[plt-scheme] what's HtDP, what it is NOT

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Mon Feb 23 23:01:43 EST 2009

> That being said, I do remember something I found distressing in it.
> For some inexplicable reason, it's not sitting on my shelf in front of
> me at the moment, so I can't double check. What I remember, though, is
> that my (new-ish) edition had an additional foreword in which he says
> that although he spends most of the book dealing with the process for
> coming up with designs, what he now (newer publication date) considers
> more important are the patterns themselves, and how they can be
> isolated, interchanged, and re-used.
> I never really understood what he meant by this, but that might be
> because I've had too much contact with the software engineering form
> of design patterns to be able to interpret that in a fresh way.
> Certainly re-use of existing solutions is good, but is that really
> more important than the process for coming up with solutions to
> problems?

To some architects (of the building kind), yes.  And we should be
grateful for that, because that's what leads to liveable and useable
buildings (and, at a grander scale, cities and countries).

This is actually a constant strain that runs through architecture.
Alexander is not alone; you can find it in Vitruvius through Alberti
to Kevin Lynch and their disciples.  (I use "disciples" not as a
pejorative -- in the sense of mindless acolytes -- but rather in the
neutral sense of ones who follow a discipline.)


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