by Tom Mens, Jean-Marie Favre and Salah Sadou

The ERCIM Working Group on Software Evolution has begun to establish some local chapters in order to achieve a better dissemination of results at a national level and to achieve a better interaction with local companies. This is important since the language barrier is still an issue in many countries and the introduction of national activities that are carried out in the native tongue address this problem.

The first national chapter of the Working Group, RIMEL (an acronym for Rétro-Ingénierie, Maintenance et Evolution des Logiciels), was set up in France in spring 2006. Its main objective is to bring together French teams working on reverse engineering, maintenance and software evolution. In France, RIMEL will become part of a national Groupement De Recherche (GDR) on Programming and Software Engineering, an ongoing initiative. RIMEL brings together more than 20 groups from academia and five groups from industry. It promotes software evolution as a major topic in the French research and education community, as well as in industry. In order to tackle the many scientific challenges that arise in this vast and important research domain, RIMEL includes teams from various disciplines, for example database systems, model-driven engineering, software visualisation, and service-oriented architecture to name but a few.

In 2006, RIMEL organised four important events in France in collaboration with the WG on Software Evolution:

  • In March 2006, a one-day workshop on software evolution took place, attached to the French-speaking conference Langages et Modèles à Objets (LMO) in Nîmes. The workshop's main goal was to provide PhD students with the opportunity to present their ongoing research in their mother tongue. The workshop style gave plenty of room for lively discussions.
  • In April 2006, the main annual workshop of the WG on Software Evolution in Lille was organised in close collaboration with some of the RIMEL members. As such, it attracted 14 French participants, making up more than one third of the total number of participants.
  • In June 2006, the official kick-off meeting took place, as part of the French days on Model-Driven Engineering (Ingénierie Dirigée par les Modèles - IDM).
  • In September 2006, during the first French-speaking Conference on Software Architectures in Nantes (Conférence sur les Architectures Logicielles - CAL), RIMEL organised two working sessions devoted to architectural evolution and software maintenance and re-engineering, respectively.

RIMEL will continue to be very active in the future, and we hope to exploit the success of this initiative to start similar initiatives in other European countries.

Working Group web site:
RIMEL website:

Please contact:
Jean-Marie Favre, Laboratoire LSR, Institut d'Informatique et Mathématiques Appliquées de Grenoble
Tel: +33 4 76 63 55 71

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