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This statement, written by the organizers, was included with the invitations to participants.

Generic programming is a sub-discipline of computer science that deals with finding abstract representations of efficient algorithms, data structures, and other software concepts, and with their systematic organization. The goal of generic programming is to express algorithms and data structures in a broadly adaptable, interoperable form that allows their direct use in software construction. Key ideas include:

The intention in this seminar is to focus on generic programming techniques that can be used in practice, rather than to discuss purely theoretical issues. By the end of the seminar we would like to come up with the following results:

  1. A list of problems in generic programming. These include new components, new kinds of abstractions, language extensions, tools.
  2. A process for extending the existing body of generic components, as well as methods for their specification and verification and for establishing their efficiency in actual programs.
We think that to accomplish these goals we need to share a common vocabulary. Therefore, we will use the vocabulary established by the C++ Standard Template Library (STL) of fundamental data structures and algorithms. This is not intended to preclude discussion of generic programming issues that occur in other areas and that might be more easily illustrated with other libraries and languages. For example, topics might include language extensions to support generic programming in more recent languages such as Haskell or Java, or how generic programming goals intersect with design patterns or frameworks research.

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