Patterns Central with Joe Yoder
A ChiliPLoP 2004 Hot Topic

by Bill Willis, Dana Kaufman, and Joseph Yoder

The concept of patterns has been around as long as we humans have been around. In fact, just about everything we do is centered on recognition, repeatable processes, and routine. Patterns as a formal concept, however, are a recent development that relatively few professional disciplines have begun to leverage Ė the most active of which happens to be the software industry. Ever since the now famous building architect Christopher Alexander made an impression on us, numerous books, articles, and training courses have emerged to catalog patterns and educate us in their use.
 
An interesting thing to note is that although many people (especially software developers) have heard of patterns and have seen the advertised benefits, most of them still donít fully understand what they are and how to effectively apply them in their daily work. Despite the exciting promise of such a simple yet powerful expression of our experiences, patterns are still a somewhat elusive concept for many.
 
One of our goals in launching PatternsCentral was to help address this problem. We wanted to provide a central place for people to actively share their experiences with patterns, to find high quality literature, and to plug into the latest news and events in the pattern community at large. Education, communication, and even innovation were central to the chartering of this community site.
 
This hot topic is all about what *you* would expect from a dynamic community portal dedicated to patterns. How can we improve it? How can we integrate it with what others are doing in the pattern community? The discussion will initially center on the following topics, and we hope it will generate some interesting ideas and possibilities.
 
Coordination with other efforts
 
How can we support the efforts of the Hillside group?
Are there other groups in the pattern community that we should align ourselves with?
 
Improving content and participation
 
What are the most important features for a dynamic community portal like PatternsCentral?
How do we get more people involved in contributing time and content?
 
A peer-reviewed repository
 
How do we organize a peer-reviewed pattern repository (the most requested feature by far) on PatternsCentral?
Would this repository be a good candidate for hosting work-shopped patterns and pattern languages?
What would this repository look like and how would it function?
 
If you are interested in joining us, please send email to Bill Willis ([email protected]) along with any specific interests you have.

 

Note: PLoP is a trademark of The Hillside Group, Inc.