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Re: Design Patterns Considered Harmful

by Voronich (Hermit)
on Dec 20, 2001 at 18:10 UTC ( #133469=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Design Patterns Considered Harmful

Strictly speaking, I can't disagree with you at all. Patternitis has (or had, it may have blown over by now) become a serious problem in dev shops. I'm primarily a C++ weenie. People call me a "senior" programmer, but whatever. I've got a couple people working with me and they LOVE nothing more than to show me how nice all their pattern usage is.

But I have to say I've eaten up all the DP books and papers I could, finding that they're delightful keys to large-scale design and even small scale when I know I'm looking at boilerplate structure that 'smells' reusable even though it doesn't look it (even though most of them are pedantic pieces of crap.) Usually I can look around and re-browse through pattern catalogs until I see someone who's rephrased my problem. So I can't sell it short.

The DP thing in general seems to me to show that there is a certain critical mass in code size, after which you need to really think deeply about higher-order structural organization and does so by demonstration rather than just saying "reduce, reuse, recycle" over and over again.

BUT, there are people floating around the DP mailing lists who believe that every single line of code should be a part of a pattern and that a project should be able to be described completely in terms of patterns. (These are people who seem to spend a great deal more time writing papers than designing systems.) And it never ceases to amaze me how hard people will try to MAKE their code fir into a pattern. (This is regrettably true whether the coder is a newly formed DP convert or not.)

Design Patterns: A force so great it can only be used for Good or Evil.


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