New Project: Web-based OpenWFEru Graphical Editor

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Iván Martínez

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Sep 30, 2009, 1:08:44 PM9/30/09
to openwferu-users
Hi John, and everybody,

I'm Iván Martínez, and I'm working for UPM (Polytechnic University of Madrid), at DIT (Telematic Engineering Department) department. Two of my coleagues, Diego Moreno and Emilio García have already contributed to this group.

Some time ago Diego and some of you discussed about how useful would be to have a graphical editor to make process writing easier and more intuitive. I've been working on it for some time and now I'm glad to show you the very first results.

My project is called OpenWFEditor and it is based on Flash technology (made in Flex) so it can be accesed directly from the web without any instalation. It works both ways:

1- dragging graphical elements to a canvas to form a workflow and its XML source is generated automatically,
2- writing the XML process definition and it automatically draws the graph.

It has "load" and "save" functionallity so you can load an existing XML process description and get its graph or save a new or edited XML.

Before explaining any further, here you can give it a try (it's not 100% stable, sorry for that):

http://jungla.dit.upm.es/~imartinez/wfEditor/

You can find some ready to load XML process definitions to load into the editor (download definitions to your local machine first and load them after that):

http://jungla.dit.upm.es/~imartinez/Flujos/

I'm trying to use a generic and well prepared architecture to make it easy to grow, specially to allow people to add more "elements" to the ones already supported. My desire is to make everything open sourced, as a contribution to OpenWFE project.

At the moment, just a subset of "elements" (ruote expresions) are supported, and those are:

- cursor
- sequence
- participant
- set
- if
- loop
- break

I'm still working on it giving support to the expressions I found in this documentation. It would be great if you could tell me wich "elements" (ruote expressions) would you add, which ones are the most important and useful.

Concluding, I would be grateful to receive your feedback about style, usability, and any other issue.

 
Kind Regards,

Iván Martínez,

Gonzalo Suarez

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Sep 30, 2009, 2:40:29 PM9/30/09
to openwfe...@googlegroups.com
Hi Iván,

Very nice project!
I'll keep an eye on it.

Are you planning support for Ruote's process definition language based
in Ruby DSL?

Regards from Madrid.
Gonzalo.

John Mettraux

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Oct 1, 2009, 1:09:28 AM10/1/09
to openwfe...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 2:08 AM, Iván Martínez <ivanm...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi John, and everybody,
>
> I'm Iván Martínez, and I'm working for UPM (Polytechnic University of
> Madrid), at DIT (Telematic Engineering Department) department. Two of my
> coleagues, Diego Moreno and Emilio García have already contributed to this
> group.

Hi Ivan,

yes, please say hi to Diego and Emilio !

> Some time ago Diego and some of you discussed about how useful would be to
> have a graphical editor to make process writing easier and more intuitive.
> I've been working on it for some time and now I'm glad to show you the very
> first results.
>

> (...)


>
> Before explaining any further, here you can give it a try (it's not 100%
> stable, sorry for that):
>
> http://jungla.dit.upm.es/~imartinez/wfEditor/

Very nice ! Excellent for a set of first steps.

I like the two way edition. Promising !

> I'm trying to use a generic and well prepared architecture to make it easy
> to grow, specially to allow people to add more "elements" to the ones
> already supported. My desire is to make everything open sourced, as a
> contribution to OpenWFE project.

Great ! You'd have to choose a license and then host it somewhere
(hint : http://github.com)

> At the moment, just a subset of "elements" (ruote expresions) are supported,
> and those are:
>
> - cursor
> - sequence
> - participant
> - set
> - if
> - loop
> - break
>
> I'm still working on it giving support to the expressions I found in this
> documentation. It would be great if you could tell me wich "elements" (ruote
> expressions) would you add, which ones are the most important and useful.

The latest version of the documentation lists a number of "basic expressions" :

http://ruote.rubyforge.org/expressions.html

If you take a look at ruote-fluo :

http://difference.openwfe.org:4567/defs
http://github.com/jmettraux/ruote-fluo

you'll see that it has a generic/default expression that covers all
the expressions that don't have their own rendering/editing component.

> Concluding, I would be grateful to receive your feedback about style,
> usability, and any other issue.

The current hottie in the web process designer space is Oryx :

http://bpt.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/Oryx

I'd love something where there is no palette, very few buttons. So
that the user is only confronted with his diagram and not a huge
palette a la photoshop, he can focus.

Could you please use the name "ruote" ? It's starting to stick with
people (at least, there are more people googling for "ruote" than
"openwfe"/"openwferu" nowadays). A spanish name variation would be
welcome as well.

As Gonzalo said, Ruby (and Json) output would be neat.

ruote-fluo has a distinctive feature : it can be used to display the
position of a workitem (or workitems) in a process instance. Do you
plan to add such a feature to your tool ?


OK, that's all for me.

Congratulations ! Looking forward to work with you !

--
John Mettraux - http://jmettraux.wordpress.com

John Mettraux

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Oct 1, 2009, 1:12:13 AM10/1/09
to openwfe...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 3:40 AM, Gonzalo Suarez
<gonzalo....@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Regards from Madrid.
> Gonzalo.

When do you guys do a "Rueda y Cerveza" event ?

Iván Martínez

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Oct 2, 2009, 5:33:47 AM10/2/09
to ruote
Hi again,

I'm currently working on Json and Ruby output (and input).

About the app's name, would it be fine "Ruote WfEditor"? Any
suggestions?

After that, my todo list is:

- Adding a generic expression or graphic element for non-supported
expressions.
- Supporting the whole basic expressions list. (http://
ruote.rubyforge.org/expressions.html)

About displaying the position of a workitem as you do in "ruote-fluo",
it may be a difficult feature to add, so I leave it as a future task.

Rueda y Cerveza thing would be grreat!

Regards!

John Mettraux

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Oct 2, 2009, 7:43:18 AM10/2/09
to openwfe...@googlegroups.com
On Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 6:33 PM, Iván Martínez <ivanm...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I'm currently working on Json and Ruby output (and input).

Hello Ivan,

Ah great ! If you need help, we're here to help.


> About the app's name, would it be fine "Ruote WfEditor"? Any
> suggestions?

- ruote web editor
- ruote process editor
- rueda
- ruote-flex
- ruote workflow editor
- madrid

My experience is that names like "WfEditor" get always rehashed into
"wf-editor", "WFeditor", "Wf Editor", ... that's one of the reasons I
moved away from the OpenWFE and OpenWFEru appelations


> After that, my todo list is:
>
> - Adding a generic expression or graphic element for non-supported
> expressions.
> - Supporting the whole basic expressions list. (http://
> ruote.rubyforge.org/expressions.html)
>
> About displaying the position of a workitem as you do in "ruote-fluo",
> it may be a difficult feature to add, so I leave it as a future task.

OK, makes sense.

> Rueda y Cerveza thing would be grreat!

:)


Best regards,

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