• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Buried in cloud files? We can help with Spring cleaning!

    Whether you use Dropbox, Drive, G-Suite, OneDrive, Gmail, Slack, Notion, or all of the above, Dokkio will organize your files for you. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free today.

  • Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) was #2 on Product Hunt! Check out what people are saying by clicking here.


Pattern Language Definition

Page history last edited by Dmitry Sokolov 6 years, 3 months ago

Top : Science : Methodology : Systems Theories : Pattern Theory : Pattern Languages : Pattern Language Definition


What is a Pattern Language

  1. A pattern language is an ordered collection of patterns.
  2. The patterns in a pattern language combine into a holistic set of patterns that are intended to be used together
  3. In the original book Alexander stated that a pattern language could be developed in any domain.
  4. Now pattern languages are often a collective work. Alexander uses “pattern language” in a specific sense

Deduced from below:

Pattern language is a set of specific pattern collections defining this specific group, reflecting it's specific practice and experience, and separating the group (by creating conceptual barriers) from other groups and individuals. - DVS


Helmut Leitner Jessie, the PLAST community is - at least currently - not a good place to create clearness. Many people of different view come together, creating a richness of systemic views, but also a kind of babylonian confusion. To add new terms, without the authority to establish them, would probably just add to the confusion. "World" is in the philosophical battle ground. "Center" is very specific Alexandrian term, which would create lots of collisions. What "natural" means is also very unclear and debateable, and everyone has an opinion about that.

About the 30.000 PL estimate. First, this is a lower estimate. Second, not every thing or "class of things" needs its own pattern language. A "pattern language for airport design" makes sense to me, a "pattern language for pencil design" does not. I can imagine stakeholders discuss an airport design, needing a common language. I can't imagine the same for a pencil.

If I remember correctly, you suggested at PURPLSOC to think pattern languages primarily connected to professions, which makes perfect sense to me. Often, I compare a pattern language to a toolbox. Toolboxes are sold preconfigured with tools for certain tasks, and people adapt them to their needs. Professionals tend to have an optimized toolbox, and a lifelong experience reflects in them. But still, there is the tool super market, where tools for many kinds of professions and tasks are made available. This would correspond in my mind to a "pattern repository".

What most people create, in my mind, is a "pattern collection" or, more precisely, a collection of "pattern candidates". They usually have the vision to develop this into a "pattern language", something is appreciated by a large target group to be useful and insightful. Often the "pattern language" is attached as a label to a project already at the front, the quality being still a vision far away. Even PLAST can serve as an example for that.


Helmut Leitner

Helmut Leitner In reaction to the initial posting "... working on a possible path to Pattern Language 4.0. It is a work and progress ..." I want to note that "pattern language 4.0" does not refer to a specific pattern language but to a type/class of pattern languages.
The target of 1.0 PLs is the design of things. A PL of architecture, a PL of composing music, a PL of writing fiction ... these are first generation PLs. The model of generations of PLs was introduced by Takashi Iba, and extended to accommodate the meta-level work of PLAST/Helene Finidori as 4.0. But, to stick with the example, there is nobody working on a PL 1.0, or on a path to PL 1.0, because this is a classification. The goal of the PL defines its classification, and therefore its "generation". There is no problem with this, there is nothing to solve, no path to take.
In this model PL 2.0 refers to PLs in software, to create a common language to share expertise. PL 3.0 refers to PLs for human action, the field of Takashi.
I’m sceptical about this model of generations of pattern languages.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.