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The beginning of Design Patterns

The beginning

Did they just appear overnight? Where did they come from? In fact design patterns have a long history starting way before computing, in architecture. That’s the construction type of architecture. But it wasn’t really until the GOF wrote their seminal book Design patterns, that the concept of design patterns was cemented in the world of Java. The book introduces a list of design patterns categorised under three titles: creational, behavioural and structural.

Design patterns are solutions to problems already solved. They represent the collective wisdom of developers and provide us with a common vocabulary. By implementing solutions that are proven to work we avoid reinventing the wheel and can focus our efforts on solving the other problems we will face as we develop our application. However, we need to take care not to overuse design patterns. Unnecessary use of patterns tends to overcomplicate code making it hard to maintain and a poor design pattern knowledge leads to the inappropriate implementation of patterns to problems that they were not designed to solve. It is very much the case that: If the only tool you have is a hammer, then you will see every problem as a nail.

The book’s authors are Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John Vlissides.

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