Parallel programming is hard. One proposed solution is to provide a standard set of patterns. Learning the patterns would help people to become expert parallel programmers. The patterns would provide a vocabulary that would let programmers think about their programs at a higher level than the programming language. The patterns could steer programmers away from common errors and towards good design principles.
There have been a number of papers about parallel patterns, and one book Patterns for Parallel Programming. None of them have become popular. I think the problem is that parallel programming is diverse and requires more design expertise than traditional software design. Thus, parallel programming experts use more patterns than parallel programming expert. I’ll critique the existing patterns and explain what I think should be done to make a set of patterns that can be as effective for parallel programming as patterns have been for object-oriented design.
If Johnson’s name sounds familiar, it should: He’s one of the “Gang of Four” authors of the seminal book Design Patterns.