Object-oriented design patterns typically show relationships and interactions between classes or objects, without specifying the final application classes or objects that are involved. Patterns that imply mutable state may be unsuited for functional programming languages, some patterns can be rendered unnecessary in languages that have built-in support for solving the problem they are trying to solve, and object-oriented patterns are not necessarily suitable for non-object-oriented languages.
Patterns originated as an architectural concept by Christopher Alexander (1977/79). In 1987, Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham began experimenting with the idea of applying patterns to programming – specifically pattern languages – and presented their results at the OOPSLA conference that year. In the following years, Beck, Cunningham and others followed up on this work.
Design patterns gained popularity in computer science after the book Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software was published in 1994 by the so-called "Gang of Four" (Gamma et al.), which is frequently abbreviated as "GoF". That same year, the first Pattern Languages of Programming Conference was held, and the following year the Portland Pattern Repository was set up for documentation of design patterns. The scope of the term remains a matter of dispute. Notable books in the design pattern genre include: