Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I see why you were confused

Got a nice email about architecture -- but the wrong kind.

It was about physical structures, not software.

It is a "bucket-list" of buildings one simply must see. 100 Amazing Buildings Every Architecture Buff Should See. A cool list to have handy.

I know bupkes about buildings. I've lived in them for all my life, I've even owned a few. But that's about it. I'm more interested in marine architecture and knowing how my boat is put together. [My boat was designed by Ted Brewer; that's the kind of architecture I'm interested in.]

Despite my utter ignorance of buildings, I am very aware that the Software Design Patterns folks were heavily influenced by Christopher Alexander's work on patterns in architecture. For the parallels, read this by Doug Lea, Christopher Alexander:An Introduction for Object-Oriented Designers.

You may also want to read SOME NOTES ON CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER by Nikos A. Salingaros.


When the "electric guitar" was perfected, folks had to create a new word to replace "guitar". The word had become ambiguous, and the phrase "acoustic guitar" was invented to disambiguate "guitar".

We have the same problem with architecture. There's software architecture, marine architecture, and "unqualified" architecture. Worse, we're unlikely to get a good retronym because architecture is a pretty well-defined profession (like "doctor", "dentist" or "barber") and you can't easily rename it.