Thursday, March 24, 2022

Christopher Alexander, RIP

Robert Steuteville (via Hacker News):

Christopher Alexander, a towering figure in architecture and urbanism—one of the biggest influences on the New Urbanism movement—died on Thursday, March 17, after a long illness, it was reported by Michael Mehaffy, a long-time collaborator and protege. Alexander was the author or principal author of many books, including A Pattern Language, one of the best-selling architectural books of all time. He is considered to be the father of the pattern language movement in software, which is the idea behind Wikipedia.

My understanding is that Wikipedia was inspired by WikiWikiWeb, a wiki about software design patterns, not that the software movement was the idea for Wikipedia. However, A Pattern Language likely influenced the form of the C2 wiki—not just its content—since the book itself is written like a wiki.

Aaron Hillegass:

One day in the early 90s, I started reading “A Pattern Language” in a bookstore in Austin. I was so fascinated and so broke, that I returned to the bookstore every day until I had read all 1200 pages.

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