The Coffee House
Brenda and Lacey Explain Dating Design Patterns
Sid and Zeke and the whole town of Deadville were pretty excited last week.
They learned all about patterns and how to apply them to their Java programming.
It started to get out of hand, and they started coming up with Cattle Design
Patterns, Coffee Design Patterns, Massage Parlor Design Patterns, and then
it all started to get out of hand.
Here's how it all happened.
It all started because Zeke said that what he wished he had was some darned
Dating Design Patterns. "Finding a woman, and then knowing what the heck to
do with her once you've found her, is about as complicated a system as I've
come across," he complained. "Why don't these fellers turn their four big
brains on something really useful? I can just hack together a system and
it'll run, at least, but my server is getting absolutely no client requests
for services, if you catch my meaning."
Lacey and Brenda, making lattes behind the counter, started laughing. "There
are Dating Design Patterns, you ornery old cowpoke. You just need to
ask us and we'll give you everything you need to know. We are women, after
all, and we can deploy an EJB faster than the rest of you put together."
"Oh, stop rubbing it in. I was feeling poorly that day. Anyway, what do
you mean? You got some design patterns that are composed of that there three-part
rule, which expresses a relation between a certain context, a problem, and
Sid looked at Zeke like he'd just given birth to a three-horned cow. "You're
talkin' funny, mister. You sound like that there Christopher Alexander fella
that they was quoting about ever other darned minute."
"Well, I just want to use the right terminology. This is important. C'mon,
Brenda, Lacey, give us a pattern. We'll sit quiet like and listen to you."
"Well, all right." Brenda shut down the latte machine and she and Lacey
perched on the counter in front of the big mirror, each with a bed red pencil.
"Let's look at first things first. Y'all are moaning about not knowing what
to say to a woman , right? You can't get yourself into a conversational state."
"Oh lord, yes. That's a tough one. I can't think of anything when I'm sitting
there lookin' at a pretty girl," yelled someone in a big black hat in the
"Well, that's because your CPU is running at 99% and you ain't got no system
resources free to think up something to say," replied Lacey. "Even once
you calm down a bit, it'd take you several minutes to come up with what you're
going to say, package it up in a nice sentence, wait til she's free so you
can create a connection, and then send that little conversation over with
all the right arguments over to her. Why, she could be three days gone by
"All right, let's think about this. You want to think of something to say
to a lady, but if you wait til you need it in order to come up with what to
say, you don't have the system resources to do it, or it takes one heck of
a long time. Right?" And Lacey wrote up on the mirror:
"Now, how would you solve this?"
You want to send a request to a server, but cannot access
sufficient system resources to create the request object. And then you feel
Black hat in the back yelled out again, "Well, if I was codin' that problem
it's easy. This is connection pooling, plain and simple."
"That's all there is to it," said Brenda. "You gotta create a pool of things
to say to a gal ahead of time. Just make a whole bunch of'em, and then when
it's time you just have to pick one that ain't gonna throw an exception. Always
have an extra in mind, too, in case she don't like the first one." And she
wrote on the mirror:
Use a Diving in the Conversation Pool to create multiple coarse-grained
conversational objects that can be used to create connections with a variety
of servers. Catch exceptions with a try-again block.
"That's an awful neat solution," admitted Zeke. "So what kinds of things
could we talk about? I've been told that foaling ain't a proper topic to ask
"Yes, try to stay clear of the whole blood and guts thing," replied Lacey.
"It's not that complicated. Just act like you're incredibly interested in
her and you're getting paid two bits for every little thing you find out.
What's her name, where's she from and why she's here, what she's been
doing in town, and at that point if you're on the ball you can offer to show
her the hot spots or escort her to anything going on that a lady might like,
like a concert or our county fair. It's just a nice classic straightforward
gentlemanly approach." And she wrote on the board:
Ignorant Facade Strategy
"I love the Ignorant Facade Strategy too," she went
on. "You just pretend not to know stuff and ask. Women have been using this
one for years and we call it Ol'Reliable. Because you can always count on
people to be opinionated, even a nice well-bred lady from the east. If you
ask her when she thinks we're going to invade Iran, or what she thinks you
should buy for your sister's new baby since you're just an ignorant man and
you need a woman's opinion, or to resolve a debate between you and your friend
about whether women appreciate a good display of gunplay, she'll talk to you
and make no mistake. This is a great one since men are known far and wide
for knowing nothing' about women, and you can ask her about anything woman-oriented,
like the right size for a man's belt buckle in proportion to his boots, or
you could even ask her to take square-dancing lessons with you since you
ain't allowed to sign up alone."
"Or there's another approach," said Brenda. "You can get one of us or another
respectable lady to walk around with you and start conversations with ladies
for you, and then introduce you to them."
"Oh, Brenda," exclaimed Lacey in righteous indignation. "That's not a strategy
of Diving in the Conversation Pool. That' s a related
pattern, and in a whole nother category. The Gang Of Outlaws came up that
"Don't get all structuralist on me," yelled Brenda. "I think that a strategy
should be more loosely defined so as not to preclude a functionalist approach
This, of course, is where things really got out of hand. Yelling epithets
like "Aristotelian!" and "Micro-architecture fascist!" the women fought long
and hard, cheered on by the rather randy crowd of cowboys until Lacey managed
to throw Brenda out the door and into the horsetrough, and started looking
around for another challenge.
So the cowboys shuffled on home to check their livestock and their servers
and their Amazon rankings, but with more knowledge than they'd woken up with,
and they dreamed that night of common themes relating to the recurrence of
a problem/solution pair, in a particular context (a king-sized bed with lots
of baby oil).
Solveig Haugland is an independent writer and trainer based in Colorado.
She has a lot of different projects going--outdoor sports footwear, OpenOffice.org
and StarOffice, patterns, Java, and dating. And Java and dating.
Her projects are usually well behaved, sitting in their separate directories
and waiting patiently to be brought up again, but occasionally they get bored
and start checking each other out. Occasionally the projects even have rowdy
parties in the middle of the night and wake up in the wrong directory in the
wrong clothes, which is how dating design patterns thing happened. See additional
results of this improper intermingling of patterns and dating logic at www.datingdesignpatterns.com.
You can contact her through her OpenOffice.org training and books Web site,
www.getopenoffice.org, or via email@example.com.