Christopher Alexander: An Introduction for Object-Oriented Designers

Jun 18th, 2015
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Software developers lament “If only software engineering could be more like X ...”, where X is any design-intensive profession with a longer and apparently more successful history than software. It is therefore both comforting and troubling to discover that the same fundamental philosophical, methodological, and pragmatic concerns arise in all of these Xs (see, for example, [23,33,43,46,18,45,48,50]). In part because it is considered as much artistry as engineering, writings about architecture have most extensively explored and argued out the basic underpinnings of design. Even within this context, the ideas of the architect Christopher Alexander stand out as penetrating, and bear compelling implications for software design.

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Christopher Alexander:An Introduction for Object-Oriented DesignersDoug LeaSUNY Oswego / NY CASE Center Last Content Change: 11 December 1993(Reformatted 2 January 1997) ContentsIntroduction Quality Method and Structure Patterns Process Patterns and OO Design References About this document ... IntroductionSoftware developers lament If only software engineering could be more like X ..., where X is any design-intensive profession with a longer and apparently more successful history than software. It is therefore both comforting and troubling to discover that the same fundamental philosophical, methodological, and pragmatic concerns arise in all of these Xs (see, for example, [23,33,43,46,18,45,48,50]). In part because it is considered as much artistry as engineering, writings about architecture have most extensively explored and argued out the basic underpinnings of design. Even within this context, the ideas of the architect Christopher Alexander stand out as penetrating, and bear compelling implications for software design. Alexander is increasingly well-known in object-oriented (OO) design circles for his influential work on patterns. This paper considers patterns within a broader review of Alexanders prolific writings on design. These include core books Notes on the Synthesis of Form[1], The Timeless Way of Building[5], and A Pattern Language[4] (hereafter abbreviated as Notes, Timeless, and Patterns respectively), other books based most

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