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This page is for discussion of the model and XML syntax of SCUFL2 which replaces Taverna 2's t2flow workflow format.


The t2flow serialization format suffers from being very close to the Java object model, and contains various items that are simply Java beans serialized using XMLBeans. As the t2flow format is very verbose, it can be difficult to deal with for third party software to do inspection ("Which services does this workflow use?"), modification ("Change all calls to to") and generation ("Build a custom workflow from a button").

Developers have informed us that the old SCUFL format of Taverna 1 was significantly easier to work with. However, this format also has its caveats, like no schema, unidentified ways to extend service definitions for Taverna plugins and not supporting various new features in the Taverna 2 engine.

We have therefore decided to form a new serialisation format for workflows, called SCUFL2. This format will be accompanied with an UML model, and a primary serialisation format as XML, but also with possible secondary serialisations as JSON and RDF, all following the UML model. This model will also be reflected in a lightweight API, which can deserialize and serialize these formats, in addition to .scufl and .t2flow, but also more easily allow inspection of workflow structures, modification and generation.


Preliminary work

This page reflect preliminary work, and these specifications are not yet at alpha level. Do not write any applications assuming the SCUFL2 format will stay as discussed on this page.

The code and definitions for SCUFL2 are kept in GitHub. Rough overview:

  • scufl2-api Java Beans for SCUFL2 objects (and currently XML import/export)
  • scufl2-t2flow .t2flow import (and later export)
  • scufl2-rdf RDF export (and later import)
  • scufl2-usecases Example code covering SCUFL2 use cases  

Material for iteration 2 of the UML Scufl model includes

  • native zargo file
  • nice pictures of the class diagrams

Here is an attempt at demonstrating the new proposed XML syntax for Scufl2: as.scufl2.xml - a translation of as.t2flow

Specification of identifiers in Taverna URI templates.

  • None