Pattern Languages of Program Design 4by Brian Foote, Hans Rohnert, Neil Harrison, Brian Foote
Design patterns have moved into the mainstream of commercial software development as a highly effective means of improving the efficiency and quality of software engineering, system design, and development. Patterns capture many of the best practices of software design, making them available to all software engineers.. "This book covers a wide range of topics, with… See more details below
Design patterns have moved into the mainstream of commercial software development as a highly effective means of improving the efficiency and quality of software engineering, system design, and development. Patterns capture many of the best practices of software design, making them available to all software engineers.. "This book covers a wide range of topics, with patterns in the areas of object-oriented infrastructure, programming strategies, temporal patterns, security, domain-oriented patterns, human-computer interaction, reviewing, and software management.
Read an Excerpt
Of Phish and Phugues
The year is 1621; the place, Plymouth, in what will eventually become Massachusetts. A group of settlers from England arrived the previous November and are now setting out to plant crops. Before long a native named Squanto stops by. Evidently a gardening enthusiast, he offers to tutor the settlers in farming techniques, first by placing fish in the ground to enrich the soil. This and other tricks of farming in the New World contribute to a bountiful harvest. The settlers survive the ensuing winter, thanks in large part to Squanto and his sage advice.
An apocryphal story, no doubt, but modern horticulturists can corroborate Squanto's fishy insights. In fact, you can buy fish fertilizers in many gardening stores. Our agricultural forebears may not have had a deep knowledge of plant physiology, but they knew what worked. And they passed it along.
Over a hundred years later and half a world away, in what is now Germany, a master of a different sort plies his trade. According to legend, Johann Sebastian Bach pays a visit to Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. After exchanging pleasantries, the king asks Bach to play something for him. Dutifully and without hesitation, Bach sits down at the organ and improvises a five-part fugue. The king, an eminent composer himself, is awed.
Bach's work is the very essence of baroque music. And he passes that mastery alongseveral of his children also become important musicians and composers.
Lore flows from one generation to the next. Languages are vivid examples, perpetuating and evolving through oral traditionwords and concepts passing from person toperson. A case in point is English, which traces its roots to numerous languages, including German, Greek, and Latin. Herein lies a problem: the multifaceted heritage of English creates a potpourri of spelling conventions that is downright bewildering. For example, we spell the "f" sound with the letters "ph" in "physics" but with "f" in "fish" and "fugue." There are historical and linguistic reasons for such anomalies, but they don't matter much to us. We just memorize that it's "fugue," not "phugue."
In software we don't have centuries of history to draw on. We didn't learn agriculture from ancient farmers, nor can we trace our roots through the Middle English of Chaucer. But we have been around long enough to learn a few things. The most important among them is this: We must share what we have learned. If we keep knowledge to ourselves, hoarding it like pack rats, then our field will surely stagnate. We doom colleague and successor alike to repeat our mistakes. Gradually, reinvention displaces innovation. Progress slows. The field goes fallow.
Patterns are conduits of knowledge, capturing and conveying time-proven practices. Patterns are more than tricks or seemingly arbitrary spelling rulesthey impart understanding. They teach you not just what and how but also why and when. That's where their real power lies.
What can we reasonably expect of patterns? Maybe they will help other people develop better software than we have. Maybe they'll allow people to build on what we've done right. We certainly hope patterns will help others avoid the pitfalls we've experienced.
But we can expect more. The pervasiveness of computer technology exerts a strong influence on society. Influence of such magnitude must be exercised responsibly. While patterns won't force you to act responsibly, they can ease the grind of reinvention, freeing you to consider higher purposes. Ultimately, patterns make life better for everyonesoftware user and developer alike.
These are ambitious and humbling goals, to be sure. We dedicate this fourth volume in the Pattern Languages of Program Design series to their attainment.
Now for a word about the contributors to this book. A compendium of this size won't come together without many people pulling together. We are hugely grateful for their work. Specifically, we thank the authors for making this book necessary, to paraphrase Yogi Berra. We're referring not just to the authors you find here but also to the 60 percent or so of submitters whose works were not accepted. The exceptionally high quality of the submissions guaranteed the quality of the book, although it also made our job more difficult!
We recruited a veritable army of reviewers to help sift through the submissions. We owe them our sanity: Francis Anderson, Brad Appleton, Jorge Arjona, Owen Astrannen, Ken Auer, Jeff Barcalow, Kent Beck, Mike Beedle, Steve Berczuk, Manish Bhatt, Rosana Braga, John Brant, Kyle Brown, Jose Burgos, Frank Buschmann, Andy Carlson, Ian Chai, Alistair Cockburn, Jens Coldewey, James Coplien, Ward Cunningham, David Cymbala, Fonda Daniels, Dennis DeBruler, Michel DeChamplain, David Delano, Dwight Deugo, Paul Dyson, Philip Eskelin, Javier Galve, Julio Garcia, Alejandra Garrido, John Goodsen, Robert Hanmer, Kevlin Henney, Robert Hirschfeld, Ralph Johnson, Wolfgang Keller, Elizabeth Kendall, Norm Kerth, Charles Knutson, Frederick Koh, Philippe Lalanda, Manfred Lange, Doug Lea, Mary Lynn Manns, Klaus Marquardt, Paulo Masiero, Skip McCormick, Regine Meunier, Oscar Nierstrasz, James Noble, Alan O'Callaghan, Don Olson, William Opdyke, Dorina Petriu, Irfan Pyarali, Andreas Rausch, Dirk Riehle, Linda Rising, Antonio Rito Silva, Don Roberts, Gustavo Rossi, Cecilia Rubira, Andreas Ruping, Doug Schmidt, Ari Schoenfeld, Dietmar Schutz, Christa Schwanninger, Joe Seda, Peter Sommerlad, Michael Stal, Paul Taylor, Jenifer Tidwell, Dwayne Towell, and David Ungar.
We would like to give special thanks to John Vlissides, the managing editor of the series. He has provided us with encouragement and, occasionally, a needed prod. Neil would like to especially thank his two coeditors. Working with you has been a joy.
Finally, we would like to give special thanks to our families, friends, and coworkers who have supported us through this process. We hope that by the time you read this, we will be back to our cheery selves.Neil Harrison, Boulder, Colorado
Brian Foote, Urbana, Illinois
Hans Rohnert, Munich, Germany
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