This section is our reinterpretation of the first chapter of Christopher Alexander’s The Timeless Way of Building (Oxford University Press) as it applies to software. Once you’ve read it, ask yourself these questions: Are we yet at a place where we can really identify the design patterns in Web 2.0? And are Web 2.0 patterns in fact old patterns that we have been using all along, with new implementations?
There is one timeless way of building software. It is decades old and is the same today as it’s always been. Because it is timeless, it will always remain this way.
The great software of our time has always been created by people who were close to this methodology. It isn’t possible to create great software—software that is satisfying, useful, and makes itself a natural extension of life—unless you follow this way. This way will lead anyone who looks for it to elegant, vibrant software that is itself timeless in its form.
It is the process by which the function of a piece of software grows directly from the inner nature of people and naturally out of the raw bits, the otherwise meaningless digital medium, of which it is made.
It is a process that allows the life inside a person, or a group of people, or a community, to flourish, openly, freely, and so vividly that it gives rise, of its own accord, to the natural order that is contained within it.
This methodology is so powerful and fundamental ...