Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoPTM) conference is a premier event for pattern authors and pattern enthusiasts to gather, discuss and learn more about patterns and software development.

The conference program is being completed, and this page will be updated as more details are known.

Conference at a Glance

PLoP will be held in Portland, Oregon in conjunctions with PUARL at the University of Orgeon. The PLoP conference starts on Tuesday evening, October 23rd 18h30, with the traditional games and pizza dinner and it will conclude on Friday, October 26th at 18h00. We will meet for an informal get together to go out for pizza on the first evening.

The BootCamp, a special full-day Pre-PLoP activity for newcomers, will happen during Tuesday, October 23rd 9h00–17h00. The Bootcamp will be held at TBA.

The following is the PLoP 2018 Schedule.

Special Events

"Lightning Talks"


PLoP Community, Wednesday, 24 Oct, 16:30-18:00

One of the highlights of PLoP is how it brings together people with a wide and diverse range of interests and experiences. However, in the reading groups you generally only get to hear about the work of the seven or so members of your reading group, and what's more you don't get to hear about the parts of their work that haven't yet been included in their papers. To help facilitate this kind of sharing, we are introducing Lightning Talks to PLoP. A lightning talk is a very short presentation lasting only five minutes with 2 minutes of Q&A and 3 minutes between speakers. Speakers are allowed a single slide or other visual to show during their lightning talk. This session will consist of between 6 and 10 lightning talks to be delivered by different speakers. We will have a signup sheet that will be available on the first day of the conference, but if you know you would be interested in presenting a Lightning Talk, please contact the program chair.

Focus Groups

"Writing Systemically Effective Patterns"

Helene Finidori, Wednesday, October 24th, 15:30-17:30 @ TBD

The work of the designer often stops once the ‘thing’ designed is completed, with little concern about the fitness of the design over time, and the co-evolution of the design with the context. How did the problem and context evolve with the design? Is the solution still ‘fitted’ to the problem? This workshop will explore the problem/solution relationship in patterns and pattern language, and in the resulting design, and find ways to account for its co-evolution, in the perspective of an expanded on-going act of design undertaken in a systemic perspective. The workshop continues the work on pattern languages for systemic change presented at Purplsoc 2015, the workshop held at PLoP 2016, and the workshop and paper presented at Plop 2017 (on Pattern Literacy in support of Systems Literacy). We will follow a pattern mining and pattern clustering exercise, to find seeds of patterns for writing systemically effective patterns. We will start with a short presentation of the background and objectives of the workshop, supported with some results of the “mapping the pattern landscape” survey launched at the beginning of 2018.

"Patterns: Taking Us to the Next Level"

Mary Lynn Manns, Joseph Yoder, Richard Gabriel, Friday, October 26th, 14:00-15:00 @ TBD

A PLoP’17 paper, Patterns as Structure, Process, and Community (Manns & Yoder 2017), described three aspects of patterns and argued that most of the patterns work to date has concentrated on writing patterns (the structure), while the two other components, process and community, have not received enough attention. In an attempt to move forward, the paper proposed a manifesto for the patterns community which reads:

Writing patterns is much more than just writing about the structure. The most value happens with patterns that evolve to a language that shows the connections between the patterns. Also there is value in describing various sequences and a process for how to use the language. Pattern authors need to pay attention to the process aspect of patterns by creating languages and sequences. Patterns should be created with input from a community that is continually growing through invitations to people who are both writing patterns and using them in various domains. The community should also create a feedback loop for keeping the patterns and the languages alive, as well as adding new sequences to encourage more pattern use.

This workshop will continue the discussion of how the patterns community should put more emphasis on process and the creation of wider communities. Some work has begun, and these will be briefly presented in order to spark a discussion of other ideas among the workshop participants. This workshop will begin with the potentially-controversial notion that it may be time to talk about taking much more effort to extend the program of PLoP past a focus on software patterns and writers workshops.

This workshop has the following goals:

  • Review the manifesto begun at PLoP’17
  • Brainstorm and discuss some ways to move beyond pattern writing (structure) into creative ways to build connections between patterns (process) and create an environment in which many different types of people, with a variety of interests, want to join and build the strength and influence of the patterns community.

"Representing Generative Wholeness with Pattern Language"

David Ing, Wednesday, 24 Oct, 15:30-17:30 @ TBD

Are there features in alternative advanced technological media that might enable or disable the generation of wholeness (also known as “life” in The Nature of Order, and “quality without a name” in The Timeless Way of Building)? The seminal books of Christopher Alexander have been published only in the 19th century sequential medium of paper. In 1995, Ward Cunningham invented the C2 wiki to allow the pages of the Portland Pattern Repository to be interlinked on the web and enable collaborative editing on the Internet.

The thesis of this workshop is that tools (and media) through which pattern language is represented may inhibit authors from aspiring to systemic pursuits, as well as discouraging the community from easily sharing collective learning. The workshop will be conducted as a participatory session, with an intent to summarize findings for the proceedings. The workshop will be organized as three steps:

  • Formulating the Mess
  • Typifying Affording Values
  • Programming for a Living Meshwork

The workshop group may choose to converge on a single approach, or diverge and experiment. Progress is likelier if activity occurs more frequently than an annual meeting, so we will be looking at planning for more frequent discussions as well.

"Pattern Language meets VR: Virtual experience and dialogue with patterns for living well with dementia"

Tomoki Kaneko, Friday, 26 Oct, 14:00-15:00 @ TBD

In this focus group, you will participate in a virtual experience and a dialogue through Virtual Reality and Pattern Language. For various issues around us, even if we can recognize those ssues, we often fail to find fundamental solutions due to our point of view. In other words, it is necessary to perceive issues from the point of view of people having those issues and to have an essential dialogue in order to recognize the main causes of those issues. In this context, the dialogue becomes more fruitful when collaboration is enhanced by the perception of people facing issues. Likewise, Pattern Languages create dialogues across sectors, and provide hints for taking actions to solve problems.

In this focus group, we will use Virtual Reality to see the issue from the point of view of people facing that issue, and have a dialogue using Pattern Language while keeping that perception. The topic of our essential dialogue will be ”Living well with Dementia,” which has become a critical social issue in recent years. Therefore, we will use “VR DEMENTIA,” a Virtual Reality tool, which invites you to see society from the perspective of people with dementia developed by SILVER WOOD Corporation, and “Words for a Journey,” a pattern language for living well with dementia (Iba and Okada, 2015).

First of all, we will use VR DEMENTIA to see what it is like to live with dementia and to enable participants to think about society from the perception of people with dementia. After that experience, we will use the cards of “Words for a Journey” to discuss technologies and services that encourage a Dementia-Friendly society. Through the focus group, you will gain a new perception on dementia and find ways to live well with dementia in everyday life without depending on particular medical aspects or techniques of caregiving.

"Style Writing Workshop: Creating a Style Language for family lifestyle"

Kazuki Toba, Thursday, 25 Oct, 15:30-17:30 @ TBD

This focus group aims to introduce the new methodology of Style Language that the Iba Lab created in 2017, which enables participants to acquire expertise in writing for Style Language.

A Style Language is a language which collects various ways of thinking and approaches within a specific theme or discipline. The concept of Style Language was developed through the inspiration from Pattern Language (Iba et al., 2018). In this focus group, we will take three steps towards writing a Style Language:

  • Learn about Style Language and introduce the method by holding a "Chatting Workshop" using “Style Language for Family Lifestyle,” which has collected various aspects of family lifestyle, and visualized them with cards using the method of creating Style Language (Suzuki et al., 2018).
  • Pick your favorite styles, and start to write down your family's lifestyle briefly on sticky notes.
  • Write the final draft of your family lifestyle following the method of creating Style Language.

This focus group will provide an opportunity for participants to learn the methodology of Style Language, and to experience the writing process of Style Language.

"A Pattern Language Canvas for Real Time Innovation"

Wolfgang Stark, Thursday, 25 Oct, 15:30-17:30 @ TBD

Real-Time Innovation processes deal with collaborative approaches for innovation in unpredictable environments – a growing challenge and demand in many industries and for modern societies. Real Time Innovation processes do not require only expert knowledge but rely heavily on implicit and tacit knowing and an intuitive and entrepreneurial mindset.

In a series of interviews with innovative entrepreneurs and innovation experts in Germany we tried to detect patterns of implicit knowing for successful innovation processes. Based on this, we developed both a pattern language for real time innovation processes representing the implicit and tacit knowing for innovation, and a dynamic flow-chart which represents a process-oriented model canvas for innovation. The combination of explicit, expert-based knowledge (flow-chart) and implicit/tacit knowing (patterns) can be applied as an innovative planning and assessment tool for intrapreneurial innovation inside companies and entrepreneurial networks both in business and society.

In the Focus Group, we would like to test a beta-version of the pattern-based innovation tool on Real Time Innovation with participants and evaluate the tool in order to develop a digitalized version of the pattern language for Real Time Innovation. Outcome: Learn and test an innovative approach on Real Time Innovation based on patterns.



The PLoP Games Master is Christian Kohls (see schedule)

Christian Kohls, PhD, and a professor for computer science and socio-technical systems at Germany’s largest university of applied sciences, the TH Köln. Patterns are a big part of his life – including software patterns, educational patterns, and patterns for creative thinking. Being a regular PLoP participant he never misses a game session – for the fun, inspiration and community building.

Accepted Papers

All accepted papers were organized into Writer's Workshops by categorizing the contents and trying to build groups with a balanced workload (number of papers) and with matching contents. The conference versions will be available during the next few days and the final versions will be available after the conference.

Writers' Workshops      "Click on zip icon to download papers for your group"


Writers Workshop assignments coming soon!