The Show Trial of the Gang-of-Four

Harrison, Beck, Fowler, and Foote

Presiding Magistrate Neil Harrison, Head Prosecuter Kent Beck, Defending Barrister Martin Fowler, Court Baliff Brian Foote

Vlissides, Gamma, Johnson

The Accussed: John Vlissides, Erich Gamma, and Ralph Johnson

Richard Helm's confession.

The original indictment.

Audio || Video

The Witnesses: Ward Cunnigham, Richard P. Gabriel, James Noble, Joseph W. Yoder, James O. Coplien (who had to be physically removed), Linda Rising, Bobby Woolf, Bruce Anderson (who was evidently quite inebriated, as is the custom in his native land), and Alistair Cockburn (pronounced Coe-burn) provided a non-stop torrent of damning testimony.

Robert Martin, Dave Ungar, and others provided a wealth of additional, highly incriminating information from the floor.

We are grateful to the student volunteers who provided security for this event, escorted the accussed, and ably dealt with unruly witnesses.

The accussed were tried on 3 November 1999 in a proceeding held at the OOPSLA '99 in Denver, CO. The case was heard by the court, and a jury of nearly 2000 of their peers. Despite a tepid, uninspired defense, a some half-hearted mewling from the accussed, the outcome was never in doubt. With a simple minority being necessary to convict, all four were found guilty as charged on all counts.

Jury Instructions

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury. Thank you for coming. Due to the high altitude hypoxia inherent at this venue, the normal requirement that jurors demonstrate a .02 percent blood alcohol level.

The United Nations High Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against Computer Science was founded in 1974, when, amidst bitter recriminations, the designers of Algol 60 were convicted of having recklessly allowed advanced structured programming technology to fall into the hands of the Americans.

During the 70s, a single language designer, sitting in a castle in the Alps, doomed an additional generation of numerical programmers to having to use Fortran as a result of the meticulously designed yet utterly impractical Pascal array and subrange mechanism. Nicklaus Wirth was convicted of these crimes in 1977.

In 1984, Paul Allen and a cabal of co-conspirators were convicted of single-handedly setting operating system design back 15 years.

During its 25 year tenure, the court has amassed an enviable record of 108 convictions, with no acquittals.

A number of active investigations are on-going. Alas, we are not at liberty to comment on the targets or nature of these investigations.

Booch, Rumbaugh, and Jacobsen

An eye-witness report.

The Actual Gang-of-Four

The Gang of Four

The Real Trial of the Gang of Four

Trial of the Gang of Four

Progress Through Science and Technology

Progress through Science and Technology

Gamma et. al.

Brian Foote
Last Modified: 17 December 2005