Call for Papers: PLoP 2013, the International Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs

The 20th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs

October 23–26, 2013—Allerton Park, Monticello, IL, USA

The International Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs

April 1994: Members of the small, eclectic, and informal Hillside group gathered in Ben Lomond, California, for their yearly retreat and in the redwoods that Spring hatched a plan that was PLoP 1994. In response to the criticism that by putting together such an unconventional conference they would show they didn’t know what they were doing, one of them suggested, “then let’s pretend to know.”

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, PLoP in 2013 will return to its first home, Allerton Park, and the conference program will include a variety of special events alongside the usual PLoP fare.

This is your invitation to participate—to share your knowledge, to help others improve their understanding and their pattern languages, and to be helped in turn. PLoP’s focus encompasses every aspect of software: design, programming, testing, architecture, user interface design, domain modeling, education, human relations, and software development processes. Patterns and pattern languages for domains outside software have always been welcome, and this year, PLoP 2013 especially invites contributions that reflect on the history, current practice, and future of patterns.

Newcomer or oldtimer, all are welcome, and this year we expect to see familiar faces from the past: founders, early participants, and people who form the stuff of legend. Help us start up the future: From redwoods to prairie to…?


PLoP accepts papers containing patterns or pattern languages as well as experience reports and papers related to the theory and use of patterns. You also can submit proposals for free-format discussion groups or workshops that bring together people interested in a (hot) topic related to patterns. Proposals addressing interdisciplinary topics and topics from domains other than software development are encouraged. Non-conventional formats are welcome.

Submission deadline for initial paper: May 19, 2013

Submission deadline for focus group proposals and workshops: July 28, 2013

Submissions should fall into one of the following categories:

  • Pattern PapersShort papers (5–10 pages) containing one or more patterns. Longer papers containing pattern languages or sequence as well as work-in-progress papers will be considered. All accepted papers receive in-depth shepherding by an experienced pattern author before the conference. Long papers might have only a portion shepherded and workshopped. Papers may receive further shepherding at the conference.
  • Papers on Applying PatternsPapers on the practical application of patterns. The focus of these papers should be either on applying patterns to industrial projects, education, and organizations, or on systematizing the application of patterns. They should stimulate discussion on how better to disseminate patterns in higher education, training, and practice.
  • Essay or Classical Style PapersEssays and classical papers. Some pattern papers don’t fit the traditional pattern. Papers in this category can be essay, classical technical papers, or articles.
  • Focus Group ProposalsFocus groups: free-format discussion groups or workshops lasting approximately three hours. Focus groups bring together people interested in a challenging (hot) topic related to patterns. Non-conventional ideas such as goldfish bowls and renga circles are welcome.
  • Pattern WorkshopsHalf-day workshops. In addition to the Focus Groups, PLoP 2013 invites ideas for half-day workshops on a (hot) topic with a pattern focus.

Submission Procedure

The core of PLoP is the Writers’ Workshop, where authors work together to improve their papers. Before papers are accepted for a Writers’ Workshop, they are shepherded. Shepherding is an iterative process, where an experienced author discusses the submission with its authors to refine the paper prior to the conference. All submissions are peer-reviewed after shepherding.

Following shepherding, papers may be accepted directly into a Writers’ Workshop or alternatively, into a Writing Group. Writing Group papers will receive additional face-to-face shepherding at the conference. Writing Group papers reaching a required standard will be considered for workshop review on the final day of the conference.

PLoP proceedings are published after the conference through the ACM Digital Library. Papers discussed at a Writers’ Workshop at PLoP qualify for submission to the new journal Transactions on Pattern Languages of Programming published by Springer.

There is a three-stage submission process for the conference:

  1. Initial submissions are assessed for suitability. Papers judged suitable are assigned a shepherd who will help its authors improve the paper.
  2. Authors are expected to submit a second draft part way through the shepherding process. After shepherding, each paper will be assessed for quality and its authors’ willingness to accept feedback. This review will determine whether a paper is accepted to the conference.
  3. Authors and shepherds are expected to continue revising their paper until the final drafts are due.

To submit your paper, please visit the PLoP 2013 submission page.

At least one of the authors of each accepted paper must register for the conference before the close of early-bird registration. Failure to do so may result in acceptance being withdrawn.

For more information, please visit:

I am looking forward to reading your submissions, learning about the patterns that you have observed, and to meeting you in Allerton Park. Welcome to PLoP 2013!

On behalf of PLoP 2013 and the Hillside Group,

Christian Köppe

Conference Chair

Important Dates

  • Paper submission deadline May 19, 2013
  • Start of shepherding June 2, 2013
  • Second draft due for review July 28, 2013
  • Deadline focus group / workshop proposals July 28, 2013
  • Notification of acceptance August 7, 2013
  • Early registration ends September 15, 2013
  • Conference versions due September 26, 2013
  • Patterns boot-camp October 23, 2013
  • PLoP conference days October 23-26, 2013
  • Proceedings version due January 2014

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