Chapter 1. Pattern Essentials


What's new here is that there's nothing new here. Patterns are about what works. Patterns give us a way to talk about what works.

 --Brian Foote, pattern writer (1997, ix)

What are patterns? Why are patterns important, and why are they useful? These are the questions answered in this chapter.

Although an explanation of understanding patterns is given, using patterns well requires an understanding of the background to the form itself—more so than for any other tool in the software development arsenal.

Patterns hide a lot of cultural and conceptual "baggage," providing a compressed intensity and an economy of expression in return. Patterns users who experience the power of patterns have acquired this baggage, either tacitly ...

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