Symposium on New Ideas in Programming and Reflections on Software (Onward!)

Onward! is a forum for new ideas and paradigms for every aspect of programming. Welcomed are papers that propose and argue for new approaches to the creation of software as well as reflections on technology and ideas bearing on programming broadly construed.


Onward! 2014

  • Portland, Oregon, USA, 2014
  • Co-located with SPLASH 2014
  • PC chair: Shriram Krishnamurthi (Brown University)
  • Essays chair: Bernd Bruegge (Technische Universität München)
  • http://2014.onward-conference.org/


  • Most Notable Paper Award 2013 for 2003
    • Recipient: Martin Rinard
    • Title: Acceptability-oriented Computing
    • Conference: Onward! 2003
    • Paper: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=949344.949402
    • Citation: The 2003 Onward! paper "Acceptability-Oriented Computing" introduced the approach of defining the boundaries of acceptable program behavior for a software system, and then augmenting the original system by layering components to enforce those boundaries—this instead of attempting to construct a completely error-free system. This paper led to a still-expanding series of papers exploring this approach, its capabilities, and its benefits.
  • Most Notable Paper Award 2012 for 2002
    • Recipients: James Noble and Robert Biddle
    • Title: Notes on Postmodern Programming
    • Conference: Onward! 2002
    • Paper: http://dreamsongs.com/Files/Onward!Proceedings.pdf
    • Citation: The 2002 Onward! paper "Notes on Postmodern Programming" uses postmodern concepts to understand contemporary programming, especially as software grows in scale and design is dispersed to a diversity of stakeholders. This paper is notable because it triggered a storm of immediate responses and ongoing discussion on the Web; it introduced the essay genre to the programming community and cut the path that led to a new technical track at Onward! (Essays); and it stated for the first time the philosophical model of at-scale software development that dominates today.

Past Events

Steering Committee Members


  • Jonathan Aldrich, CMU, USA
  • Andrew Black, Portland State University, USA
  • Bernd Bruegge, TU München, Germany
  • Yvonne Coady, University of Victoria, Canada
  • Jonathan Edwards, MIT, USA
  • Richard P. Gabriel, IBM Research, USA
  • Jeremy Gibbons, University of Oxford, UK (SIGPLAN)
  • Robert Hirschfeld, Hasso-Plattner-Institut Potsdam, Germany
  • Antony Hosking, Purdue University, USA
  • Shriram Krishnamurthi, Brown University, USA
  • Kevin Sullivan, University of Virginia, USA (chair)
  • Eelco Visser, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


  • Elisa Baniassad, Australian National University, Australia
  • Robert Biddle, Carleton University, Canada
  • Siobhán Clarke, Trinity College, Ireland
  • Geoff A. Cohen, Elysium Digital, USA
  • Cristina Videira Lopes, University of California, Irvine, USA
  • James Noble, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Dirk Riehle, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany