The structure of a wu pattern
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Each pattern is presented using the same layout, semantic structure and typographical conventions. These are
very closely based on the structure pioneered by Alexander et al. (1977). The pattern number and name are presented
first followed, optionally, by a list of alternative names. The latter, if present, are labelled AKA (also known
as). Next comes what many people call a sensitizing image: a picture or diagram concerning, supporting or illustrating
the pattern. In many, but by no means all, cases this is a web site. Viewing these images is optional. Use the
back utton to return to this site.
After the sensitizing image we present the context in which one would normally encounter the pattern. With the exception of some abstract patterns, this section usually gives the names of patterns that one has already used or considered.
Next, the problem is stated in bold blue text. For the discussion of the forces that are at work and the way the pattern deals with them we return to plain text; i.e. text of the sort you are reading in this paragraph. This section may include quite diverse types of commentary and explanations. Where appropriate we highlight known uses of the patterns. Where this is omitted it is because the known uses are so obvious as to not need stating or because they have been intrinsic to the description of the forces and related discussion.Viewing this text is also optional.
Once the discussion is complete we state or summarize the recommended solution in bold blue text. beginning with the word Therefore.
The final section describes the resultant context and, unless the pattern is terminal, will include the names of the patterns that one may consider applying next. This information is partly represented in the diagrams by dotted arrows. Interpret these arrows as meaning ‘supplies a potential context for’. One may go directly to these patterns by clicking on their names in the text.
Again, following Alexander, we have classified the patterns according to our degree of confidence in them. The pattern’s ‘star rating’, shown next to its name in orange, indicates this. Three stars means that we are totally convinced of the pattern’s efficacy, having used it or seen it used successfully on many projects. Three stars may also mean, especially for abstract patterns, that there is a solid theoretical derivation or justification of the pattern in the literature and folklore of the subject. If there are no stars it means that we think this is a good idea but would like people to try and see. One and two stars are interpreted on the scale between these extremes in the evident manner.
The length of our patterns varies quite a lot. Partly this reflects out knowledge and experience of the patterns and therefore our confidence in them. However, sometimes it merely reflects the fact that they are easy to describe and understand.