Salon des Refusés 2019

Dialectics for new computer science

Salon des Refusés ("exhibition of rejects") was an 1863 exhibition of artworks rejected from the official Paris Salon. It displayed works by later famous modernists such as Édouard Manet, whose paintings were rejected by the conservative jury of the Paris Salon. We feel that a similar space is needed to explore new ideas and new ways of doing programming research and computer science.

Many interesting ideas about programming struggle to find space in the modern programming language research community, often because they are difficult to evaluate using proofs, measurements or controlled user studies. As a result, new ideas are often seen as "unscientific".

To provide space for unorthodox thought provoking ideas, we take inspiration from literary criticism. Papers that provoked an interesting discussion or criticism among the program committee members are presented together with an attributed critical review that presents an alternative position, develops additional context or summarizes discussion about the work.

Below, you'll find the call for papers, including suggested topics, program committee members, and submission format. Important dates:
- Deadline for submissions: January 7 2019 extended to January 21st 2019
- Notification of authors: January 23 2019 February 6th 2019
- Workshop at ‹Programming› 2019: April 2, 2019 (TBD)

Topics of interest

The scope of the workshop is determined more by the format of submissions than by the specific area of programming language or computer science research that we are interested in. We welcome submissions in a format that makes it possible to think about programming in a new way, including the following.

Thought experiments

We believe that thought experiments, analogies and illustrative metaphors can provide novel insights and inspire fruitful programming language ideas.


All scientific work is rooted in a scientific paradigm that frame what questions can be asked. We encourage submissions that reflect on existing paradigms or explore alternative scientific paradigms.

From jokes to science fiction

A story or an artistic performance may explore ideas and spark conversations that provide crucial inspiration for development of new computer science thinking.


We find prejudices in favour of theory, as far back as there is institutionalized science, but programming can often be seen more as experimentation than as theorizing. We welcome interesting experiments even if there is yet no overarching theory that explains why they happened.

Metaphors, myths and analogies

Any description of formal, mathematical, quantitative or even poetical nature still represents just an analogy. We believe that fruitful ideas can be learned from less common forms of analogies as well as from the predominant, formal and mathematical ones.


We are inspired by the idea that our field may currently be in its pre-history, and that the practices we have adopted may be completely faulty. A counter-history may report on today’s primitive notions of programming from the far future, or on the unfulfilled promise of programming’s past.

Ironies of Software Design

The ‘best practices’ of programming are motivated by math and engineering virtues such as consistency, correctness, and efficiency. These virtues may not be apparent to other communities involved with software, or may go directly against their needs. We invite reports on the ironic consequences of virtuous programming, and the ironic successes of ‘improper’ programming.


The orthodoxies of programming ought to be challenged from outside the field, from the point of view of those that are affected by or excluded from it. We invite both insiders and outsiders to submit critical dialogues on programming.

Programme committee

To help the authors choose topics that would spark interesting discussions among the PC members and workshop attendees, we do not just list PC members, but we also include their brief bio below. You are welcome to use these as an inspiration for your submission, but they are by no means a complete list of topics!

If you have any questions or want to check whether your idea would fit, please send email to Luke Church (luke at church dot name) or Philip Tchernavskij (ptchernavskij at protonmail dot com) or ping Philip at @ptchernavskij, or get in touch with any of the other members of the committee to discuss your ideas.

Antranig Basman, Raising the floor

Antranig wants to see work that widens the audience for software by considering the role it might take in healthy societies, based around artefacts that work for everyone. These days, he codes exclusively in JavaScript, the language of the proles - in whom our hope lies. He is interested in work which challenges the assumptions we use to carve up our domain into separated disciplines. He is excited by the possibility that we are still in the prehistory of our subject, and that the principles and practices we have adopted so far may be completely faulty.

Luke Church, University of Cambridge

Luke is a researcher at the University of Cambridge. He studies how to improve the experience that people have when dealing with complex systems. For example: programming languages, configuration systems or animal behaviour.

Stephen Kell, University of Kent

Stephen thinks that programming, as we know it, has unacceptably high human cost, and that we cannot solve this problem by escalation. We need programming systems that help us not to write more code, but to write less, combine, downsize and simplify code. He is a system-builder, interested not only in designing and building such programming systems, but in evolving existing systems in this non-traditional direction.

Clayton Lewis, University of Colorado Boulder

Clayton is Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is well known for his research on evaluation methods in user interface design, and has also contributed to cognitive assistive technology, programming language design, educational technology, and cognitive theory in causal attribution and learning.

Mariana Mărășoiu, University of Cambridge

Mariana is a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge in the Computer Laboratory. Her current work focuses on building tools for creating dynamic data visualisations aimed at end user programmers.

Nolwenn Maudet, University of Tokyo

Nolwenn is an interaction designer and a researcher at the university of Tokyo. She studies how creative professionals, including interaction designers and programmers, work and collaborate with their dedicated software and she is exploring how we can create new interactive tools that fill in the gap between graphical user interfaces and programming.

Midas Nouwens, Aarhus University

Midas is interested in the political economy of software production and consumption, that is, how specific technical characteristics of software help produce particular people, labour conditions, and societies. He is currently mostly exploring the consequences of application-centric computing as a distinct paradigm of computational media, as well as looking for ways to use regulation and policy innovation to shift that paradigm into one that is more sustainable, equitable, transparent, and accountable.

Tomas Petricek, Alan Turing Institute

Tomas is interested in work that challenges how we think about programming. He is interested in novel programming models, theory and practice of functional programming, tools for data-driven storytelling and data science, but also philosophy of science applied to programming.

Winnie Soon, Aarhus University

Winnie is Assistant Professor at Aarhus University, examining the cultural implications of technologies in which computational processes and infrastructure underwrite our experiences, which are ever more programmed. Her works explore computational culture, specifically concerning internet censorship, data circulation, real-time processing/liveness and the culture of code practice. Her current research focuses on aesthetic coding in the realm of software studies, working on two books titled “Aesthetic Programming” (with Geoff Cox) and “Fix My Code” (with Cornelia Sollfrank).

Philip Tchernavskij, Université Paris-Sud

Philip works on infrastructure for software that can be pulled apart and put back together by end-users to fit them and their communities. He is trying to make software tools more like analog hand tools, which can generally be selected, combined, shared, and altered in ways that we have learned software should not be. Besides rethinking the languages and architectures we use to build interactive systems, this involves questioning the current roles of designers, developers, and users.

Format and dates

Submit your papers by January 21st, 2019 on EasyChair. We welcome both short (3000 words) and long (9000 words) papers. For some (by no means complete) inspiration on what the papers might look like, check out the papers from previous editions of Salon des Refusés.

Important dates

  • Deadline for submissions: January 7 2019 extended to January 21st 2019
  • Notification of authors: January 23 2019 February 6th 2019
  • Workshop at ‹Programming› 2019: April 2, 2019
  • Submission page: SDR19 on EasyChair

Paper format

We welcome short papers (up to 3000 words) and long papers (up to 9000 words) as well as screencasts or interactive essays. We intend to publish accepted paper on the web, but any format is welcome for the submission. We will consider publishing post-proceedings using the ACM SIGPLAN format (acmart format with the sigconf option), so you can use this template for your submission too.