[ALU-announce] Experimental Software and Toolkits -- special issue of Science of Computer programming

Nick Levine ndl at ravenbrook.com
Mon Jun 13 02:44:03 PDT 2005

------- Start of forwarded message -------

         Call for Systems of Science of Computer Programming
                        for a Special Issue on
               Experimental Software and Toolkits (EST)


      The idea in a nutshell: Reproducibility and Accessibility

The  journal  "Science of Computer Programming"  of  Elsevier 
Science has a long history of publishing high-quality articles on 
programming and software. The idea of this special issue on 
Experimental Software and  Toolkits  (ETS) is  to  allow  academic  
software  developers to publish  the  software  system  they  
developed together with a short paper.  We hope this will help the 
software community to find a wider audience for their work. 
Moreover, by enhancing the accessibility and the  reproducibility of 
results, we hope to help to encourage a wider application and 
adoption of experimental software.

                            Aim and scope

Academic  software  development  may  involve the development of 
huge software  systems in order to perform all kinds of experiments.  
This can  be  compared with huge experiments in physics or 
chemistry.  The focus of researchers developing such experimental 
software systems is mainly on software development. The software 
developer has some idea, algorithmic  or  functional,  and  in  
order to prove his or her idea software  is  adapted  or newly 
developed.  Some of these systems are distributed  to  different 
researchers and may become very popular in the  community.  The  
software development of these systems is almost always  in conflict 
with papers that are to be written.  Specially if the  users  
community  grows  and  the  requests for enhancements and 
improvements  increases.  The  application  areas  of  these 
software systems  are  rather diverse, from language prototyping 
environments, theorem provers,  visualisation tools,  renovation 
tools, programming environments, etc.

This  EST  initiative  is  focussed  on the creation of a forum 
where beside the paper the software system itself is published. Two 
obvious questions arise here:
 * What is the difference between this initiative and the open source
   facilities  like  SourceForge?  The most important and challenging
   difference  is  that  the  software  is  reviewed.   A  number  of
   independent  referees  will  review both the system and the system
   description paper and will give a verdict.
 * What is the difference with tool demonstrations at conferences and
   workshops.    The   difference   is   that   at  conferences  tool
   demonstrations  are accepted based on the tool demonstration only,
   the  referee  has  no opportunity to install and use the system or
   have a look at the code.

We  want to invite authors to submit software systems together with a
short  paper.   We  want  to  go  one  step  further  than  the  tool
demonstrations   at  the  various  conferences,    such  as  Compiler
Construction. The software systems is reviewed on various aspects:
 * ease of installation,
 * quality of (user) documentation,
 * ease of usage, and
 * applicability to the indented domain.

Referees  are  also  invited to have a look at the actual code of 
the system.  The  major improvement over the conference and workshop 
tool demonstration is that a broader audience is able to use the 

                        Guidelines for authors

In order to submit a software system the author has to produce a 
tool description  paper,  comparable to the tool descriptions 
submitted to conferences and workshops.  The size of the tool description
paper is
about 10 pages (but need not be limited to 10 pages).   The main goal
of the paper is to introduce the tool,  the application domain of 
the tool  and  to  give  a  comparison  with  relevant  related 
tools and systems. Moreover, relevant theory should concisely be 

The requirements of the software system itself:
 * Installation documentation.
 * The  source  files  and an installation script or procedure, it is
   possible  to provide the binaries as well, but the original source
   files are required for code inspection.
 * A number of example applications.
 * User documentation.


The  submission  deadline is October 1st, 2005. Authors are 
requested to submit their system and corresponding paper 
electronically  to the guest editor (Mark.van.den.Brand at cwi.nl), 
either in postscript  or in PDF  format.  We  encourage  the  use  
of the Elsevier style file for LaTeX.


The  copyright  of  the  articles  is  held,  except  where noted, 
by Elsevier  Science.  Copyright  as well as other proprietary 
rights in the source code are held by the authors. By submitting the 
code along with  the  article,  the authors have agreed to permit 
the readers of Science  of  Computer Programming the right to use 
the algorithms for personal  and  professional  research  use,  but  
not for any further redistribution,  further sub-licensing, or 
commercial use. All rights are  otherwise  reserved.  Authors  are  
thus  free to distribute the published  version  of  the source code 
via other media as well as to develop and distribute new versions of 
the source code.

                             Guest editor

Mark van den Brand
Department of Software Engineering
Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica
Kruislaan 413
NL-1098 SJ Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Institute for Information Technology
Hogeschool van Amsterdam
Weesperzijde 190
NL-1097 DZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands

For more information see: http://homepages.cwi.nl/~markvdb/SCP-EST/.

M.G.J. van den Brand

Department of Software Engineering
Kruislaan 413
NL-1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tel___(+31) 20 5924213
Fax___(+31) 20 5924199
Email__Mark.van.den.Brand at cwi.nl

Instituut voor Informatica
Hogeschool van Amsterdam
Weesperzijde 190
NL-1097 DZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tel___(+31) 20 5951619
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dr. Johan Brichau
Programming Technology Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Office: 10F710
Phone: +32 2 629 13 53

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