Topic: wftk -- Process definition: <task>

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Since tasks are arguably the whole point of workflow, it's not surprising that there's a lot to do to define a task. But basically it boils down to these things:
  • The role: what class of entity is supposed to perform the task.
  • Process-specific values which are part of the particular task.
  • What values and deliverables are expected from the agent after the task is completed.
  • (For human agents, anyway) an HTML presentation to use for the task.
  • The label to attach to the task in lists.
So an appropriate syntax would be something like this:
  <task label="The next thing to do" role="Secretary">
    <data name="whatever"></value>
    <expect type="file" name="incoming">...</data>
    some way of formatting the page
At this point I'm not going to waste time on how the formatting will be specified. I have a couple of different ways that I often use, and I'll use one that feels right when I get into coding. But the important things here are the data and the expect tags. The data tag names values which are salient to this particular task, while the expect tags denote values which must be obtained from the agent when the task is completed. The display of an active task must show both; in HTML format, the task must show the data values, and supply data entry fields for the expect values.

If a task is completed by email, then (somehow) the expected values must be marked in the email -- or more likely, email completion will only work for tasks with no expect values. Again, we'll see what makes sense when we start coding.

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