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From "Craig R. McClanahan" <>
Subject Re: [Workflow] Is this project still active?
Date Wed, 22 May 2002 01:49:45 GMT

On Tue, 21 May 2002, Warner Onstine wrote:

> Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 18:21:30 -0700
> From: Warner Onstine <>
> Reply-To: Jakarta Commons Developers List <>
> To: Jakarta Commons Developers List <>
> Subject: Re: [Workflow] Is this project still active?
> Since Craig hasn't answered I'll take a quick stab.
> This was originally launched while Craig was working on Struts, with Struts
> in mind. I'm not sure if there is some newer stuff over there (just did a
> quick search through my archive and there are quite a few threads on
> workflow floating around).
> Bottom-line is I'm not sure Craig has the time (now that he has new
> responsibilities at Sun) and I haven't seen any commits on it in a while.

That's a pretty good summary of the current situation :-(.

For those of you not on Tomcat or Struts mailing lists, my "new
responsibilities" include being the spec lead for JavaServer Faces
(JSR-127), as well as being the web layer architect for all of J2EE.
Among other things, that's going to take me pretty much out of the coding
business on Tomcat, but will still leave me some time for Struts (funny
thing ... lots of people are very interested in how well Faces and Struts
will play together :-).

> Now, I'm not saying it should go away (I would like to work on it myself,
> but with Turbine in mind), but it has been a while since it's last update
> (about 4 months from what I can tell).
> If I were going to tackle it, I would first look at making the rulesets
> better. ie - probably use a real Rules Engine or something of that sort. But
> I don't know what Craig is looking for long-term.
> Then again, I'm not associated with this project, just highly interested, so
> take with a big grain of salt =).

One thing that has changed a *lot* since I started the workflow thing is
the number of different choices for embedding scripting languages into
Java application servers.  If we can find one (or even a plug-in
framework for multiple languages) that is suitable for writing the
workflow control scripts, that's probably a better choice than inventing
YAXBSL ("yet another XML-based scripting language").  For example, using
the expression language syntax from JSTL would clearly be better than the
existing primitive Step implementations for control flow and looping.

The only interesting technical challenge is the implementation of the
"suspend" capability, so that you can have a single workflow script that
lasts longer than a single HTTP request.  If that can be solved easily, we
can leverage the investments in one or more of the existing scripting
languages and focus on adapting that to managing multi-page HTTP
interactions, which was my primary motivation in the first place ...

If someone else shared that same vision, I'd happily cheer from the
sidelines and offer whatever time I can to help ... but in terms of
leading this, it's going to be a while before that is practical for me.

> -warner


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Chisholm" <>
> To: "Jakarta Commons Developers List" <>
> Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2002 3:36 AM
> Subject: [Workflow] Is this project still active?
> >
> > I'm interested in what is proposed by the workflow project, but it doesn't
> > look like anything has been updated on it this year. Are there plans to
> > continue development of workflow?
> >
> > Regards,
> > David
> >
> >
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