Sun 22 - Fri 27 October 2023 Cascais, Portugal

The ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Software Language Engineering (SLE) is devoted to the principles of software languages: their design, their implementation, and their evolution.

With the ubiquity of computers, software has become the dominating intellectual asset of our time. In turn, this software depends on software languages, namely the languages it is written in, the languages used to describe its environment, and the languages driving its development process. Given that everything depends on software and that software depends on software languages, it seems fair to say that for many years to come, everything will depend on software languages.

Software language engineering (SLE) is the discipline of engineering languages and their tools required for the creation of software. It abstracts from the differences between programming languages, modelling languages, and other software languages, and emphasizes the engineering facet of the creation of such languages, that is, the establishment of the scientific methods and practices that enable the best results. While SLE is certainly driven by its metacircular character (software languages are engineered using software languages), SLE is not self-satisfying: its scope extends to the engineering of languages for all and everything.

Like its predecessors, the 16th edition of the SLE conference, SLE 2023, will bring together researchers from different areas united by their common interest in the creation, capture, and tooling of software languages. It overlaps with traditional conferences on the design and implementation of programming languages, model-driven engineering, and compiler construction, and emphasizes the fusion of their communities. To foster the latter, SLE traditionally fills a two-day program with a single track, with the only temporal overlap occurring between co-located events.

SLE 2023 will be co-located with SPLASH 2023 and take place in Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal.

Accepted Papers

Adaptive Structural Operational SemanticsResearch Paper
A Low-Code Platform for Systematic Component-Oriented Language CompositionTool Paper
An Executable Semantics for Faster Development of Optimizing Python CompilersResearch Paper
A reference GLL implementationResearch Paper
A Tool for the Definition and Deployment of Platform-Independent Bots on Open Source ProjectsTool Paper
Automated extraction of grammar optimization rule configurations in a metamodel-grammar co-evolution scenarioResearch Paper
Cascade: a Meta-Language for Change, Cause and EffectResearch Paper
Cross-Level Debugging for Static AnalysersResearch Paper
Deriving Integrated Multi-Viewpoint Modeling Languages from Heterogeneous Modeling Languages: An Experience ReportResearch Paper
Enabling Blended Modelling of Timing and Variability in EAST-ADLResearch Paper
Exceptions all Over the Shop: Modular, Customizable, Language-independent Exception Handling LayerResearch Paper
GPT-3-Powered Type Error Debugging: Investigating the Use of Large Language Models for Code RepairResearch Paper
Nanopass Attribute GrammarsResearch Paper
Online Name-Based Navigation for Software Meta-languagesTool Paper
Practical Runtime Instrumentation of Software Languages: the Case of SciHookTool Paper
Reuse and Automated Integration of Recommenders for Modelling LanguagesResearch Paper
Seamless Code Generator Synchronization in the Composition of Heterogeneous Modeling LanguagesNew ideas / Vision paper
Sharing Trees and Contextual Information: Re-imagining Forwarding in Attribute GrammarsResearch Paper
Temporal Breakpoints for Multiverse DebuggingResearch Paper
Towards Efficient Model Comparison Using Automated Program RewritingResearch Paper

Call for Papers

Topics of Interest

SLE covers software language engineering rather than engineering a specific software language. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Software Language Design and Implementation
    • Approaches to and methods for language design
    • Static semantics (e.g., design rules, well-formedness constraints)
    • Techniques for specifying behavioral/executable semantics
    • Generative approaches (incl. code synthesis, compilation)
    • Meta-languages, meta-tools, language workbenches
  • Software Language Validation
    • Verification and formal methods for languages
    • Testing techniques for languages
    • Simulation techniques for languages
  • Software Language Integration and Composition
    • Coordination of heterogeneous languages and tools
    • Mappings between languages (incl. transformation languages)
    • Traceability between languages
    • Deployment of languages to different platforms
  • Software Language Maintenance
    • Software language reuse
    • Language evolution
    • Language families and variability, language and software product lines
  • Domain-specific approaches for any aspects of SLE (design, implementation, validation, maintenance)
  • Empirical evaluation and experience reports of language engineering tools
    • User studies evaluating usability
    • Performance benchmarks
    • Industrial applications
  • Synergies between Language Engineering and emerging/promising research areas
    • AI and ML language engineering (e.g., ML compiler testing, code classification) Quantum language engineering (e.g., language design for quantum machines)
    • Language engineering for physical systems (e.g., CPS, IoT, digital twins)
    • Socio-technical systems and language engineering (e.g., language evolution to adapt to social requirements)
    • Etc.

Types of Submissions

SLE accepts the following types of papers:

  • Research papers: These are “traditional” papers detailing research contributions to SLE. Papers may range from 6 to 12 pages in length and may optionally include 2 further pages of bibliography/appendices. Papers will be reviewed with an understanding that some results do not need 12 full pages and may be fully described in fewer pages.

  • New ideas/vision papers: These papers may describe new, unconventional software language engineering research positions or approaches that depart from standard practice. They can describe well-defined research ideas that are at an early stage of investigation. They could also provide new evidence to challenge common wisdom, present new unifying theories about existing SLE research that provides novel insight or that can lead to the development of new technologies or approaches, or apply SLE technology to radically new application areas. New ideas/vision papers must not exceed 5 pages and may optionally include 1 further page of bibliography/appendices.

  • SLE Body of Knowledge: The SLE Body of Knowledge (SLEBoK) is a community-wide effort to provide a unique and comprehensive description of the concepts, best practices, tools, and methods developed by the SLE community. In this respect, the SLE conference will accept surveys, essays, open challenges, empirical observations, and case study papers on the SLE topics. These can focus on, but are not limited to, methods, techniques, best practices, and teaching approaches. Papers in this category can have up to 20 pages, including bibliography/appendices.

  • Tool papers: These papers focus on the tooling aspects often forgotten or neglected in research papers. A good tool paper focuses on practical insights that will likely be useful to other implementers or users in the future. Any of the SLE topics of interest are appropriate areas for tool demonstrations. Submissions must not exceed 5 pages and may optionally include 1 further page of bibliography/appendices. They may optionally include an appendix with a demo outline/screenshots and/or a short video/screencast illustrating the tool.

Workshops: Workshops will be organized by SPLASH. Please inform us and contact the SPLASH organizers if you would like to organize a workshop of interest to the SLE audience. Information on how to submit workshops can be found on the SPLASH 2023 Website.


Two submission rounds

For the second time, SLE will follow a two-phase submission and review process. This gives authors submitting to the first round an extra opportunity to improve their work (if needed) based on the comments and feedback from the reviewers. Furthermore, this will increase the quality of accepted papers.

Manuscripts can be submitted to any of the two submission rounds.

Decisions on the papers submitted to the first round will be: accept, reject, or re-submit revised version. While rejected papers must not, revised versions may be submitted to the second round, with an accompanying response letter to the reviewers stating the changes made and how the authors addressed the reviewers’ criticisms. The same reviewers will review the re-submissions.

Decisions on fresh papers submitted to the second round will be: accept or reject. The authors of borderline papers will have the chance to respond to the reviewers before the final decision is made.


Submissions have to use the ACM SIGPLAN Conference Format “acmart”; please make sure that you always use the latest ACM SIGPLAN acmart LaTeX template, and that the document class definition is \documentclass[sigplan,anonymous,review]{acmart}. Do not make any changes to this format!

Ensure that your submission is legible when printed on a black and white printer. In particular, please check that colors remain distinct and font sizes in figures and tables are legible.

To increase fairness in reviewing, a double-blind review process has become standard across SIGPLAN conferences. In this line, SLE will follow the double-blind process. Author names and institutions should be omitted from submitted papers, and references to the authors’ own related work should be in the third person. No other changes are necessary, and authors will not be penalized if reviewers are able to infer their identities in implicit ways.

All submissions must be in PDF format. The submission website is: https://sle23.hotcrp.com

Concurrent Submissions

Papers must describe unpublished work that is not currently submitted for publication elsewhere as described by SIGPLAN’s Republication Policy. Submitters should also be aware of ACM’s Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism. Submissions that violate these policies will be desk-rejected.

Policy on Human Participant and Subject Research

Authors conducting research involving human participants and subjects must ensure that their research comply with their local governing laws and regulations and the ACM’s general principles as stated in the ACM’s Publications Policy on Research Involving Human Participants and Subjects. Submissions that violate this policy will be rejected.

Reviewing Process

All submitted papers will be reviewed by at least three members of the program committee. Research papers and tool papers will be evaluated concerning novelty, correctness, significance, readability, and alignment with the conference call. New ideas/vision papers will be evaluated primarily concerning novelty, significance, readability, and alignment with the conference call. SLEBoK papers will be reviewed on their significance, readability, topicality and capacity of presenting/evaluating/demonstrating a piece of BoK about SLE.

For fairness reasons, all submitted papers must conform to the above instructions. Submissions that violate these instructions may be rejected without review at the discretion of the PC chairs.


  • Distinguished paper: Award for the most notable paper, as determined by the PC chairs based on the recommendations of the program committee.


All accepted papers will be published in the ACM Digital Library.

AUTHORS TAKE NOTE: The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of the conference. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.

SLE and Doctoral Students

SLE encourages students to submit to the SPLASH doctoral symposium. Authors of accepted papers will also have the chance to present their work to the SLE audience.


For additional information, clarification, or answers, please get in touch with the program co-chairs (E.Scott at rhul.ac.uk and thomas.degueule at labri.fr).

Questions? Use the SLE contact form.