[TYPES/announce] JSTools'12: Call for Participation

Christian Hammer hammer at cs.uni-saarland.de
Thu Mar 22 11:24:40 EDT 2012

Call for Participation

JSTools 2012, Tools for JavaScript Analysis
co-located with ECOOP and PLDI
URL: http://csl.cs.uni-saarland.de/jstools12/

13 June 2012, Beijing, China


The JSTools workshop at ECOOP 2012 brings together researchers focused on static and dynamic tools for understanding and analyzing JavaScript code. We encourage researchers in these fields to attend, and to consider presenting their own work.


Submission deadline:           9 April 2012


JavaScript has become a central concern for both performance and quality of Web applications, due to its vital role in the Web platform; this vital role means that a JavaScript program is often tightly bound with the Web page that contains it and with rich browser APIs. Thus, while JavaScript is now a focus of many strands of research work—static and dynamic program analysis, refactoring, and security to name a few—there are several significant challenges to overcome before the programs themselves can be tackled:

• The program itself is an increasingly slippery concept.
	• Even simple programs tend to be composed of multiple script tags in a Web page, some of which refer to external source files and some of which contain inline code.
	• Code is commonly added with handlers attached to various Web page elements. Depending on the particular structure of these tags, the semantics of the induced program can differ.
	• Code is often loaded dynamically into a Web, for instance by dynamically creating new script tags in the current page.

• Web pages increasingly use concurrency. While JavaScript itself is single-threaded, execution in modern browsers sometimes is not entirely so. Even when it is, asynchronous styles such as AJAX can introduce non-determinism as to when pieces of code execute. To further complicate matters, even the initial parsing of the Web page is often not atomic from the point of view of the code.

• JavaScript is an extraordinarily dynamic language, in which many features that more-commonly have a fixed meaning, such as the ’new’ expression, are subject to very dynamic behaviors. Additionally, dynamic code creation with ‘eval’ may invalidate static analysis results. This adds challenges to constructing a traditional internal form for analysis and optimization purposes, since even a simple statement can have globally-dependent behavior.

• JavaScript has given rise to variants, some of which, such as Action- Script used to program Flash, are also popular. Additionally, the JavaScript specification itself is evolving. More immediately, JavaScript on the Web makes heavy use of frameworks such as jQuery, which implement a rather different programming paradigm in JavaScript. All of these layer additional analysis complexity on top of JavaScript.

Various research and project groups have addressed these challenges, and there is a growing body of infrastructure that can be used and extended to tack JavaScript. In this workshop, we hope to bring the builders and interested consumers of such tooling together. We plan to have a focus on tooling that, at least to some extent, addresses these challenges in practical ways. We want a combined focus on the research challenges the tools address and also a tutorial-like introduction to their use.


• Julian Dolby, IBM
• Bruno Dufour, University of Montreal
• Christian Hammer, CISPA, Saarland University
• Mark S. Miller, Google
• Anders Møller, Aarhus University
• Phu Phung, Chalmers
• Peter Thiemann, University of Freiburg
• Jan Vitek, Purdue
• Adam Welc, Adobe


We welcome any submissions of work in this field: you may submit a paper, an abstract for a talk, or a talk abstract together with a supporting position paper. To submit, please e-mail submissions by April 9th to the organizers (dolby at us.ibm.com, hammer at cs.uni-saarland.edu, mgowri at in.ibm.com). Papers will be published in an ACM proceedings; if desired, slides from talks will be put online on the workshop Web site, but talks can also be kept unpublished if that is preferred so as not to preclude future publications in workshops and conferences.

There will not be a separate program committee to review attendee submissions; the organizing committee will referee submissions for relevance, as we are looking for ongoing work more than finished research projects.


Julian Dolby, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, USA
Chrisitan Hammer, CISPA, Saarland University, Germany
Mangala Gowri, IBM Research, India

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