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Subject: Re: [wsbpel] Issue - 2- requirements for a sub function solution

Ugo Corda wrote:
Ron, you say:

Composing processes at a services 
level is unusual, and arguably runs counter to what analysts have come 
to expect. Only a software technologist would find the approach "natural."

Edwin's original message seems to indicate otherwise. 
    I suspect this says more about Collaxa's customer base that process languages in general. Collaxa is attracting the early adopters, who tend to be far more technical than the average analyst we are discussing. One need only examine existing  languages aimed at business process automation and/or modelling. The WfMC has done some interesting work over the years in executable process languages.
Also, let's not forget our assumption that most likely business analysts will not get their hands dirty with the actual code, but rather use visual tools that will automatically generate the actual BPEL code.
    We have already established that BPEL should be readable, and not the target of sophisticated tools only. The whole discussion on the redundant nature of the <sequence> activity was resolved with the assertion that BPEL is meant to be directly read and written by users, even if redundant language features are the result. Even so-called visual tools that isolate the user from the XML syntax are apt to expose some (if not most)  BPEL constructs in a fairly direct fashion, at least in the near future. It sounds like we have using contradictory assumptions.

    I find the argument that "the tools will handle the problems/complexities" of BPEL (or any other vocabulary for that matter) to be a weak one. While there are certainly cases where we will be forced to adopt this stance, it should not be our first answer whenever we encounter difficulties in the language. I believe Yaron characterized this approach as a "canard" during the last conference call, and I must say I concur.

    Can we please all agree to not use the "tools will paper over the problems" argument in our discussions, except as a last resort? Each time we dismiss a problem in BPEL as a "matter for tools" we are creating a barrier to adoption. Good tools are difficult (spelled expensive) to write; the more complexity we force on those tools, the more expensive they will be. This creates a very direct barrier to adoption. Alternatively, what value will BPEL have as a standardized vocabulary if it must necessarily be hidden behind a lot of proprietary approaches to address its shortcomings? It has been asserted by the authors that BPEL is a process modelling language, as well as an execution language; this assertion seems to have found general acceptance by the TC. A standardized modelling vocabulary is very useful; a modelling vocabulary that omits key concepts (for example, sub-processes) has far less value. A vocabulary that makes key concepts "vendor-specific extensions" is even worse!

    I repeat: can we please, please, agree to not resort to the "tools will fix that" line of argument, except as a last resort? Otherwise, what are we all doing here?


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