An experimental workflow module
Latest commit d747d24 Dec 18, 2016 @jonathanstowe committed on GitHub Merge pull request #1 from FCO/patch-2
Fix typo


An experimental workflow module for Perl 6

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This is quite long skip to the Description if you are impatient.

use Tinky;

# A class that will use the workflow
# it can have any attributes or methods
# required by your application

class Ticket does Tinky::Object {
    has Str $.ticket-number = (^100000).pick.fmt("%08d");
    has Str $.owner;

# Set up some states as required by the application
my $state-new         = => 'new');
my $state-open        = => 'open');
my $state-rejected    = => 'rejected');
my $state-in-progress = => 'in-progress');
my $state-stalled     = => 'stalled');
my $state-complete    = => 'complete');

# Each state has an 'enter-supply' and a 'leave-supply' which get the
# object which the state was applied to.

$state-rejected.enter-supply.act( -> $object { say "** sending rejected e-mail for Ticket '{ $object.ticket-number }' **"});

# Create some transitions to describe pre-determined change of state
# A method will be created on the Tinky::Object for each transition name

my $open              = => 'open', from => $state-new, to => $state-open);

# Where  more than one transition has the same name, the transition which matches the object's 
# current state will be use.
my $reject-new        = => 'reject', from => $state-new, to => $state-rejected);
my $reject-open       = => 'reject', from => $state-open, to => $state-rejected);
my $reject-stalled    = => 'reject', from => $state-stalled, to => $state-rejected);

my $stall-open        = => 'stall', from => $state-open, to => $state-stalled);
my $stall-progress    = => 'stall', from => $state-in-progress, to => $state-stalled);

# The transition supply allows specific logic for the transition to be performed

$ -> $object { say "** rescheduling tickets for '{ $object.owner }' on ticket stall **"});

my $unstall           = => 'unstall', from => $state-stalled, to => $state-in-progress);

my $take              = => 'take', from => $state-open, to => $state-in-progress);

my $complete-open     = => 'complete', from => $state-open, to => $state-complete);
my $complete-progress = => 'complete', from => $state-in-progress, to => $state-complete);

my @transitions = $open, $reject-new, $reject-open, $reject-stalled, $stall-open, $stall-progress, $unstall, $take, $complete-open, $complete-progress;

# The Workflow object allows the relation between states and transitions to be calculate
# and generates the methods that will be applied to the ticket object.  The initial-state
# will be applied to the object if there is no existing state on the state.
my $workflow =, name => 'ticket-workflow', initial-state => $state-new );

# The workflow aggregates the Supplies of the transitions and the states.
# This could be to a logging subsystem for instance. 

$workflow.transition-supply.act(-> ($trans, $object) { say "Ticket '{ $object.ticket-number }' went from { $ }' to '{ $ }'" });

# The final-supply emits the state and the object when a state is reached where there are no
# further transitions available

$> ( $state, $object) { say "** updating performance stats with Ticket '{ $object.ticket-number }' entered State '{ $ }'" });

# Create an instance of the Tinky::Object.
# A 'state' can be supplied to initialise if, for example, the data was retrieved from a database.
my $ticket-a = => "Operator A");

# Applying the workflow will set the initial state if one is configured and will
# apply a role that provides the transition methods.
# The workflow object can be configured to check whether the object to which it
# is being applied is suitable and throw an exception if not.


# Exercise the transition methods.
# Other mechanisms are available for performing the transitions whuch may be more
# suitable if the next state is to be calculated.

# State new -> open

# State open -> in-progress

# Get the names of the states which are now available for the object
# [stalled complete]

# Directly assigning the state will be validated, an exception will
# be thrown if this is not a valid transition at the time
$ticket-a.state = $state-stalled;

# State stalled -> rejected
# This is a final state and no further transitions are available.


Tinky is a deterministic state manager that can be used to implement a workflow system, it provides a role Tinky::Object that allows an object to have a managed state.

A Workflow is simply a set of States and allowable transitions between them. Validators can be defined to check whether an object should be allowed to enter or leave a specific state or have a transition performed, asynchronous notification of state change (enter, leave or transition application,) is provided by Supplies which are available at State/Transition level or aggregrated.

I have taken somewhat of a "kitchen-sink" toolkit approach with this to provide a somewhat rich interface that can be more easily used to create higher level applications which interact nicely with Perl 6's reactive and composable nature. I've taken some ideas from similar software in other languages that I have used and added features that I would have liked for the problems that I was solving and ended up providing myself.

By the way I've deliberately chosen a "non-enterprisey" name for this for a couple of reasons, largely however because I'm not convinced that this will remain the gold standard within the problem domain I don't want to block out a more sensible name for someone who may want to make something later, also the possible candidates involving some variant of "Workflow" or "state machine" don't properly fit what I see this as which is something that has some of the features of the latter in order to provide a toolkit to help implement the former.

The full documentation is available here.


Assuming you have a working perl6 installation you should be able to install this with panda :

# From the source directory

panda install .

# Remote installation

panda install Tinky

Although I haven't tested I can't see any reason why it should not work with "zef" or any equally capable package manager that may come along.


This is an experimental software but suggestions and patches that may make it more useful in your software are welcomed via github at


This is free software.

Please see the LICENCE file in the distribution.

© Jonathan Stowe 2016