CfP: HaPoP-5

 Fifth Symposium on the History and Philosophy of Programming (hybrid):

13 June 2022, Lille, France

Maison Européenne des Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société

Co-located with the final conference of the ANR-funded PROGRAMme project, 14-15 June 2022 (more details to follow soon).

In a society where computers have become ubiquitous, it is necessary to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of computer programs, not just from the technical viewpoint, but from a broader historical and philosophical perspective. A historical awareness of the evolution of programming not only helps to clarify the complex structure of computing, but it also provides an insight in what programming was, is and could be in the future.

Philosophy, on the other hand, helps to tackle fundamental questions about the nature of programs, programming languages and programming as a discipline.

HaPoP 2022 is the fifth edition of the Symposium on the History and Philosophy of Programming, organised by HaPoC, Commission on the History and Philosophy of Computing ( as a hybrid event. As in the previous editions, we are convinced that an interdisciplinary approach is necessary for understanding programming with its multifaceted nature.

As such, we welcome participation by researchers and practitioners coming from a diversity of backgrounds, including historians, philosophers, artists, computer scientists and professional software evelopers.

This edition of the symposium will be co-located with the final conference of the ANR-funded PROGRAMme project which poses the basic question “What is a computer program?” This seemingly simple question has no simple answer today, but the responses one gives to it affect very real problems: who is responsible if a given piece of software
fails; whether a program is correct or not; or whether copyright or patent law applies to programs. The project is anchored in the conviction that a new kind of foundational research is needed. The broad range of scientific and societal problems related to computing cannot be addressed by any single discipline.

The question “What is a program?”, is a call for deeper critical thinking about the nature of programs that is both foundational, in the sense that it goes beyond specific problems, but also accessible, in the sense that it should be open to anyone who is willing to make an effort
in understanding this basic technique from a broader horizon.

In order to initiate new collaborations that critically reflect on the nature of programs and engage a broader community with the above issues, HaPoP 2022 is particularly looking for talk proposals that relate to the question “What is a computer program?” and offer a novel reflection from a variety of perspectives, including historical, practice-based, philosophical, logical, etc.

Possible and in no way exclusive questions of relevance to this symposium are:

- What is a computer program?
- Are we getting better at writing programs that solve the given problem?
Is programming a specialist discipline, or will everyone in the future
be a programmer?
- What are the different scientific paradigms and research programmes
developed through the history of computer programming?
- What is a correct program?
- Is a program a text?
- Is it possible to eliminate errors from computer programs?
- How did the notion of a program change throughout the history?
- How are programs and abstractions born, used and understood?
- What was and is the relationship between hardware and software
- How did theoretical computer science (lambda-calculus, logics,
category theory) influence the development of programming languages and
vice versa?
- What are the novel and most interesting approaches to the design of
- What is the nature of the relationship between algorithms and programs?
- What legal and socio-economical issues are involved in the creation,
patenting and free-distribution of programs?
- How do we understand the multi-faceted nature of programs combining
syntax, semantics and physical implementation?
- How is programming to be taught?

HaPoP5 co-chairs are Liesbeth De Mol and Tomas Petricek. If you have any questions regarding suitability of a topic or format of the extended abstract, please contact Liesbeth or
Tomas .

- Arnaud Bailly, Aleryo
- Martin Carlé, Ionean University, Corfu
- Liesbeth De Mol (co-chair), CNRS, UMR 8163 STL, Université de Lille
- Andrea Magnorsky, Independent
- Ursula Martin, University of Oxford
- Baptiste Mélès, CNRS, UMR 7117 Archives Henri-Poincaré
- Tomas Petricek (co-chair), University of Kent
- Mark Priestley, National Museum of Computing, Bletchley
- Giuseppe Primiero, University of Milan

Information about registration and travel grants will be announced soon. Please check our webpage regularly for updates. We will be also sharing updates via the HaPoC Comission web page (register to get updates via email) and on Twitter at @HaPoComputing.

We cordially invite anyone working in a field relevant to the main topic to submit *a short abstract* (at most 200 words) together with *an extended abstract* (at most 1000 words with references included) through Easychair:

Accepted papers will be given a 30 minute presentation slot including discussion. As with the previous editions, we also intend to submit a proposal for a special issue of a suitable journal for publication of full papers based on the symposium presentations.

/Important dates/
Submission deadline: 18 March 2022
Author notification: 15 April 2022
HaPoP symposium: 13 June 2022

/Important links/
Submission web site:
Financial support: Coming soon
Registraton site: Coming soon

The symposum is supported by:
- ANR (
- UMR 8162 Savoirs, Textes, Langage, Université de Lille