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Doug Lea contributed the following checklist for writing great patterns.

A Pattern...

  • Describes a single kind of problem.
  • Describes the context in which the problem occurs.
  • Describes the solution as a constructable
  • Describes design steps or rules for constructing the solution.
  • Describes the forces leading to the solution.
  • Describes evidence that the solution optimally resolves forces.
  • Describes details that are allowed to vary, and those that are not.
  • Describes at least one actual instance of use.
  • Describes evidence of generality across different instances.
  • Describes or refers to variants and subpatterns.
  • Describes or refers to other patterns that it relies upon.
  • Describes or refers to other patterns that rely upon this pattern.
  • Relates to other patterns with similar contexts, problems, or solutions.
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