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Mar 15·edited Mar 15Liked by Coleman McCormick

Christopher Alexander’s patterns look and feel like LEGO shaped components, but there is an important difference: Reusable components was not what he was after, because real beauty comes from deep adaptation to the reality of a specific context that can never be captured in a universal recipe or ready-made component.

He was after the creative, generative aspect of pattern languages. They allow you to ambiguously describe and discuss only as much as you need to, while you figure out all the details in the actual environment you’re building for. Each pattern provides a path to a solution of a problem, but as you apply the pattern to an individual context, it leaves room for you to fill in the details that need to be considered for your specific situation. This is, of course, not scalable, and therefore not as attractive to us as we optimize everything around us for scale.

> The real world is bumpy, and the most efficient solutions are tailored to that bumpiness. Hence Alexander likes everything to be specialized; he doesn't go for much low-level reuse. He does go for reuse at higher levels. He has symmetries and recurring patterns. He seems to believe beauty involves the tension between high-level symmetry and low-level bumpiness.

> — http://wiki.c2.com/?SoftwareLacksaBody

Thanks for the shout-out! Hope to have you back in the next one.

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