Meta-Patterns, what are the most common properties in pattern templates?

In your opinion, what are the essential meta-patterns for pattern languages? i.e. the must-haves… and by this, I mean something like… A pattern needs to at least have: Name, Context, Problem, Solution… etc (What am I missing?) And what about the nice-to-have metadata? (That maybe only apply in certain contexts)


The Peeragogy Handbook suggests this template:

Motivation: for using this pattern.
Context: of application.
Forces: that operate within the context of application, each with a mnemonic glyph.
Problem: the pattern addresses.
Solution: to the problem.
Rationale: for this solution.
Resolution: of the forces, named in bold.
Example 1: How the pattern manifests in current Wikimedia projects.
Example 2: How the pattern could inform the design of a future university.
What’s Next in the Peeragogy Project: How the pattern relates to our collective intention in the Peeragogy project

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There isn’t a uniform form across pattern languages. The list of references at the bottom of the Patterns of Peeragogy page is relatively complete, reflecting some variety in approaches.

From a systems perspective, practically all of the pattern languages have a bias, in that they’re really all production patterns. In pursuit of patterns oriented towards services, I outlined a different form, and conducted a workshop as Service Systems Thinking, with Generative Pattern Language (Metropolia 2016/12).

There’s a few things that people miss in pattern languages. The first is, as Max Jacobson says, is that “Pattern language is not for wicked problems”. Those who want to apply pattern language for complex issues are working in a way that Christopher Alexander didn’t intend.

The other is that often there’s too much focus on individual patterns, than the combination of patterns that make up a language. Christopher Alexander intended that every project should have its own pattern language, not that they should be selected from existing works. This is a distinction that usually shows up between a pattern catalog (that is non-generative), and a pattern language (that is generative).

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