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Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture, Volume 1, A System of Patterns by Michael Stal, Peter Sommerlad, Hans Rohnert, Regine Meunier, Frank Buschmann

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Chapter 7

The Pattern Community

Every great movement must experience three stages: ridicule, discussion, adoption

John Stuart Mill

 

Many software developers document patterns with which they are familiar and share them with colleagues world-wide. Together they form a community that shares a common interest in software patterns. But who makes up this pattern community? Where does it come from and who are its leading figures?

This chapter gives an overview of ‘who’s who’ in the pattern community.

7.1 The Roots

The architect Christopher Alexander laid the foundations on which many of today’s pattern approaches are built. He, and members of the Center for Environmental Structure in Berkeley, California, spent more than twenty years developing an approach to architecture that used patterns. This ‘entirely new attitude in architecture and planning’ is published in a series of books [Ale79] [AIS77] [ASAIA75] [ANAK87]. Alexander describes over two hundred and fifty patterns that span a wide range of scale and abstraction, from structuring towns and regions down to paving paths and decorating individual rooms. He also defined the fundamental Context-Problem-Solution structure for describing patterns, the so-called ‘Alexander form’. Recently, some pattern writers have started to distance themselves a little from Alexander, since they feel that his view on patterns does not translate directly into software patterns. They acknowledge the importance of Alexander’s work, but would like to go ...

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