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The Gang of Four

Why are we, Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides, called this? Who knows. Somehow the name just stuck. Hopefully like, the original Gang of Four, we have started a small cultural change with "Design Patterns..." And hopefully unlike the original Gang of Four we will not meet such an untimely end for our ("counter-revolutionary"?) ideas.


Erich Gamma is currently with a consulting group in Zurich whose name I (Ralph) can't recall. From 1993 to 1995, he was a software engineer at Taligent working on their object-oriented development environment. Erich was previously at UBILAB research laboratory of Union Bank of Switzerland. He was one of the architects of ET++, a portable C++ class library for developing interactive graphical applications. Erich has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Zurich.

Richard Helm recently rejoined IBM to start the Australian branch of the Object Technology Practice. Prior to that, he was a technology consultant with DMR Group, an international information technology consulting firm. There he actively applied design patterns to the design of commercial systems. Prior to DMR, Richard was in the Software Technology department at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center investigating object-oriented design and reuse and visualization. Richard has numerous international publications, writes regularly in Dr. Dobb's Journal, and is a past OOPSLA program committee member. Richard has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Ralph Johnson has been studying object-oriented technology and how it changes the way that software is developed for the past 10 years. He has been involved in the development of an object-oriented operating system (Choices), compiler (Typed Smalltalk), graphics editor framework (HotDraw), music synthesis system (Kyma), and is currently working on a framework for accounting. He is on the faculty of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois and has helped organize several OOPSLA's, including OOPSLA'93 as program chair. He got his PhD from Cornell.

John Vlissides passed away November 24th, 2005. He was a researcher at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. His research interests included object-oriented design tools and techniques, application frameworks and builders, and program visualization. Before IBM, John was at the Computer Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. There he co-developed InterViews, a popular object-oriented system for developing graphical applications. John received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

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