Patterns are a way of capturing knowledge, usually knowledge in the form of expertise or rules of thumb. Other useful forms of capturing expertise are:
- discussions (newsgroup threads, compuserve forums)
- faqs (frequently asked questions)
- cookbooks (e.g. Parcplace Visualworks cookbook)
I had the great honor to spend some time with PatHoyIii
(that's Pat Hoy III in Wiki-ese). He turned me on to
metaphors, something I discovered I really didn't understand
before, and which I understand a little bit better now.
He believes that the key goal of a piece of literature
is to help the reader re-live the experience that caused
the author to learn something.
I believe patterns do that. They encode the misfits of
tried and untrue solutions (in the forces), and they are
concrete enough that they appeal to the experiential side
of our reasoning.
In that sense, a PatternIsaStory?
, much more than it is a
guide, a manual page, discussion, FAQ, or decision tree.
They are decidedly NOT cookbooks. All those things capture
If a PatternIsaStory?
, then a PatternLanguage
culture that emanates from any mythology. Patterns are the
mythologems of a problem-solving culture. I think this
is closely knit with generativity: a PatternLanguage
an impression or experience to develop and grow in the mind
of the reader, rather than just planting a "fact." ("There
is no such thing as a fact." -- Deming)
See also: KoansMetaphorsAndParables
30 Aug 1996