Call for Papers

The 5th International Conference on Software Language Engineering (SLE 2012) is devoted to topics related to artificial languages in software engineering. SLE’s foremost mission is to encourage and organize communication among communities that have traditionally looked at software languages from different and yet complementary perspectives. Thus, of particular relevance to SLE are technologies, methods, experiments, and case studies on software languages from modelware, grammarware and ontologyware perspectives.


Abstract submission deadline : June 4, 2012 Article submission deadline : June 11, 2012 Notification to authors : August 3, 2012 Camera-ready papers for preproceedings : September 3, 2012 Camera-ready papers for postproceedings : TBA


We solicit the following types of papers:

  • Research papers: These should report a substantial research contribution to SLE or successful application of SLE techniques or both. Full paper submissions must not exceed 20 pages.

  • Industrial experience papers: These papers discuss practical applications of SLE technology with an emphasis on the advantages and disadvantages of the method, techniques, or tools used. These papers must not exceed 10 pages.

  • Tool demonstration papers: Because of SLE’s ample interest in tools, we seek papers that present software tools related to the field of SLE. These papers will accompany a tool demonstration to be given at the conference. These papers must not exceed 10 pages. The selection criteria include the originality of the tool, its innovative aspects, the relevance of the tool to SLE, and the maturity of the tool.

Submitted articles must not have been previously published or currently be submitted for publication elsewhere.


All submitted papers will be reviewed by at least three members of the program committee. As for previous instances of SLE, all accepted papers will be made available at the conference in the pre-proceedings and published in the post-proceedings of the conference, which will appear in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series (pending approval). Authors will have the opportunity to revise their accepted paper for the pre- and post-proceedings. All papers must be formatted according to the Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science style.


The term “software language” refers to artificial languages used in software development including general-purpose programming languages, domain-specific languages, modeling and meta-modeling languages, data models, and ontologies. Examples include general purpose modeling languages such as UML, but also domain-specific modeling languages for business process modeling, such as BPMN, or embedded systems, such as Simulink or Modelica, and specialized XML-based and OWL-based languages and vocabularies. The term “software language” also comprises APIs and collections of design patterns that define a language implicitly.

Software language engineering is the application of systematic, disciplined, and quantifiable approaches to the development (design, implementation, testing, deployment), use, and maintenance (evolution, recovery, and retirement) of these languages. Of special interest are (1) formal descriptions of languages that are used to design or generate language-based tools and (2) methods and tools for managing such descriptions, including modularization, refactoring, refinement, composition, versioning, co-evolution, recovery, and analysis.


We solicit high-quality contributions in the area of SLE ranging from theoretical and conceptual contributions to tools, techniques, and frameworks that support the aforementioned lifecycle activities. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Formalisms used in designing and specifying languages and tools that analyze language descriptions: Examples are formalisms for grammars, schemas, ontologies, and metamodels; tools that detect inconsistencies in metamodels or analyze grammars to build a parser; and formal logics and proof assistants that verify properties of language specifications.

  • Language implementation techniques: These include advances in traditional compiler generator tools such as parser/scanner generators, attribute grammar systems, term-rewriting systems, functional-programming-based combinator libraries; also of interest are metamodel-based and ontology tools implementing constraint, rule, view, transformation, and query formalisms and engines.

  • Program and model transformation tools: Examples are tools that support program refinement and refactoring, model-based development, aspect and model weaving, model extraction, metamodeling, model transformations, reasoning on models, round-trip engineering, and runtime system transformation.

  • Composition, integration, and mapping tools for managing different aspects of software languages or different manifestations of given language: Examples are tools for mapping between the concrete and abstract syntax of a language and for managing textual and graphical concrete syntax for the same or closely related languages.

  • Transformations and transformation languages between languages and models: transformation descriptions and tools or XML/RDF/ontology/object/relational mappings; also, reasoning for and about transformations.

  • Language evolution: Included are extensible languages and type systems and their supporting tools and language conversion tools. Ontologies and APIs, when considered as languages, are subject to evolution; thus tools and techniques that assist developers in using a new version of an ontology or an API or a competing implementation in a program are also of interest.

  • Approaches to the elicitation, specification, and verification of requirements for software languages: Examples include the use of requirements engineering techniques in domain engineering and in the development of domain-specific languages and the application of logic-based formalisms for verifying language and domain requirements.

  • Language development frameworks, methodologies, techniques, best practices, and tools for the broader language lifecycle covering phases such as analysis, testing, and documentation. For example, frameworks for advanced type or reasoning systems, constraint mechanisms, tools for metrics collection and language usage analysis, assessing language usability, documentation generators, visualization backends, generation of tests for language-based tools, knowledge and process management approaches, as well as IDE support for many of these activities are of interest.

  • Design challenges in SLE: Example challenges include finding a balance between specificity and generality in designing domain-specific languages, between strong static typing and weaker yet more flexible type systems, or between deep and shallow embedding approaches, as, for example, in the context of adding type-safe XML and database programming support to general purpose programming languages.

  • Applications of languages including innovative domain-specific languages or “little” languages: Examples include policy languages for security or service oriented architectures, web-engineering with schema-based generators or ontology-based annotations. Of specific interest are the engineering aspects of domain-specific language support in all of these cases.

The program committee chairs encourage potential contributors to contact them with questions about the scope and topics of interest of SLE.