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What began as design patterns has grown into a diverse movement, including antipatterns, architectural patterns, organisational patterns etc.


What is a Pattern?

A pattern is an abstract representation of a solution to some form of problem. A pattern will detail the current situation, the cases where the pattern is applicable, the benefits and disadvantages of the pattern, other related patterns and the way of adding/changing code to apply pattern.

Types of Patterns

Pattern Families

This section is a starting point for the various families of patterns. These are the most well defined categories in the current literature.

Vertical vs Horizontal

This concept is proposed by a number of authors, including William Brown 1998.

  • Vertical patterns are those that apply to a single domain (i.e. Analysis Patterns).
  • Horizontal patterns are those that apply across domains.

Are the families different?

While authors have previously argued that all of these families of patterns are different, there is a growing thought that they contain many strong similarities to each other. There may be cases where certain families are actually not a logical distinction to draw.

  • Antipatterns & Amelioration patterns are arguably the same thing, both detail an existing problem and a solution. They both require an existing body of code.
  • Design patterns & Architectural patterns are arguably an overlapping set of patterns. Potentially a distinction can be made at the level of abstraction at which they are used.
  • Antipatterns & Design patterns - Potentially, these two areas of patterns have a large area of overlap. The only obvious difference is that Antipatterns require an existing problem that has already had an attempt at implementation, Design patterns require a problem at any stage of the design process to be used.
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