John Vlissides, one of the Gang of Four, passed away at the end of November. John had made significant contributions to the software patterns community as an author, series editor, speaker, and so on.
I first met John at OOPSLA 1998 in Denver. I already knew a few things about his involvement in the GoF book but nothing compares to meeting someone in person. During one of the OOPSLA receptions we talked for about one hour. The conversation started with my telling John about my research on lightweight workflow architectures at the University of Illinois. We coevered much more though, well beyond patterns. I remember John’s advice about the pursuit of an academic career, and his take on the childcare system in the US.
Following 1998 I ran into John at OOPSLA conferences, and sometimes at the annual post-OOPSLA Hillside event. In 2003 in Annaheim, CA John asked me whether I’d be interested in editing the PLoPD5 volume in his Patterns Series. I don’t remember his exact words, but he said something along the lines of his being impressed with my completing and defending a dissertation in time.
I last saw John at OOPSLA 2004 in Vancouver, BC. Although he was very busy running the conference we had a good chat.
Besides his family John will also be missed by his patterns friends.