Design Patterns as Higher−Order Datatype−Generic Programs
Design patterns are reusable abstractions in object-oriented software. However, using current mainstream programming languages, these elements can only be expressed extra-linguistically: as prose, pictures, and prototypes. We believe that this is not inherent in the patterns themselves, but evidence of a lack of expressivity in the languages of today. We expect that, in the languages of the future, the code parts of design patterns will be expressible as reusable library components. Indeed, we claim that the languages of tomorrow will suffice; the future is not far away. All that is needed, in addition to commonly-available features, are higher-order and datatype-generic constructs; these features are already or nearly available now. We argue the case by presenting higher-order datatype-generic programs capturing ORIGAMI, a small suite of patterns for recursive data structures.
Submitted for publication; revised version of the WGP2006 paper