This is my look at the strategy, leverage, and practice of patterns as a knowledge representation & social practice. Pattern Home Page: AGGS pattern resource page: Started by DenhamGrey 05/13/1998

Raison d'ĂȘtre

Patterns when applied with energy, adequate social negotiation, critique and sensitivity, represent meta-best practices. They capture the best of the best. An assembly of patterns gives rise to a super language, a high level efficient and very rich discourse. Patterns are part representation , part knowledge artifact (thing), and part compact solutions. Patterns may represent strong reification, they carry meaning and an investment of energy (cathexis). They make for interesting objects and the pattern community dispays very useful dynamics, serving as a type Wiki model. See

A strong pattern community with keen players can be a great asset, deliver quality, self-organizing, easily applied IC. Patterns can be grouped and abstracted to handle granularity and scale issues at multiple levels. Patterns promote efficient communication, they capture group knowledge in a simple, intuitive and easy to learn way. A collection of patterns forms a vocabulary for understanding and communicating ideas. Such a collection may be skillfully woven together into a cohesive "whole" that reveals the inherent structures and relationships of its constituent parts toward fulfilling a shared objective. Brad Appleton

Alexander, C. 1999. The origins of pattern theory The future of the theory and the generation of a living world. IEEE Software Sept / Oct 1999, 71-82. The Nature of Order, a four volume book set due in 2000, looks at centers, generative processes and the 15 essential properties for wholeness & living structures.

Examples of a formal pattern language: this is the best I have seen:

Here are some common falacies:


  • do NOT concentrate on the solutions
  • form and aesthetics are more important than rationality and logic.


Pattern writing workshops