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Re: SCXML Extensions for graphical description

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 10:27:01 -0400
Message-Id: <p06110404c0a20289548a@[]>
To: jamesmsort-third@yahoo.com
Cc: www-voice@w3.org

At 5:51 PM -0700 5/29/06, <jamesmsort-third@yahoo.com> wrote:
>I was reviewing the document for state machine XML ( 
>I'm working on a translation script that will import/export between 
>SCXML and a popular state machine tool.  The task is complicated by 
>the lack of graphical attributes in the SCXML schema.
>I think that most users would want to display their state machines 
>graphically for a number of reasons:
>1.  Creation process
>2.  Peer reviews
>3.  Documentation
>I more interested in reason #1.  I have no desire to create my state 
>machines by typing in text by hand.  I'd rather use one of the many 
>graphical tools for creating and simulating state machines. 
>However, I'm interested in converting my state machines into a 
>tool-independent format.
>States and transitions require graphical information including:
>1.  Origin
>2.  Dimension (states only)
>3.  Termination (transitions only)
>I'm considering two options for my SCXML conversion tool:
>1.  Modification of the SCXML schema to include graphical attributes

As in, join the SCXML and SVG schemas?

>2.  Inclusion of well formatted comments that would detail the 
>graphical information.

You could do this using <metadata> and an RDF transcription of your graphic

Of course there is the reverse approach, where you bind the state 
chart semantics
in metadata in an SVG graphic.

Your 'comments' are not 'well formatted' unless they come with a schema binding
to something stable.

>Do you have any recommendations on how to proceed?

[fools rush in...]

1. Does the tool you want to support already support UML state
charts? Would they meet your graphic needs?
Review the close relationship between SCXML and UML state charts
before re-inventing anything. Work the graphics-unaware SCXML dumper

2. Embed the graphic properties in the SCXML tree rather than vice
versa. It's harder to get there but your state charts have such
strong network semantics that starting with drawing instructions
leaves too much to the imagination.  But you new that.



>Is there a future extension to SCXML in the near future that 
>includes graphical information?
>Thank you in advance for your time.
>Kind Regards,
Received on Tuesday, 30 May 2006 14:27:19 UTC

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