Design Patterns library name change (domain name and branding)

Colin Clark colin.clark at
Sun Sep 14 19:51:37 UTC 2008


Interesting discussion. I'm not sure we need to change the domain name  
for the patterns library, but exploring other names is an interesting  
idea. Some comments below...

On 12-Sep-08, at 7:47 PM, Allison Bloodworth wrote:
> Daphne and I talked a little about this. I think it's an interesting  
> idea to call it a "community" rather than a "library," but I'm not  
> sure how large of a community we'll be able to build if we only have  
> a short time, and over time I think the legacy we will really be  
> able to leave is the library we created. I'm not entirely opposed to  
> the idea, but think we need to think about our goals for the system  
> and what we want to emphasize in order to determine whether to  
> change that part of the name. I'm also not sure we'll get to the  
> point where we include patterns other than UI patterns, but I do  
> agree that this is possible.

This comment shows a certain lack of awareness about the environment  
we're working in. The reality is that we've already built a community  
around our design patterns library. In nearly every case, the patterns  
have been authored by a group of people, each adding their own  
insights and ideas. Many of our patterns were sourced from our own  
design work and the Sakai patterns effort, both of which are community- 
driven. There's certainly room to grow, but we've already got the  
community part.

To this end, Jonathan's done a nice job of helping to define a process  
for freely sharing design patterns.

> Back in the day talking with Colin about this I think we decided to  
> call it "Open Source" because we wanted to emphasize that these were  
> patterns from open source software communities, with open source  
> software examples. I could see de-emphasizing that part of it  
> however to make it even more open (e.g. to anyone).

I don't think we want to let go of the open source aspect of the  
library. In my mind, there are two things that that make our patterns  
library unique: 1) everything is Creative Commons licensed; 2)  
contributors are encouraged to provide new patterns, ideas, and  

Most other patterns library are closed. Either you can't share and  
repurpose the material freely, or the patterns represent a "broadcast"  
model. One company or individual pushing out their conception of good  
design. Fluid's pattern library isn't about what "Fluid says." It  
offers a more open dialogue about effective design practices.

And a response to Jonathan's original posting:

>>> 1) We are currently using, but we may expand  
>>> beyond UI patterns.

How do you imagine us expanding beyond UI patterns? I think we should  
try to stay focussed on an area where we can offer real value. For  
example, I'd be concerned if we were considering branching out into  
programming patterns. There's already tons of good material out there  
in collaborative forms, including Ward Cunningham's wiki: 
  No point in muddying the waters.

Are you thinking we might start to include other useful aspects of our  
UI toolkit, such as personas, linked to the patterns library? I can  
see this sort of material being pretty useful, and it likely still  
fits within the umbrella of "UI patterns." I'd hate to give up the 
  domain name, since it seems to be a pretty accurate description of  
our site. That said, I'm definitely still open to the idea.


Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto

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