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Pattern Oriented Software Architecture Volume 5: On Patterns and Pattern Languages Volume 5 Edition
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The most interesting part, from my point of view, is part III, which relates the concepts of pattern language to the well-known jargon in theory of automation. I like the analogy of patterns as words and pattern sequences as sentences, and I think we can borrow some idea of compilers to build tools that help designers that are using a pattern language. This is what I'm working as my research right now.
Finally, the book could be more compact, specially for the first two parts. But, considering the fact that the authors wanted to wrap up their ideas presented in the previous four volumes, it had to be wordy.
POSA5 is different from the other four POSA's. In a sense, it is a "meta" book, a book about patterns, rather than a book using patterns. In spirit it is closest to John Vlissides' insightful Pattern Hatching: Design Patterns Applied (Software Patterns Series), but on a somewhat grander scale.
I have only read the first few chapers so far (the book is too heavy to carry around when I travel). Chapter 1 describes the evolution of an example pattern from an "OK" write-up to a rich, deep pattern. I love the example because the starting point is not even bad, but the end result is so much better. Later chapters in the book talk about relationships between patterns and pattern languages.
Why another book on patters? When you look at the book shelves jock full with "patterns" books, you might get the impression that people have figured out how to write patterns. However, patterns have suffered a bit from their own success, having become a buzzword. "If you make it a pattern, people will take it more seriously" is often the attitude. But pattern != pattern. This book highlights what makes good patterns and pattern languages. It's a conceptual topic but the book uses a lot of examples. I wish the publishers could require every author who is sticking "Patterns" into their book title to read this book.
Why only 4 stars? Because I have not finished reading yet. As in the stock market, uncertainty weighs. If it continues the way it starts, it'll certainly be 5 stars.