Gang Of Four

The authors of the Design Patterns Book came to be known as the "Gang of Four." The name of the book ("Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software") is too long for e-mail, so "book by the gang of four" became a shorthand name for it. After all, it isn't the ONLY book on patterns. That got shortened to "GOF book", which is pretty cryptic the first time you hear it.

Sadly, John Vlissides passed away on November 24 2005 after a long illness. His home page John Vlissides has many many great stories about his life from his friends and colleagues.

"Gang of Four" was originally a reference to certain people of note in Maoist China. Both the band and the authors of the Design Patterns Book are named after them. See

[GOF:PageNo] is an increasingly common acronym for the patterns found in this book. i.e

[GOF:233] - Command Pattern. [GOF:163] - Composite Pattern.

Cool ! I would suggest using locale-enabled notation to provide this kind of information to non-English readers:

''[GOF{fr}:271] - Pattern Commande.'' ''[GOF{fr}:189] - Pattern Composite.''

>C'est nickel!< Only ... and, not having seen the book, I hesitate here ... are pages not confounding? Could not pattern number serve better in the form [GOF{gr}:162- Patter Whatever]? -- Ben Tremblay

Indeed, this notorious cabal will soon be brought to justice at OOPSLA '99 during a panel entitled the Show Trial Of The Gang Of Four for crimes against computer science.

---- They can also be found at

For more information, see (Broken Link) and

I have begun documenting procedural/relational versions of the GOF patterns. You can view the current draft at:

Comments welcome.

"Think of the GOF as helping losers lose less." -- Richard P. Gabriel

A comment on how many of the patterns the "pattern community" describes are merely a way around language constraints in Cee Plus Plus et al. (See Language Smell.)

Design Pattern book just celebrated its 10th Anniversary at OOPSLA2004 in Vancouver! Congrats!

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (January 15, 1995) A bit early, no? It's still a week away.

Is there ever going to be a 2nd edition?

For information on the possibility of a second edition, see this interview with John Vlissides here:

See original on