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From "Wait, David L PWR" <>
Subject RE: [SCXML] Actions in SCXML
Date Tue, 24 Feb 2009 22:57:14 GMT
As you may know, David Harel is the "father" of the State Charts that form a basis for the
W3C's SCXML project.  An XML version of Harel's Activity-Charts is something similar to what
you're looking for.   Unfortunately, I'm unaware such an ActivityChartXML exists.  

Relevant background is presented in Harel and Politi's "Modeling Reactive Systems with Statecharts"  In the book, the authors explain that
other kinds of "charts" are needed to complete the conceptual description of what they term
a reactive system.  The authors outlined two other kinds of charts besides State-Charts that
are needed to specify a complete model.  One of the other charts is the Activity-Chart, which
essentially captures a functional decomposition of the system.  As you may know the functional
decomposition specificies the outputs of a function, or activity, and the other functions
that depend on the output.  One way to specify the mechanics of calculating the outputs from
the inputs in an xml vein could be accomplished using MathML.  Incidentally, the other type
of chart Harel proposed is the Module-Chart, which maps the relationship between activities
and hardware/software/people that perform the activities. 

I would be interested in seeing an editor that allowed editing SCXML content in either graphical
or text form.  Perhaps someone will propose projects for ActivityChartXML with MathML and
maybe even ModuleChartXML to complete an xml implementation of Harel's methodology for modeling
complex systems.  With appropriate translators to native code, the combined projects might
offer a clean, high-level approach to quantitative modeling and simulation of very complex,
interactive systems.   


-----Original Message-----
From: Anna Södling [] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 2:01 PM
Subject: [SCXML] Actions in SCXML

I'm building a diagram-editor for statecharts. The statechart should then be transformed into
SCXML and run through an interface. The interface should be able to send events to and accept
actions from the statechart. I'm just wondering if there's a (reasonably) simple way to express
an action in SCXML? I mean, events and conditions can simply be placed in a transition-tag,
but that doesn't seem to be the case with actions? I know that you can design "custom actions",
but I'm wondering if there is some easier way to do it, or if there already is some way to
represent an action? 

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