So, When Is the Second Edition Coming?
When addressing the most frequently asked question regarding the book—when's the second edition due out?
—Vlissides concedes that the idea hasn't interested him much in the past, but design patterns have now reached a point in their evolution when the notion is intriguing.
Advancements in the technology for implementation are "what's making it exciting again," he says. Of the technologies he cited, which included Java and the three-tier architecture, Vlissides spoke most excitedly about automatic refactoring, particularly automating the refactoring to patterns.
As for patterns themselves, he's observed the myriad variants that have sprung up since the book was published ("some trivial, some not"). Vlissides states, "we're in a position now with the Web to look at them from a higher level and consolidate—get some set of patterns that are mutually independent [within the three-dimensional matrix of implementation, problem, and solution]… patterns that cover as much space as possible without overlapping another pattern's space."
Although no plans are in the works for another edition as of yet, in his view, quality—not quantity—would be the ideal should the Gang reprise their book. "Any second edition is going to have more or less the same set of patterns and will cover the gist of what we've learned since '94," he explained. "If we try to be exhaustive, we'll just end up being an index of countless patterns. The challenge is staying true to the original while incorporating what we've learned about OOP since the first [edition]."