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Occasionally cases get written on MeatballWiki to varying degrees of quality. Click on the title to find all pages claiming to describe cases.

Quite often it's difficult to determine what constitutes a case because many real events come under scrutiny. Since you have a say, and since you're objective, please fix our mistakes.


What is a Case

Very often it's useful in a discussion to use a concrete example of the subject matter to demonstrate the nuances and the mechanics of an argument. Typically this is done informally, probably as an anecdote, but it can be done more seriously. When taken formally, a detailed, well-edited example is known as a case.

Collectively, cases enter what's known as the case history and form the paradigm (~~representatives) of a field of study. Based on this body of work, freshly encountered experiences can often be structured into the existing framework by analogizing them to the already acquired cases. After formalizing these new experiences in relation to the others, often they may enter the case history themselves.

PatternLanguages are a particularly interesting and yet even more formal style of case history.

I'm not personally satisfied with my description of what is a case. Can someone do better? -- SunirShah

Maybe something about the benefit of extracting patterns from empirical evidence, and that anecdotal case studies and metaphors (storytelling) are time-honored ways to pass these insights down? -- ChristianCrumlish


I would be greatly encouraged to see more concrete cases from the RealWorld written for the dozens of patterns and ideas we have on the site. Take OpenProcess as a Case of Cases; it already has four cases describing how we could look at the principle. I think that without those cases, the basic description of the OpenProcess pattern would be difficult to understand. -- SunirShah

I agree completely. Cases often illustrate several patterns at once. Perhaps they should have a page of their own instead of appearing on a particular pattern page, with hyperlinks for denoting relationships between cases and the abstract patterns they exemplify. --SebPaquet


What is the point of this category? I mean, how useful is it to find "real-life examples", knowing nothing more about them? -- ChrisPurcell

If you can barely remember the context of an example for something that your just got reminded of, you can now use the fact that it was a example to search for it, instead of only relying on the topic. Two ways to search for it, rather than one. -- AlexSchroeder

Categories should be created for subject matter, not form, and "this is a real-world example" is form. Further, even if you use a page for the simple facts of the study, and multiple pages for analysis, it still makes sense to file the facts under the same category (or categories, if the data is useful in several) as the analysis, not under some catch-all "Case" category. -- ChrisPurcell

Case studies are immensely valuable to many readers, including myself, as they are concrete rather than abstract. They are fun to read because they are descriptions of actual life experience. Also, a page can be in multiple categories, somes that overlap, some that are supersets or subsets of other categories. It's not a hierarchy. So, why not categorize all the cases with the CategoryCase? It harms no one and it is useful to some. -- SunirShah


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