Acceptance Criteria Summary

This summary includes several categories for potential proceedings papers. Please keep in mind that the main focus is on patterns and that there is only little space for non-pattern papers.

Presenting a pattern

  • Consider using a known form before using your own presentation form.
  • If you are using your own form, make sure that your readers will understand it and don't get lost.
  • Experimentation with form is encouraged, but should be done wisely and with much reflection.
  • You can both use a bullet by bullet style or a more discursive one. Several participants of the discussion, though, admired the discursive nature of Christoper Alexander's presentation of patterns.

Proving it really is a pattern
  • A pattern description should contain at least three known uses, preferably from different unrelated projects. This is considered important, since otherwise a pattern cannot be distinguished from a clever design which has yet to be proved to be a recurring pattern. Consider Jerry Weinberg: "Once is an event; twice is a coincidence; three times is a pattern."

Discussing related patterns
  • Discuss similar patterns and distinguish your pattern from them. Try to show that your pattern(s) are not just a minor variation.
  • Discuss related patterns which make sense to be used in the context of your pattern application (just like the Related Patterns section in the Design Patterns book).

Pattern languages/systems/families/handbooks
  • no hard rules apply, but consider the following issues:
  • motivate and think about the ordering of your patterns
  • clarify dependencies between patterns (which depend on which?)
  • clarify your application domain
  • discuss completeness and limits of your patterns.

Tool papers
  • Tool papers should prove their usefulness over technical novelty.
  • Tool papers should prove their viability using some well known problems.
  • No candidate model problems have been defined yet, but this is an option for the future.

Writing style
  • Clear technical writing is preferred over academic diction and theory.
  • The paper should abstain from speculation but only discuss issues based on experience.
  • The core of a pattern paper should be very concise. Supporting material can be more elaborate.
  • The writing style depends to some extent on the paper category and the intended readership, so keep in mind who you are addressing.

Paper length
  • Currently, 10 pages are defined as the limit for the conference. For the proceedings, it shouldn't become much longer.
  • The limit for pattern languages or the like is slightly higher, about 15 pages.
  • All limits apply to "ordinarily" formatted papers. 10 regular pages correspond to 20 pages using the proceedings' template, which is rather generous with respect to space.


Last edited July 5, 1996
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