0 Beyond the Hype

Use missteps as stepping stones to deeperunderstanding and greater achievement.

Susan L. Taylor, journalist

This chapter revisits our pattern definition from 1996, which was presented in A System Of Patterns, the first volume of the Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture series, and subjects it to a careful and thorough examination. Our analysis suggests that some adjustments and enhancements are useful, even necessary, to avoid misconceptions in understanding patterns, and therefore to help prevent the misapplication and misappropriation of patterns in software projects.

0.1 Beginnings…

A key event in the emergence and adoption of patterns within software was the ‘birds of a feather’ session run by Bruce Anderson at ECOOP in 1990. It was entitled Towards an Architecture Handbook, and led to workshops at the next three OOPSLA conferences, where the Gang-of-Four (GoF) first met [GoF95]:

Our first collective experience in the study of software architecture was at the OOPSLA '91 workshop led by Bruce Anderson. The workshop was dedicated to developing a handbook for software architects. (Judging from this book, we suspect ‘architecture encyclopedia’ will be a more appropriate name than ‘architecture handbook.’)

These OOPSLA workshops were also where some of the earliest Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture work was presented. The assembly of a handbook or encyclopedia of software architecture is an ambitious project, and one that has inspired many within the ...

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