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From "Rahul Akolkar" <rahul.akol...@gmail.com>
Subject [all][SCXML] Whats in the name ...
Date Mon, 17 Apr 2006 22:20:06 GMT
A fairly random stringing on my thoughts on the topic ...

Since there was talk about whether SCXML makes a good name for the
component, its only appropriate that I list some reasons. State means
little to me (or better, means so many things that is becomes
extremely fuzzy). A statechart, to me, is a graphical entity, tied to
the modeling layer, and in general does not cleanly tie in to any
execution environment. There is lot of state chart theory around, many
flavors exist with minor semantic deltas (UML 1.5/2.0, STATEMATE,
RHAPSODY, and now SCXML). I think nothing defines scope and semantics
better for this component that clarifying that we use SCXML semantics
(by default) via the component name. We shouldn't lose this clarity
only to have to struggle to regain it via numerous clarifications on
the mailing lists each time a related question is raised. We need an
oracle. We have a bunch of smart folks from a leading standards
organization giving us just that. Maybe some years down the line, the
abbreviation SCXML may become more commonly known.

If all of us here drop this component on the floor and walk away from
it today, I believe that after any arbitrary amount of time, someone
with a beginner level understanding of Java and XML can pick it up,
hold the SCXML document from the W3C by its side, and atleast figure
out if the thing is doing what it is supposed to do -- and if not,
attempt to correct it. Also, JCP, RFE and W3C standard driven projects
have an easier time managing their scope.

No user has complained about the component name, mailing list prefix
used etc. (though having injected this debate into the mix, this may
now come up frequently). StateChartXML is a decent suggestion, though
I'm personally not motivated enough to make the change. I will be
breaking some user code before the first RC (I'll post a note to the
user list when that happens), but changing Java package names will
probably cause more confusion that is warranted, so those are best
retained.

Finally, recounting from personal experience, when I came to Commons,
I knew what I was looking for (Digester). I didn't know what Jelly
was, what JEXL stood for, what betwixt was getting in between, what
configuration was configuring nor what latka did. Then one day, I read
the descriptions.

-Rahul

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