Back in the day we dreamed about exchanging deliverables so we could stop reinventing the wheel and start standing on each other’s shoulders. It’s odd something so basic as a repository hadn’t been established (I don’t think competitive advantage explains it in our open community). There is a collection of links on the IAwiki, and now AIfIA has launched a set of deliverable tools. It kicks off with a handful of top-notch documents from Erin Malone at AOL, sanitized and ready for reuse, which I think makes them a bit more useful than your average deliverable. I hope others will step up and put their stones in the soup.
John Thomas and his colleagues at IBM are working on a design pattern language for Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). Of it, he emails:
My colleagues and I are working on a different but related topic: a socio-technical pattern language…we don’t expect every software developer to familiarize themselves with a couple decades of CSCW and social science literature before building a system. So, the socio-technical pattern language is meant to encapsulate what “works” in terms of social systems and help the developer build something that makes sense pragmatically and semantically as well as syntactically.
I like that he isn’t selling the pattern language as a design solution. Instead, it’s a documentation solution. Unfortunately design patterns became oversold before they could be used to design anything, and ideas like John’s get me excited about their potential again, if only for documenting knowledge well.