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Christopher Alexander

2021-11-08 — Michael Haupt

Christopher Alexander is an architect some of whose work is widely known in and has had considerable influence on the computer science / programming communities. Why is that?

Alexander coined the notion of design patterns and pattern languages, most prominently collected in his books The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language. The idea of patterns - recurring abstract solutions for specific problems that can be applied to likewise abstracted problems - has percolated to the object-oriented programming research community, and a group of researchers called the "Gang of Four" subsequently published their seminal book titled Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. This book has spawned a wealth (some would say: plethora) of research in software design, first in object-oriented programming, and then reaching out to other paradigms.

If you've ever come across a Java class named SomethingSomethingFactory, you've seen a piece of the outcome of this.

Anyway, here's a documentary on Alexander and his work and thinking.

Tags: the-nerdy-bit