Design Patterns for Capturing Knowledge
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.