For example, suppose I had a pageControl UI class and a searcher business logic class with the following :


function searchButtonClicked() {
  // call business logic class method when button clicked

function showSearchResultsPage(searchResults) {
  // when this is called, display results


// This module has a low to moderate chance of someday being used on two or more different pages.
function beginSearch() { ... }

function searchCompleted(results) {
  // This here is what I view as the main problem

The problem is that searcher is specifically tied to pageControl, and it's making the decision that the search result page will be the next thing to appear. The example I was going to give to people about why this is bad gives the idea that "You wouldn't directly conditionally call the logic for your entire app inside of Button>onClick", but I'm trying to find a more comprehensive argument about why that is.

At first I thought this was "inversion of control" but looking that up on Wikipedia didn't portray it as negatively, so I don't think that's the right term for this kind of pattern.

Is there a name for this anti-pattern of having low-level components controlling higher-level ones?

  • 13
    It's called the "not everything has to have a name" pattern. Jun 3, 2015 at 15:10
  • 2
    "some things are just bad"
    – user40980
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:11
  • 3
    That's simply high coupling. And between distant layers and in the wrong direction, too. Jun 3, 2015 at 15:16
  • 2
    @Katana314 the reason for the down-votes is simply that it isn't on topic for the site. As to why the questions is not well formed; it contains the presumption that the code contains a specific anti-pattern of which you don't know the name of. Maybe it is an antipattern maybe it isnt - that is likely subjective. Jun 3, 2015 at 16:04
  • 3
    layering violation.
    – Javier
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


It is called an inversion of authority, named so by Ed Yourdon if memory serves. An example of the usage can be found here.


Circular Dependency

If we view pageControl.js as your UI layer, a controller perhaps, and searcher.js as you data access and or business layer, a circular dependency has been introduced that effectively makes them inseparable and defeats any benefits of layering.

Arguments could also be made for spaghetti code and accidental complexity.

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