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Onward! 2018
Sun 4 - Fri 9 November 2018 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
co-located with SPLASH 2018

Onward! Essays is looking for clear and compelling pieces of writing about topics important to the software community. An essay can be long or short.

An essay can be an exploration of the topic and its impact, or a story about the circumstances of its creation; it can present a personal view of what is, explore a terrain, or lead the reader in an act of discovery; it can be a philosophical digression or a deep analysis. It can describe a personal journey, perhaps the one the author took to reach an understanding of the topic. The subject area—software, programming, and programming languages—should be interpreted broadly and can include the relationship of software to human endeavors, or its philosophical, sociological, psychological, historical, or anthropological underpinnings.

Onward! Essays invites not only experienced academics but graduate students to submit essays with constructive criticism of current software development technology and practices, as well as presentations of ideas that could change the realm of software development. Practitioners who are dissatisfied—or satisfied!—with the state of our art are also encouraged to share insights about how to reform—or improve—software development, perhaps by presenting detailed examples of a new approach, demonstrating concrete benefits and potential risks.

Onward! Essays is not looking for research-as-usual papers—an essay doesn’t contain definitive validation; however, regardless of its form or topic, the essay must have “substance.” An essay may or may not have a conclusion, but it must provide some insight or compelling argument, either directly or indirectly stated; the reader should be left—perhaps after some reflection—in no doubt about the claimed insight or argument. The key characteristic of a successful essay is that it shows a keen mind coming to grips with a tough or intriguing problem in such a way that, as Virginia Woolf wrote, “it explains much and tells much.”

Long essays are fine, but essayists are encouraged to consider the virtues of short essays that deliver their points sharply and with precision. Essays as short as a single page are welcome at Onward! Essays. Short essays will be accorded the same status at Onward! Essays as longer ones.

Wed 7 Nov

onward-2018-Onward-Essays
15:30 - 17:00: Essays - Session 1 at Terrace
onward-2018-Onward-Essays154160100000015:30 - 16:15
Full-paper
Friedrich SteimannFernuniversität

Thu 8 Nov

onward-2018-Onward-Essays
15:30 - 17:00: Essays - Session 2 at Terrace
onward-2018-Onward-Essays154168740000015:30 - 16:15
Full-paper
Daco HarkesDelft University of Technology
onward-2018-Onward-Essays154169010000016:15 - 17:00
Full-paper
Michael CoblenzCarnegie Mellon University, Jonathan AldrichCarnegie Mellon University, Brad MyersCarnegie Mellon University, Joshua SunshineCarnegie Mellon University

Call for Essays

There is no limit on the length of submissions, but note that reviewers will not be obligated to read beyond the end of their interest. The main part of the final version should not exceed 25 pages unless there are two program committee members who believe the content requires a longer essay and the quality of the writing is likely to sustain readers. If your final version is longer than 25 pages, you must re-submit it before the final deadline so the program committee can reëxamine it. There is no limit for the bibliography and appendices.

Long essays are fine, but we encourage essayists to consider the virtues of short essays that deliver their points sharply and with precision. Essays as short as a single page are welcome at Onward! Essays. Short essays will be accorded the same status at Onward! Essays as longer ones.

Instructions for Authors

Onward! essays must conform to both the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions as well as the SIGPLAN Re-publication Policy.

All submitted papers should conform to the formatting instructions unless there is a reason founded in the nature of the essay to do otherwise; in this case, please preface the essay with the reasons for the variation.

Onward! essays are not double blind.

Both templates (Onward! Proceedings and The Programming Journal) are single column.

Publication Venue Choice

This year, authors of accepted essays have a choice of publication venue. The choice will determine the template for the essay. Your choices are as follows (a or b):

(a) Essay in Onward! Proceedings Only

Essays may be published in the Onward! Proceedings as usual; these proceedings appear in the digital library. Essays published here should use the ACM SIGPLAN Conference acmart Format, with the sigplan and review \documentclass options. This produces two-column, 10pt files. If you use LaTeX or Word, please use the provided ACM SIGPLAN acmart templates provided here. All submissions should be in PDF format. 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.

For Word there is currently no way (your humble program chair knows of) with the templates provided to conform to the requirements of Onward! Essays. The SIGCHI Word template seems to be the closest. The SIGPLAN template produces two-column, 9pt papers, which is incorrect.

(b) Essay in The Programming Journal and Abstract in the Onward! Proceedings

Essays may be published in the journal “The Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming,” in a special edition of that journal.

If this venue is chosen, the author(s) must also provide an abstract for the Onward! proceedings, which is short enough and/or different enough from the full essay to satisfy both the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions as well as the SIGPLAN Re-publication Policy. Abstracts are expected to be short, so these policies should be easy to obey.

Submissions must use the LaTeX template of the journal. Please download the template package; a manual is included.

The template is also available in Overleaf.

Abstracts, which can be written after acceptance, must use the ACM SIGPLAN Conference acmart Format, with the sigplan \documentclass option, as noted above.

Submission Site

Please take a moment to read the instructions below before using the submission site. Note that camera ready versions intended for the Onward! Proceedings will be collected by Conference Publishing Consulting.

Concurrent Submissions

Papers must describe unpublished work that is not currently submitted for publication elsewhere as described by SIGPLAN’s Republication Policy. Submitters should also be aware of ACM’s Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism.

Page Limit

There is no limit on the length of submissions, but note that reviewers will not be obligated to read beyond the end of their interest. The main part of the final version should not exceed 25 pages pages unless there are two program committee members who believe the content requires a longer essay and the quality of the writing is likely to sustain readers. If your final version is longer than 25 pages, you must re-submit it before the final deadline so the program committee can reëxamine it. There is no limit for the bibliography and appendices.

Long essays are fine, but we encourage essayists to consider the virtues of short essays that deliver their points sharply and with precision. Essays as short as a single page are welcome at Onward! Essays. Short essays will be accorded the same status at Onward! Essays as longer ones.