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WorkFlowAddOnDev Discussion: Page for developer collaboration, enhancement requests, patches and improved versions on WorkFlowAddOn contributed by the TWikiCommunity.
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Feedback on WorkFlowAddOn

Well, I finally managed to extract the add on from our installation and diff it against a clean Beijing installation. It took a while to untangle all the additions we had made, so sorry.

Note that when first attaching a workflow to a topic the topic needs to be saved, before state transitions can be made. However, the change state button already appears at that point. I shall try to fix that, but it has not bothered anybody here yet.

Once a work flow is attached to a topic, the form expressing the work flow cannot be changed or deleted. In other words, a work flow is attached to a topic for good.

-- ThomasWeigert - 21 Apr 2004

Updated to Cairo release.

-- ThomasWeigert - 31 Jan 2005

What would need to change for this to be a plugin instead of an add-on (I have a pathological fear of any code that patches TWiki core components. It's a bit like driving nails into Elizabethan plaster. All too easy to demolish the entire wall by accident).

I can see that you need to add buttons in various places; could these be done using template buttons instead of code changes? Can the before/after Save handlers be leveraged more?

-- CrawfordCurrie - 12 Mar 2005

This was one of my homework items... I need to finish up abstracting a few things before I get to that.

However, I am constantly running into the shortcomings of the plugin API. There is just too much TWiki functionality that needs to be replicated in a plugin. My personal preference is to reuse the TWiki core where sensible and bite the bullet at upgrade time.

The other things is, there are many features of these pseudo-plugins that should be put into the core so that they can then be leveraged by plugins. For example, all the FormsAddOn should really be in core... they are features of forms that are always needed....

With respect to the WorkFlowAddOn, though, I admit that I did not try hard enough to make it a PluginPackage. I'll get around to that, I promise...

-- ThomasWeigert - 12 Mar 2005

If there are particular parts that are hard to workaround then they probably belong in the core.

Can you give us an outline of the difficulties you face? Workflow is key. Thanks.

-- MartinCleaver - 16 Apr 2005

OK, I'll make a list, please check back later...

However, remember this is still a PoorManWorkFlow, not the full monty... basically, in this AddOnPackage, a work flow is represented by a state machine that affects the form meta data associated with a topic and how you can interact with that form. Of course, this is pretty much all you can do in the basic TWiki, as the form is the primary structured data associated with a topic... Also, the only way to fire transitions in the work flow is through selecting an action and clicking a link; a full-fledged work flow realization should allow triggers based on events in the system (e.g., deadline expiring, email coming in, etc.)...

-- ThomasWeigert - 16 Apr 2005

YAPC Toronto mentioned that Chris Winters has developed http://search.cpan.org/dist/Workflow/

-- MartinCleaver - 27 Jun 2005

ALERT! This is for cairo only at this point. Please take a look at WorkflowPlugin first, albeit there are some differences...

-- ThomasWeigert - 27 Apr 2006

Thanks Thomas for restoring the add-on, and sorry that it was obsoleted in the first place.

-- PeterThoeny - 27 Apr 2006

Are you still maintaining this? Will the functionality be condensed into WorkflowPlugin?

-- MartinCleaver - 02 Oct 2007

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Topic revision: r17 - 2007-10-02 - MartinCleaver
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