Have This Pattern

The point of patterns is not to describe tricks any of us have invented individually, but solutions many of us have come up with, independently, to solve a wide range of problems.

In academic or research paradigms, originality is key. With patterns, originality is not important; in fact, the best validation one can give a pattern is to say it's not original, that it's ubiquitous. We need to find a way to say, "your work is not original" in a way that's positive and supportive. We also need to avoid the net newbie's classic, "Me, too!," with a lengthy restatement or quote of the solution. (See: MeToo)

Therefore: Say "I have this pattern" when you want to reinforce someone else's experience with your own.

I first heard WardCunningham use this phrase; I've certainly picked up on it. Anyone else HaveThisPattern? -- PaulChisholm

RalphJohnson used the phrase quite unconsciously at the first meeting of the HillsideGroup. We were stunned by the phrase and its implications: a pattern is a thing you could have, possibly without knowing, even before it is ever written. -- WardCunningham

Exactly so. I was shocked to find out that the GangOfFour had "formalized" patterns I had been using in the rather insular world of embedded systems design. (Just goes to show what happens if you don't keep up...)

How fortunate for me that the boss on that gig insisted we were going to "use XP as our development environment," even though we did not implement any of the practices espoused. I read "ExtremeProgrammingExplained" as required newbie reading. That was good, because it lead me to "Design Patterns." Not to be too blunt, but if I had seen the name GradyBooch on the cover without already knowing what was going to be inside I would have RunAwayScreaming. "DesignPatterns" crystallized several things that had been running around in my head for many years without congealing into specifics. I knew things had to be easier to design -- the same user interface problems, the same command and control problems, the same information distribution problems. The use of patterns now makes all this stuff look so easy. Patterns kind of drop into place when an architecture is coming together. How relaxing to use something so familiar, eh? -- MartySchrader

After a lengthy RandomWalk through ConceptSpace? I have linked the notion of HaveThisPattern to NamelessConcepts, but I haven't quite figured out why. -- MatthewAstley

Before patterns are captured in writing, they are NamelessConcepts: you may know them and not realize it; once they are captured, you realize that you HaveThisPattern. It is necessary to distinguish between patterns as entities and the written descriptions of captive patterns.


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