Friday, July 04, 2008

Pattern season is here again

Apologies to readers for the mass of blog entries this week. I normally aim for about one post a week, or perhaps two short ones if they are very different ideas. Having been at Tom Gilb’s seminar last week I had a whole bunch of ideas and thoughts I wanted to record - and share - before its too late.

“Too late” means: EuroPLoP is coming. This always means a mass of conversations, ideas and insights, and these too lead to a mass of blog postings. This year I’m Conference Chair so I’m finding a lot of my time right now taken up with conference trivia.

This year’s EuroPLoP is shaping up to be excellent - the papers I’ve been reading for the conference are very good - and a little different. As well as making some changes to the conference itself we are being joined by quite a few people from the Complex Event Processing community. We’re lending them a venue for some of their work. Should make for an interesting conference.

And much to my surprise I found patterns at Tom’s seminar last week. I met Matthew Leitch who is something of an expert on risk. In fact he’s written a book, Intelligent Internal Control and Risk Management, on the subject - and excellent it looks too!

It turns out that like everyone in the Hillside Patterns community Matthew has also read Christopher Alexanders pattern languages and decided to apply patters to his domain - namely risk management. So Intelligent Internal Control and Risk Management is actually A Pattern Language of Risk Management.

I don’t think Matthew was aware of Hillside or the work done by the Patterns Community - and if he was he probably thought we were all about computer software - so this work has been done outside the community, he’s a lost sheep if you like. Still, its another example of how pattern ideas and thinking can be applied far and wide.