprint option in \documentclass generates page numbers). Please also ensure that your submission is legible when printed on a black and white printer. In particular, please check that colors remain distinct and font sizes are legible.

Page Limit

To ensure that papers stay focused on their core contributions, the main part of the paper (including bibliographic references) should be no longer than 14 pages. There is no page limit for appendices, and, therefore, for the overall submission. However, reviewers are not obligated to read the appendices, so the main part of the paper should be self contained. If the paper is accepted, the final submission will be limited to 20 pages, including appendices.

It is the responsibility of the authors to keep the reviewers interested and motivated to read their submission. Reviewers are under no obligation to read all or even a substantial portion of a paper if they do not find the initial part of the paper compelling. The committee will not accept a paper if it is unclear that the paper will fit in the Onward! Proceedings.


Authors of accepted papers are encouraged to make accompanying materials, such as artifacts, publicly available upon publication of the proceedings, by including them as “source materials” in the ACM Digital Library.


AUTHORS TAKE NOTE: All accepted papers will be available in the ACM Digital Library as early as October 3, 2014. The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.

For More Information

For additional information, clarification, or answers to questions please contact the Onward! Chair (Shriram Krishnamurthi) at onward@splashcon.org.

Accepted Papers

Media Attached

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library

Session the First

Chair: Sebastian Erdweg

Programming with Managed Time

  • Sean McDirmid, Jonathan Edwards

Call by Meaning

  • Hesam Samim, Chris Deaton, Yoshiki Ohshima, Alessandro Warth, Todd Millstein

Versionable, Branchable, and Mergeable Application State

  • David H. Lorenz, Boaz Rosenan

The Semantics of Version Control

  • Wouter Swierstra, Andres Löh

Session the Second

Chair: Gail Murphy

Multi-Tier Functional Reactive Programming for the Web

  • Bob Reynders, Dominique Devriese, Frank Piessens

Towards Tierless Web Development without Tierless Languages

  • Laure Philips, Coen De Roover, Tom Van Cutsem, Wolfgang De Meuter

Capturing and Exploiting IDE Interactions

  • Zhongxian Gu, Drew Schleck, Earl T. Barr, Zhendong Su

A Language Designer’s Workbench: A One-Stop-Shop for Implementation and Verification of Language Designs

  • Eelco Visser, Guido Wachsmuth, Andrew Tolmach, Pierre Neron, Vlad Vergu, Augusto Passalaqua, Gabrieël

Session the Third

Chair: Shriram Krishnamurthi

Korz: Simple, Symmetric, Subjective, Context-Oriented Programming
  • David Ungar, Harold Ossher, Doug Kimelman
Mining the Ecosystem to Improve Type Inference for Dynamically Typed Languages
  • Boris Spasojeviū, Mircea Lungu, Oscar Nierstrasz
Description Logic as Programming Language
  • James Skene
It's Only Illegal If You Get Caught: Breaking Invariants and Getting Away with It
  • Raphaël Proust, Alan Mycroft

Session the Fourth

Chair: Emery Berger

Phrase-Based Statistical Translation of Programming Languages
  • Svetoslav Karaivanov, Veselin Raychev, Martin Vechev
Interleaving of Modification and Use in Data-driven Tool Development
  • Marcel Taeumel, Michael Perscheid, Bastian Steinert, Jens Lincke, Robert Hirschfeld
Unifying Textual and Visual: A Theoretical Account of the Visual Perception of Programming Languages
  • Stéphane Conversy
Variational Data Structures: Exploring Tradeoffs in Computing with Variability
  • Eric Walkingshaw, Christian Kästner, Martin Erwig, Sven Apel, Eric Bodden