A Pattern Language

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pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Chapter Eight: Escape from the City of Ghettos 217 “the nature of his own person”: Christopher Alexander et al., A Pattern Language (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), 8. 217 “Long Live the Web” Sir Tim Berners-Lee, “Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality,” Scientific American, Nov. 22, 2010. 219 “need to address the core issues”: Bill Joy, phone interview with author, Oct. 1 2010. 220 ideal nook for kids: Alexander et al., A Pattern Language, 445, 928–29. 220 “distinct pattern language”: Ibid., xvi. 220 “city of ghettos”: Ibid., 41–43. 221 “dampens all significant variety”: Ibid., 43. 221 “move easily from one to another”: Ibid., 48. 221 “support for his idiosyncrasies”: Ibid. 222 “psychological equivalent of obesity”: danah boyd.

And as technology gets better and better at directing our attention, we need to watch closely what it is directing our attention toward. 8 Escape from the City of Ghettos In order to find his own self, [a person] also needs to live in a milieu where the possibility of many different value systems is explicitly recognized and honored. More specifically, he needs a great variety of choices so that he is not misled about the nature of his own person. —Christopher Alexander et al., A Pattern Language In theory, there’s never been a structure more capable of allowing all of us to shoulder the responsibility for understanding and managing our world than the Internet. But in practice, the Internet is headed in a different direction. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, captured the gravity of this threat in a recent call to arms in the pages of Scientific American titled “Long Live the Web.”

It’s still possible to erect systems that don’t trap us in an endless loop of self-flattery about our own interests or shield us from fields of inquiry that aren’t our own. First, however, we need a vision—a sense of what to aim for. The Mosaic of Subcultures In 1975, architect Christopher Alexander and a team of colleagues began publishing a series of books that would change the face of urban planning, design, and programming. The most famous volume, A Pattern Language, is a guidebook that reads like a religious text. It’s filled with quotes and aphorisms and hand-drawn sketches, a bible guiding devotees toward a new way of thinking about the world. The question that had consumed Alexander and his team during eight years of research was the question of why some places thrived and “worked” while others didn’t—why some cities and neighborhoods and houses flourished, while others were grim and desolate.


pages: 317 words: 107,653

A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams by Michael Pollan

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A Pattern Language, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, dematerialisation, Frank Gehry, interchangeable parts, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, place-making, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, urban renewal

Alexander calls these forms “patterns,” and his best-known book, A Pattern Language*, published in 1977, is essentially a compilation of 253 of them in a phone-book-thick volume that reads like a vast field guide or encyclopedia. Each pattern is numbered and named (“159: Light on Two Sides of Every Room”), defined in a sentence (“People will always gravitate to those rooms which have light on two sides, and leave the rooms which are lit from one side unused and empty”), and illustrated with a photograph or drawing. Charlie hadn’t exactly read A Pattern Language, he admitted, but he’d browsed around in it enough to decide that the definitions and illustrations were apt and even useful, and he suggested I have a look.

Indeed, Alexander states that the discovery of any one of these patterns—of something like “light on two sides of every room” or “entrance transition”—is “as hard as anything in theoretical physics.” In a strange and wonderful way, A Pattern Language manages to combine a rich poetry of everyday life with the monomania of someone who believes he has found a key to the universe. I suspect Charlie had soaked up the former and skipped over the latter. With my own well-established weakness for theories, I wasn’t about to do anything of the kind. I dug in. Alexander contends (in both A Pattern Language and a more theoretical companion volume called The Timeless Way of Building) that the most successful built forms share certain essential attributes with forms in nature—with things like trees and waves and animals.

Charlie hadn’t exactly read A Pattern Language, he admitted, but he’d browsed around in it enough to decide that the definitions and illustrations were apt and even useful, and he suggested I have a look. My first impression of A Pattern Language was that it reminded me of Charlie’s booklet a bit, except that there were long, interesting captions to accompany the photographs, as well as an overarching theory. Like the pictures in Charlie’s book, Alexander’s were strongly evocative of the experience of place: One showed a casement window flung open to embrace an early-morning street scene that reminded me of Paris readying to greet the workday; another, a trellis of bean vines that filigreed the sunlight coming through the window of a shack.


pages: 261 words: 16,734

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams by Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister

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A Pattern Language, cognitive dissonance, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, performance metric, skunkworks, supply-chain management, women in the workforce

In particular, start a common lunch in every workplace so that a genuine meal around a common table (not out of boxes, machines or bags) becomes an important, comfortable and daily event. . . . In our own work group at the Center, we found this worked most beautifully when we took it in turns to cook the lunch. The lunch became an event: a gathering: something that each of us put our love and energy into. —Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language7 7. A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander (1977): 170 words (pp. 697–99) © 1977 by Christopher Alexander. “By Permission of Oxford University Press.” The Pattern of the Patterns The patterns that crop up again and again in successful space are there because they are in fundamental accord with characteristics of the human creature.

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation. For the excerpts and graphics in Chapter 13, Used by permission of Oxford University Press: From The Oregon Experiment by Christopher Alexander et al. Copyright © 1975 by Christopher Alexander. From A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al. Copyright © 1977 by Christopher Alexander. From The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander. Copyright © 1979 by Christopher Alexander. For the excerpt in Chapter 15, from “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller: From DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller, copyright 1949, renewed © 1977 by Arthur Miller.

“By Permission of Oxford University Press.” Figure 13–1 Swiss town, an example of organic order, without a master plan.3 3. Ibid., p. 46. Patterns Each of the patterns of The Timeless Way of Building is an abstraction about successful space and interior order. The central volume of the set, A Pattern Language, presents 253 of these patterns and weaves them into a coherent view of architecture. Some of the patterns have to do with light and roominess, others with decor, or with the relationship between interior and exterior space, or with space for adults, for children, for elders, or with traffic movement around and through enclosed space.


pages: 509 words: 92,141

The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt, Dave Thomas

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A Pattern Language, Broken windows theory, business process, buy low sell high, c2.com, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, database schema, domain-specific language, general-purpose programming language, Grace Hopper, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, index card, loose coupling, Menlo Park, MVC pattern, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, revision control, Schrödinger's Cat, slashdot, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, traveling salesman, urban decay, Y2K

I've studied this problem for a dozen years and found the most promise in a device called a pattern language. In short, a pattern is a solution, and a pattern language is a system of solutions that reinforce each other. A whole community has formed around the search for these systems. This book is more than a collection of tips. It is a pattern language in sheep's clothing. I say that because each tip is drawn from experience, told as concrete advice, and related to others to form a system. These are the characteristics that allow us to learn and follow a pattern language. They work the same way here. You can follow the advice in this book because it is concrete.


pages: 342 words: 86,256

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck

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A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, car-free, carbon footprint, congestion charging, David Brooks, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, food miles, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transit-oriented development, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

Since the key measure of a place’s spatial definition is its height-to-width ratio, wide spaces only feel enclosed when flanked by buildings of considerable height.■ Yet Gehl’s well-earned distaste for large things extends to building heights as well. This stance puts him in the company of some of our most prominent urban thinkers while alienating him from others. In A Pattern Language, the bestselling design book of all time, Christopher Alexander drew the limit at four stories, noting that “there is abundant evidence to show that high buildings make people crazy.”5 The fertile-minded Leon Krier, Luxembourger godfather of the New Urbanist movement, is likewise adamant in his dismissal of skyscrapers, which he terms “vertical cul-de-sacs,” arguing instead for cities limited to four stories, the convenient height for a walk-up.

DOT, December 23, 2010. 51. Wendy Koch, “Cities Roll Out Bike-Sharing Programs.” 52. David Byrne, Bicycle Diaries, 278. 53. Lord. STEP 7: SHAPE THE SPACES 1. Thomas J. Campanella, Republic of Shade, 135. 2. Jan Gehl, Cities for People, 4. 3. Ibid., 120, 139, 34. 4. Ibid., 50. 5. Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language, 115. 6. Gehl, 42. 7. Ibid., 171–73. 8. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 203. 9. Andres Duany and Jeff Speck, The Smart Growth Manual, Point 10.5. 10. Gehl, 146. STEP 8: PLANT TREES 1. R. S. Ulrich et al., “View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery.” 2.

Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck, Suburban Nation, 166. 2. Blair Kamin, “Ohio Cap at Forefront of Urban Design Trend.” 3. Andres Duany and Jeff Speck, The Smart Growth Manual, Point 7.8. 4. Rick Reilly, “Life of Reilly: Mile-High Madness.” WORKS CITED BOOKS Alexander, Christopher. A Pattern Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. Arnold, Henry F. Trees in Urban Design, 2nd ed. New York: John Wiley, 1992. Brand, Stewart. Whole Earth Discipline: Why Denser Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wetlands and Geoengineering Are Necessary. New York: Penguin, 2009. Buettner, Dan.


The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape by James Howard Kunstler

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A Pattern Language, blue-collar work, California gold rush, car-free, City Beautiful movement, corporate governance, Donald Trump, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, indoor plumbing, jitney, land tenure, means of production, megastructure, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shock, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Works Progress Administration

An office tower gets built in the middle of a five-acre parking lot on a boulevard lined by similar isolated office buildings-who cares how it relates to the rest of Fairfax, Virginia, as long as the cars can get to it? And say, won't ten stories of greenish mirrored glass look spiffy from the Beltway ! Build­ ing on that philosophical premise was a disaster. 2 5 0 ... B E T T E R P L A C E S Alexander and his colleagues concocted an antidote to this cultural poison. They called it "A Pattern Language. " Here they summarized it nicely in clear prose refreshingly free of jargon. The elements of this language are entities called patterns. Each pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice.l This pattern language was a vocabulary for building.

Author's interview with John DeGrove, Director of the Florida Atlantic University/Florida International University Joint Center for Environmental and Urban Problems, April 1990. 3. "The Tables Have Turned on Gaming in Atlantic City," The New York Times, Sunday Business Section (December 9, 1990), p. 1. C H A PT E R 1 3 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Alexander, et aI., A Pattern Language, p. x. Ibid. , pp. 783-84. Author's interview with Andres Duany, May 10, 1990. Edward Gunts, "Plan Meets Reality," Architecture Magazine, December 1991. Author's interview with Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, May 12, 1990. The other architects involved were Doug Kelbaugh, chairman of the Uni­ versity of Washington School of Architecture; Robert Small, also of the University of Washington; Harrison Fraker, University of Minnesota; Mark Mack and Daniel Solomon, University of California, Berkeley; Don Prowler, University of Pennsylvania; and David Sellers, in private practice in Ver­ mont (formerly Yale University).

Peter Calthorpe, "The Post-Suburban Metropolis," Whole Earth Review, Winter 1991. Hiss, The Experience of Place, p. 214. 2 8 0 _ Bibliography Alexander, Christopher. The Timeless Way of Building. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. Alexander, Christopher; Ishikawa, Sara; Silverstein, Murry; et al. A Pattern Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. Arendt, Randall G.; Brabec, Elizabeth A. ; Dodson, Harry L. ; Yaro, Robert D. Dealing with Change in the Connecticut River Valley : A Design Man­ ual for Conservation and Development. Cambridge : Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1989. Banham, Reyner.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

It’s tempting to think that new gadgets always offer better solutions to old problems. But they are just another set of tools in an already well-equipped box. One need only open up Christopher Alexander’s monumental book A Pattern Language to understand just how big that toolbox is. The result of a decade’s worth of painstaking research, it is a fascinating distillation of humanity’s built legacy, describing over two hundred traditional architectural and urban design tropes from cities around the world. What A Pattern Language argues is that most urban design problems were solved long ago by ancient builders. We have but to borrow from our ancestors, and many problems can be adequately addressed simply by conventional design.

As a remedy, over the next decade Alexander and his colleagues studied traditional cities around the world, distilling their timeless design elements—“the unchanging receptacle in which the changing parts of the system . . . can work together,” as he had described the corner in Berkeley.2 The results, published in 1977 as A Pattern Language, were a crib sheet for lattice-friendly city building. Standing outside the St. Mark’s Ale House once again in 2011, almost ten years to the day after I first encountered Dodgeball inside, I browsed the East Village’s lattice with my iPhone using Dennis Crowley’s newest app, Foursquare. Alexander’s ideas about trees, lattices, and patterns have lingered on the margins of architecture and urban design since the 1970s.


pages: 313 words: 92,907

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen

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A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city

Stores and other businesses can’t exist without vehicles to serve them, and the rather specialized physics of pedestrianism doesn’t automatically cause walking to expand to fill any space that is provided for it. Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein—architects who were associated with the Institute of Environmental Structure at the University of California at Berkeley—wrote, in their influential 1977 book, A Pattern Language , “It is common planning practice to separate pedestrians and cars. This makes pedestrian areas more human and safer. However, this practice fails to take account of the fact that cars and pedestrians also need each other: and that, in fact, a great deal of urban life occurs at just the point where these two systems meet.

., “Measuring Higher Level Physical Function in Well-Functioning Older Adults,” Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, October 2001, pp. 644-49. 5 Slater, “Walk the Walk.” 6 Ben Harder, “Weighing In on City Planning,” Science News, January 20, 2007. 7 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1992; originally published 1961), p. 259. 8 Jacobs, Death and Life, pp. 265-66. 9 John Holtzclaw, “Curbing Sprawl to Curb Global Warming,” Sierra Club, http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/articles/warming.asp. 10 Douglas Farr, Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2008), p. 21. 11 Calvin Trillin, “Rudy Giuliani, Proctor of New York,” Time, March 2, 1998. 12 See Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy, Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1999), p. 147 and elsewhere. There is also much useful information about traffic calming here: http://www.trafficcalming.org/. 13 Christopher Alexander et al., A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), p. 271. 14 William Neuman and Fernanda Santos, “On 3 Days in August, City Will Try No-Car Zone,” The New York Times, June 17, 2008. 15 Cristina Milesi et al., “Mapping and Modeling the Biogeochemical Cycling of Turf Grasses in the United States,” Environmental Management , September 2005, pp. 426-38. 16 Elizabeth Kolbert, “Turf War,” The New Yorker, July 21, 2008. 17 Richard Louv, “Leave No Child Inside,” Orion, March/April, 2007, available here: http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/240/. 18 David Biello, “Are Americans Afraid of the Outdoors?”


pages: 292 words: 62,575

97 Things Every Programmer Should Know by Kevlin Henney

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A Pattern Language, business intelligence, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, database schema, deliberate practice, domain-specific language, general-purpose programming language, Grace Hopper, index card, inventory management, job satisfaction, loose coupling, Silicon Valley, sorting algorithm, The Wisdom of Crowds

His work focuses on patterns and architecture, programming techniques and languages, and development process and practice. He has been a columnist for various magazines and online publications, including The Register, Better Software, Java Report, CUJ, and C++ Report. Kevlin is coauthor of two volumes in the Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture series: A Pattern Language for Distributed Computing and On Patterns and Pattern Languages (Wiley). He also contributed to 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know. Chapter 17 Chapter 80 Chapter 81 Kirk Pepperdine Kirk Pepperdine works as an independent consultant offering Java performance-related services.


pages: 728 words: 182,850

Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

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3D printing, A Pattern Language, carbon footprint, centre right, Community Supported Agriculture, crowdsourcing, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, fear of failure, food miles, hacker house, haute cuisine, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, iterative process, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, random walk, slashdot, stochastic process, the scientific method

This isn’t to say the three counter sections will always be used for those three functions, but as a rule of thumb, having three work surfaces of sufficient length (and depth!) seems to make cooking easier. Note The 3 × 4 counter rule is a slight variation on the "Cooking Layout" design pattern from Christopher Alexander et al.’s A Pattern Language: Towns, Building, Construction (Oxford; see p. 853). It’s a great book that examines the common design patterns present in good architecture and urban development. If your current kitchen setup violates the three-counter, four-feet rule, see if you can come up with a clever way to extend a countertop or create a work surface.

in recipes, Picking a Recipe organic foods, Seasonal Method Oskay, Windell, Making ice cream osmosis salt and, Salt sugar and, Sugar Ossau-Iraty (cheese), Seasonal Method oven overclocking, High-heat ovens and pizza oven spring, Yeast in breads Oven-Cooked Barbeque Ribs, Liquid Smoke: Distilled Smoke Vapor ovens calibrating using sugar, Approaching the Kitchen high-heat, Sous Vide Cooking, Blowtorches for crème brûlée improving recovery time, Approaching the Kitchen regulating heat, Approaching the Kitchen oxygen bacterial growth and, Foodborne Illness and Staying Safe FAT TOM acronym, Foodborne Illness and Staying Safe liquid nitrogen and, Dangers of liquid nitrogen yeast and, Yeast in beverages oxymyoglobin, How to Prevent Foodborne Illness Caused by Bacteria oyster knife, Knives O’Reilly, Tim, Baking Powder P palate cleansers, Taste (Gustatory Sense) pan searing (see ) Slow-Cooked Short Ribs, 154°F / 68°C: Collagen (Type I) Denatures pancake recipes Buttermilk Pancakes, Baking Soda 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(Alexander), Uniform Storage Containers peanut allergies, Ingredients to avoid Pear Sorbet, Smell (Olfactory Sense) PEBKAC-type errors, Know your type pectin improving mouth-feel, Making Gels: Starches, Carrageenan, Agar, and Sodium Alginate making, 158°F / 70°C: Vegetable Starches Break Down making jam, Baking Powder starchy vegetables and, 158°F / 70°C: Vegetable Starches Break Down pepper grinders, Unitaskers pepperminty odor, Analytical Method perceptions, reasons for cooking, Functional Fixedness Perfumer’s Compendium (Allured), Analytical Method perishable foods, storage tips, Kitchen Equipment PFOA, Pots and pans pH scale about, Baking Soda, Acids and Bases food additives and, E Numbers: The Dewey Decimal System of Food Additives sodium citrate and, Making gels: Sodium alginate pickling, flash, Chocolate Pie Dough, Gluten pinch (as measurement), Bitter piperine, Combinations of Tastes and Smells pizza, Pizza high-heat ovens and, Blowtorches for crème brûlée Pizza Dough—No-Knead 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pages: 321 words: 85,267

Suburban Nation by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck

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A Pattern Language, big-box store, car-free, Celebration, Florida, City Beautiful movement, desegregation, edge city, Frank Gehry, housing crisis, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, jitney, McMansion, New Urbanism, place-making, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, skinny streets, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

HOW TO MAKE A TOWN 1 Keat Foong, “Williams Goes Urban to Differentiate Post,” 42. 2 Data from Christopher A. Kent, P.A., C.R.E., Real Estate Broker and Counselor. II. WHAT Is TO BE DONE 1 Kevin Sack, “Governor Proposes Remedy for Atlanta Sprawl,” A14. 2 Edmund P. Fowler, Building Cities That Work, 72. BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander, Christopher. A Pattern Language. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1977. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (the “Green Book”). Washington, D.C.: AASHTO, 1990. Arnold, Henry. Trees in Urban Design. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. Aschauer, David.


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

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A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Connections: If your pod needs to connect with other pods, it’s easier to link up and collaborate when you know what kinds of behavior to expect when you speak the same language and work in the same way. Pattern languages are collections of common standards that allow teams to more easily connect and collaborate, without being overly prescriptive. They are guidelines, not rulebooks. Gamestorming, for example, is a pattern language for cross-disciplinary design. Culture can be as simple as a set of shared values, or it can be codified in rules and policies. The important thing is that the values and rules are understood and the behavior is consistent with them. If the culture says everyone is equal, then the CEO better not have a reserved parking spot.


pages: 395 words: 114,583

Corduroy Mansions: A Novel by Alexander McCall Smith

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A Pattern Language, affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, banking crisis, carbon footprint, food miles

People insist on a little strip of grass and a flowerbed—but how much use do they get out of that? They would use the space much more if they had a courtyard and grew plants in tubs and troughs. I really think that. “And there’s another thing,” he went on. “There’s a book you should read. It’s called A Pattern Language and it’s by a group of architects. I think the main author’s called Christopher Alexander, something like that. Anyway, they set out a whole lot of principles for humane architecture—for making rooms and houses in which people will feel comfortable. Rooms, for instance, should have light from two sources.


pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

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A Pattern Language, Berlin Wall, c2.com, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

A veteran programmer and student of the arcane art of object-oriented programming, in the early 1990s he was an early and avid participant in the pattern language movement, an effort on the part of software developers to apply the ideas of architectural philosopher Christopher Alexander to their work. Alexander’s book A Pattern Language derived a sort of grammar of construction by observing common elements or patterns in successful buildings. The software pattern–language people aimed to apply the same approach to programming. In the mid-1990s, they held a conference just as the Web burst into view, and Cunningham left it with an assignment: to build a hypertext repository that programmers could use to share their software patterns on the Web.


pages: 438 words: 124,269

Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith

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A Pattern Language, Malacca Straits

She liked him, and being from a small town she had that natural courtesy which has in many larger places all but disappeared. “Hello, Matthew,” she said. “You’re the first in today. Not a soul otherwise. Not even Angus and that dog of his.” Matthew leaned against the bar and peered at Big Lou’s book. He reached out and flipped the book over to reveal its cover. “A Pattern Language: Towns, Building, Construction?” he said. “Interesting, Lou. You going to build something?” Big Lou reclaimed her book. “You’ll lose my place, you great gowk,” she said affectionately. “It’s a gey good book. All about how we should design things. Buildings. Rooms. Public parks. Everything.


pages: 443 words: 131,268

Martians by Kim Stanley Robinson

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A Pattern Language, Colonization of Mars, double helix, epigenetics, Zeno's paradox

People would arrive at an unoccupied crater (among the some twenty thousand still listed by the environmental court for the southern highlands alone) with permits and programs, and set to work, and the first decade's economic activity in the town was primarily the building of it, often by people who had an idea what they wanted; sometimes with people holding tattered copies of A Pattern Language or some other design primer in their hands, or surfing the Web for things they liked. But soon enough every crater had people moving in who were out of the original group's control, and then it was a matter of spontaneous group self-organization, a process which works extremely well when the group is socially healthy.


pages: 310 words: 34,482

Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn

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3D printing, A Pattern Language, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, c2.com, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, Rodney Brooks, Shenzhen was a fishing village, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator

And it turns out, it sounds easy, but that’s like if I asked you, “Just make me a list of all the words you know,” right? Well, what you know isn’t indexed that way. You can’t enumerate all the words you know, but when you need a word, it comes to mind because your mind is hooked together that way. Its how language works. And that’s why Alexander calls his work a pattern language— because it’s something hooks together design just like words hook together effortlessly. That was something that we were very keen on duplicating. At the time, people were saying, “Gee, we should make software that’s easy to use.” Well, that’s like saying you should make a house that’s safe or fireproof.