Be Libre/Patterns

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Developing a pattern language - discuss.

Preliminary ideas:

  • A template[1][2][3] for describing patterns: {{Pattern}}
  • A pattern relationships diagram[4].
  • Can any existing patterns be re-used and adapted?[5]

Example Patterns

Brief (illustrative) examples (more in the Musings and under Trails) to suggest a possible approach. Each pattern could be elaborated[6] in detail where appropriate and their interrelationships clarified graphically (see Pattern Language below).

Pattern Classification

Themes (colour schemes) may be applied in the {{Pattern}} template. These may be used to indicate some level of pattern classification.

Themes for various:

  • aspects of life: e.g. green: biodiversity-related, brown: to do with social justice, red: economic issues addressed, ...; or
  • spheres of influence: personal, organisational, national, industry, policy, global, ...; or
  • types of patterns: e.g. patterns of thought and action, behavioural patterns, 'ways of being patterns', 'intervention patterns', ...
  • contexts: e.g at work, at home, while using WikiEducator (derive patterns from Code of Conduct), during happy times, difficult times, ....
  • roles: educator, parent, activist, leader, manager, boss, employee, trainee, student, ...
  • etc.
  • ... (figure this out later[7] - see discussions page).


For now, this is a list of ideas which may suggest or lead to "be libre" patterns.

See also List of pattern ideas under "Be Libre" on the 'Musings' page.

  • Semantic patterns (a class of).
  • Doing the right thing(s) the right way.
  • Ethics over convenience.
  • Choosing what is right over what is easy.
  • Ethics as a competitive advantage (business).
  • Support free culture artists (e.g. pay them via Jamendo).
  • Support libre knowledge initiatives (e.g. donate to Wikipedia, ...)
  • Instead of criticising (e.g.) Wikipedia on account of a bad page, improves/fixes the page.


For now, this is a list of ideas for anti-patterns.

See also List of pattern ideas under "Be Libre" on the 'Musings' page.

  • Focus on economic growth
  • Semantic
    • See for example Richard Stallman's essay on words to avoid[8].
    • Using the word "sustainable" (or sustainability) without specifying a time horizon (i.e. almost anything is sustainable for a short time, almost nothing is sustainable for ever) and/or without simultaneous consideration of interdependent social, economic and environmental (biophysical) factors.
    • Using words like "idealistic" in a pejorative manner.
  • "Them" (the government) and us - culture of blame.
    • Accountability is important but strive for an attitude of working with government - they are people like us striving for the same goals.
    • Social contracts.
  • Over-use of '-ist' and '-ism' to describe people and their views - problems of labelling people, generalisation and stereotypes.
  • Fundamentalism (types of).
  • Exclusivity.
  • Elitism.
  • Overly litigious (e.g. patent trolls?).
  • Ends justify means.
  • Corporate social responsibility (see Criticisms and concerns).
  • Politicians "playing politics" when it is time to set aside differences and collaborate towards doing the right things in the right ways for the benefit of all.
  • Celebrating 7 billion[9] (World population).


Pattern Language

Guided by the pattern classifications above.


  1. The template was originally based on work in software design. See for example Alur et al 2nd edition pp 129-130 for a description of a pattern template (which is in turn based on the work of Gamma et al (1995) inspired by the work of Christopher Alexander (1977)
  2. Gamma, Erich; Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides (1995). Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-63361-2.
  3. Alexander, Christopher; Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel (1977). A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195019193
  4. See for example Core J2EE Patterns, Alur et al, Fig 6.2 p 141 in 1st edition, Fig 5.2 p132 in 2nd ed).
  5. See for example the Liberating Voices pattern language.
  6. E.g. discuss the level of the pattern. "Use free software" might be better formulated at a more general level - not just use but also participate in its development at some level.
  7. Recall Martin Fowler's books Analysis Patterns, Patterns of Enterprise Applications Architecture, Enterprise Integration Patterns, Refactoring Patterns, xUnit Test Patterns, etc.
  8. Words to Avoid (or Use with Care) Because They Are Loaded or Confusing. Published in [ Free Software, Free Society: The Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman.
  9. World Population Prospects, the 2008 Revision Frequently Asked Questions Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, updated 10 November 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011.