PROMOTO 2014—2nd Workshop on Programming for Mobile and Touch



portland-2The second PROMOTO Workshop was held in Portland, Oregon, as part of SPLASH/OOPSLA 2014, October 20–24, 2014. Programming with Mobile and Touch (PROMOTO) is a forum for embracing the new realities of always-connected and/or touch-enabled devices. Topics under discussion included cross-platform computing, cloud computing, social applications, privacy, and security. The challenges of new types of devices, such as large screens or gadgets with no screens, are very important.


Theme and goals

Today, easy-to-use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming more prevalent than traditional PCs and laptops. New programming languages are emerging to enable programmers to develop software easily—leveraging the exciting advances in existing hardware, and providing abstractions that fit the capabilities of target platforms with multiple sensors, touch and cloud capabilities. PROMOTO brings together researchers who have been exploring new programming paradigms, embracing the new realities of always connected, touch-enabled mobile devices. PROMOTO 2014 would like to invite contributions covering technical aspects of cross-platform computing, cloud computing, social applications and security. Submissions for this event are invited in the general area of mobile and touch-oriented programming languages and programming environments, and teaching of programming for mobile devices.

Apart from paper presentations, there will be ample time at PROMOTO to discuss the issues surrounding touch and mobile programming and to plan future directions.


Submissions for this event are invited in the general area of mobile and touch-oriented programming languages and programming environments, and teaching of programming for mobile devices. Topics of interest include:

  • Mobile and touch-oriented programming languages
  • Programming languages using innovative input mechanisms
  • Programming environments on or for mobile devices
  • Teaching of programming on or for mobile devices
  • Programming tools such as debuggers on or for mobiles devices
  • Libraries and programming frameworks that simplify programming for mobile devices
  • Very large screens and very small screens
  • Gestures, haptics and sound

We accept contributions of two types:

  • Research papers up to eight pages that describe original work in the area of mobile and touch development.
  • Short papers or tool demos of up to four pages of emerging ideas, research in progress, and in-practice experience.

Your paper must conform to the ACM SIGPLAN Proceedings format. Submit your paper in Adobe PDF via EasyChair.


Steering committee

  • Judith Bishop, Microsoft Research, USA
  • Arno Puder, San Francisco State University, USA (Program co-chair)
  • Nikolai Tillmann, Microsoft Research, Redmond, USA (Program co-chair)

Program committee

  • Hal Abelson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Tom Ball, Microsoft Research, USA
  • Veronica Catete, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
  • Yael Dubinsky, IBM Research, Israel
  • Matthias Hauswirth, University of Lugano, Switzerland
  • Nigel Horspool, University of Victoria, Canada
  • Dean Mohamedally, University College, London, UK
  • Michał Moskal, Microsoft Research, USA
  • Emerson Murphy-Hill, North Carolina State University, USA
  • Vinayak Naik, Indraprastha Institue of Information Technology, India
  • Wolfgang Slany, Graz University of Technology, Austria
  • Roy Zimmermann, Microsoft Research, USA

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker – Peli de Halleux

Programming gadgets with gadgets

Hardware 2.0 is upon us: cheap micro-controller boards like Arduino have gained massive adoption in recent years. Paired with 3D printers, cheap sensors and actuators, it allows anyone to prototype the next hot gadget. And yet, the maker will have to learn a soup of software language and framework to build a connected IoC solution: C++ for the micro-controller code, HTML + javascript for the client, some backend language and a communication layer to interact with the devices. In this session, we will show an attempt at unifying the compilation of web server code, rich client and embedded firmware under a simple mobile friendly language and IDE.

peliJonathan ‘Peli’ de Halleux is a Principal Research Software Design Engineer in the Research in Software Engineering group at Microsoft Research in Redmond, USA, where he has been since October 2006 working on the TouchDevelop, Pex and CodeHunt projects. Peli has a passion for new technology and recently put smartphones in footballs to collect data in the cloud.  From 2004 to 2006, he worked in the Common Language Runtime (CLR) as a Software Design Engineer in Test in charge of the Just In Time compiler. Before joining Microsoft, he earned a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Catholic University of Louvain.


9:00 Opening – Chairs
9:15 Keynote

Programming Gadgets with Gadgets

Peli de Halleux, Microsoft Research

Chair: Arno Puder, SFSU

10:30 Break
11:00 Research Talks (30 mins each)
Live programming of mobile apps in App Inventor, Jeffrey Schiller, Franklyn Turbak, Hal Abelson, Jose Dominguez, Andrew McKinney, Johanna Okerlund and Mark Friedman

Software Engineering Principles in the Midas Gesture Specification Language, Thierry Renaux, Lode Hoste, Christophe Scholliers and Wolfgang De Meuter.

Chair: Judith Bishop

12:00 Lunch
13:30 Mobile App Development Group Exercise
Tool Demos
(20 mins each)
Supporting situated STEM learning – TouchDevelop Integration of the UCL Engduino over Bluetooth, Simon Baker, Stoyan Dekov, Fadi Fakih, Jan Medvesek, Venus Shum and Dean Mohamedally

A Preview of Pencil Code, David Bau and Anthony Bau.

Chair: Nikolai Tillmann

15:00 Break
Short Papers
(20 mins each)
Mobile vs. Desktop Programming Projects: The Effect on Students, Mohammad Reza Azadmanesh, Amanj Sherwany, Davide Eynard, Matej Vitasek and Matthias Hauswirth

Data-Driven Inference of API Mappings, Amruta Gokhale, Daeyoung Kim and Vinod Ganapathy

Chair: Mark FRiedman

16:10 Panel on Mobile Computing and Education

Chair: Judith Bishop

Panellists: Matthias Hauswirth, Dean Mohamedally, Alberto Sillitti, Sam Stokes

17:00 Closing Words: Chairs
17:15 End