Model-Gui-Mediator - Design Pattern

Important Update 2020:

This article is twenty years old - its ideas are now simplified and clarified at

A live demo running in a browser can be interacted with at:

Tip for understanding this article:

This is arguably the traditional MVC pattern with terminology tweaked and clarified, and updated for 'modern' times where Views are no longer manually drawn but are instead off the shelf GUI widgets or DOM elements.

Mediator == Controller

GUI == View


Or simply grab the pdf directly:

Model Gui Mediator Design Pattern

Old Comments

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Hi Andy,

I've read your article about the MGM Patterns, it's a great pattern.
However, I have a question, could you please show me.

Let say I have a Textbox (GUI), a business object with only 1 property Text,
a mediator-view as your pattern defined.

When changing Business.Text, this procedure is called:

procedure setText(Value: String);
FText := Value;
NotifyChanges; // *** notify mediator to change Editbox content

therefore, mediator is notified:

procedure BusinessChanged;
FGUI.Text := FBusiness.Text; // this makes Editbox OnChange fires

OnChange event of Editbox:

procedure Edit1Change();
Mediator := FindMediator(Self)
Mediator.Business.Text := TEdit(Self).Text;
{ *** This line would call Business.setText and make an infinity loop }

The only method I've thought of is let the Mediator modify FText field of
Business object. But in this way, Busniess and Mediator have to be in a same
unit. Is there another way to solve this problem?

Thanks for your sharing!
Karr. C.

Posted by?admin?on?

Thanks for your interest in the MGM pattern. Your assumption in the above code is that the Editbox OnChange fires when you programatically set the FGUI.Text, which would cause the event sequence

gui changes -> mgm notified -> changes model ->
model notifies mgm -> mgm modifies gui -> gui changes

and so on, infinitely!! See your lines marked *** highlighted lines above.

However the Editbox OnChange fires only seems to fire when the text is altered by the user in the gui. It does not fire when the edit1.text is changed programatically. So there is no loop.

I tried it in Delphi 6. Here is a sample delphi app that proves it.
It has a cheaper form of mgm which I just whipped up, in order to demonstrate the point.

P.S. If the event HAD fired, you could

1. temporarily disable the event by rewiring the event handler to Nil before writing to it programatically, then restoring the event handler again (yuk, but possible. You often have to do this when using mgm with treeviews.)

2. provide a way of setting the model data which does not trigger a notification. Make the private data public. Again, yuk.

... anyway thankfully you don't need to do either of these things since Editbox OnChange does not fire when the edit1.text is changed programatically

Hope this helps.
-Andy Bulka

Here is a nice article on MVP pattern and the differences to MVC.