‹Programming› 2020
Mon 23 - Thu 26 March 2020 Porto, Portugal

We were promised bicycles for the mind, but we got aircraft carriers instead. Can you imagine a world where everyone can build or customize the software they need without years of study? A world where software tools are lightweight and human scale, like bicycles, not massive engines of the Software-Industrial Complex? The singular success of spreadsheets gives hope that programming can be humanized.

The Salon at <Programming> 2020 invites papers, essays, demonstrations, provocations, and invocations leading towards Convivial Computing. In Tools for Conviviality, Ivan Illich said:

“I choose the term “conviviality” to designate the opposite of industrial productivity.

“…Tools foster conviviality to the extent to which they can be easily used, by anybody, as often or as seldom as desired, for the accomplishment of a purpose chosen by the user.

“…The crisis can be solved only … if we give people tools that guarantee their right to work with high, independent efficiency, thus simultaneously eliminating the need for either slaves or masters and enhancing each person’s range of freedom. People need new tools to work with rather than tools that “work” for them.

We believe Illich’s critique of the damage to society from technology escalation offers a fresh perspective from which to discuss the pathologies of modern software development, and to seek better alternatives. Please join the discussion in the Salon at <Programming> 2020.

Call for Submissions

Convivial Computing in the Salon at <Programming> 2020

We were promised bicycles for the mind, but we got aircraft carriers instead. Can you imagine a world where everyone can build or customize the software they need without years of study? A world where software tools are lightweight and human scale, like bicycles, not massive engines of the Software-Industrial Complex? The singular success of spreadsheets gives hope that programming can be humanized.

The Salon at <Programming> 2020 continues the Salon des Refusés from the previous two conferences with a more focused annual theme. This year we invite papers, essays, demonstrations, provocations, and invocations leading towards Convivial Computing. In Tools for Conviviality, Ivan Illich said:

“I choose the term “conviviality” to designate the opposite of industrial productivity.

“…Tools foster conviviality to the extent to which they can be easily used, by anybody, as often or as seldom as desired, for the accomplishment of a purpose chosen by the user.

“…The crisis can be solved only … if we give people tools that guarantee their right to work with high, independent efficiency, thus simultaneously eliminating the need for either slaves or masters and enhancing each person’s range of freedom. People need new tools to work with rather than tools that “work” for them.

We believe Illich’s critique of the damage to society from technology escalation offers a fresh perspective from which to discuss the pathologies of modern software development, and to seek better alternatives. Please join the discussion in the Salon at <Programming> 2020.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Research fictions: prototypes, mockups, and visions of convivial computing
  • Pathways to evolve established systems towards greater flexibility and accessibility
  • Alternative paradigms improving simplicity, flexibility, and creative participation
  • Informal methods: humane alternatives to abstraction, modularity, and consistency
  • Pluralism and diversity in computing: strategies and systems that support different users, different data, different user interfaces, different languages, different systems, different perspectives, different economies
  • Programming in other modalities and with other abilities
  • Social, historical and political analysis of the software industry and software development practices
  • Beyond open source and venture capital: software business models that benefit all
  • Field studies of computing in the wild
  • Computational substrates
  • Embracing and extending spreadsheets
  • Live programming
  • End-user programming and continuing customization of software
  • From end-user programming to end-community programming
  • Alternative research evaluation methodologies

Format and review

Papers should be in the conference format. Authors may choose to have their paper published in the proceedings. There is no page limit, but authors should take into consideration that reviewers appreciate papers that get to the point. We also invite short (15 minute) demo videos and performative artifacts (such as interactive web pages), accompanied by a written extended abstract. Experiments with new forms of research communication outside these bounds are also welcome, especially if they include a meta-discussion of the form itself.

We strongly encourage authors to use concrete examples to explain their ideas, as well as counter-examples to reveal limitations and unsolved problems. All submissions should clearly state (for non-textual submissions, in the extended abstract): the new ideas being communicated, and the relation of the work to existing practice and prior research.

The program committee members championing accepted papers will be acknowledged publicly and will be responsible for giving a second (critical) talk during the session dedicated to the paper at the workshop and also for writing critical review or commentary that will be published, together with the original work in the workshop proceedings.

Key dates

  • Deadline for submissions: January 15th 2020
  • Notification of authors: January 31st 2020
  • Workshop at ‹Programming› 2020: March 23rd or 24th 2020

Program Committee

TBD