Meta Pattern

Problem: You have a certain representation of a system, i.e. a model. You want to describe this representation, i.e. build a meta-model.

Force: There is some (mental, technical) overhead associated with this description. You want to keep that overhead to a minimum.

Solution: Use the same representation to describe the model and the meta-model.

Another force this resolves is the desire or need to do the same kind of processing on the metadata that you wish to do on the data. For example, you may want to manage or maintain it using the same set of tools. (The need to reuse is probably part of the "overhead" mentioned above.)

Example: The schema information in a relational database...
I admit this pattern, if it is one, may not be very useful. I like it anyway, probably because of its FractalNature. --FalkBruegmann
See also AlternateHardAndSoftLayers for more ideas about fractal complexity available through representing the meta-model in the same language as used to represent the model. -- DavidCymbala
Patterns describe a relation between a problem, a solution and a context. A metapattern is a more generelized form of pattern in such a way that it does not apply to a specific context anymore. One could say that a metapattern is a context free pattern. -- HugoHeitmeijer
See also MythOfMetadata for common misconceptions with meta data (not with the MetaPattern). -- ThomasWeidenfeller
Other examples: ShieldPattern

See also: SelfReference

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