Workshop summary

The history of programming languages shows a continuous search for new composition mechanisms to find better ways for structuring increasingly complex software systems into modules that can be developed and reused independently. Well-known examples are procedure calls, object aggregation, inheritance, delegation, mix-ins, aspects, andsoforth.

Composition mechanisms can address various forms of composition of objects or components at the level of their behavior or interactions, e.g., by design patterns, contracts or explicit protocols. They can be general-purpose, but there is also a wide variety of domain-specific compositions, which are applicable for certain types of application domains.

However, most languages adopt a fixed set of composition mechanisms, usually with explicit notation and predefined semantics. In case a language does not provide any mechanisms with the desired compositional behavior, programmers may need to write workarounds in the application program, or may introduce the new composition mechanism through macros, libraries, frameworks or language extensions.

This workshop intends to stimulate research in programming languages and software development by exploring the notion that languages should not offer a limited set of fixed composition mechanisms, but allow for flexibility, a wide variety of compositions, domain-specific and tailored compositions, or programmable compositions of various program artifacts.

Workshop took place on July 26

1st Workshop on Free Composition

ECOOP 2011, Lancaster, UK

an artist impression of a Star Wars ‘FREECO bike’ (

check out:

  1. the papers

  2. the presentation slides and attendees

  3. the pictures

July 26, ECOOP’11, Lancaster, UK

Workshop on Free Composition

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Contact information

FREECO 2011 is organized by:

    Christoph Bockisch (Univ. of Twente)

    Lodewijk Bergmans (Univ. of Twente)

    Sven Apel  (Univ. of Passau)

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