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Author Topic: On the purpose of displaying the FINISHED transition  (Read 159 times)

Broken Stylus

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On the purpose of displaying the FINISHED transition
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:10:54 AM »
Playmaker is a visual scripting tool, unique in that it focuses on presenting the code according to finite states.
To any beginner, it is important to understand what entry and exit transitions are, and the basic exit transition is the FINISHED one. When stuff in a state is done, this is where the flow will come out of the state to move to another one.
A state is meant to have only one FINISHED transition. Thanks to a nice little update, if you try to add another FINISHED transition with the shortcut, it will now show a list of other transitions to add to the state instead – although it still displays FINISHED as an option and imho it should not because again a state shall have only one FINISHED transition, but that applies to any transition, there should never be any double of a given transition.

As you work on PM and accrue experience, it becomes clear that a state has three or four typical ends:

1. No exit: the flow does not exit it, no transitions come out of it.
2. FINISHED: the default exit for any state. Often used.
3. More system/custom exit transitions, added below the state.
4. 'Send event' or 'Go to' actions that hijack the display of links by sending the flow to other states invisibly. A bit more risky but useful for experienced users who want to avoid the spaghetti mess.

As far as option 2 is concerned, the FINISHED transition is so obvious that unless any other transition is added to a state, then if we do see a link coming out of the state, it can only be a FINISHED transition.
In other words, unless the developer uses other exit transitions, FINISHED is the default one. This is a special status.

Therefore comes the moment when one has to ask: why is it necessary to show it?
Couldn't we save some GV space? Make it more elegant?

Couldn't the FINISHED transition be collapsable to some degree?

But how?
Showing up only as a very small rectangle on the right of the state, either inside of it or as an appendix? Or as an external pointy triangle pointing to the right? Or an external hemisphere?

In such a context, only other transitions would need to be displayed in their own glorious rectangle, in full letters, underneath the state.

The only issue I see here is if you have a link exiting from the left side of a transition, this could not be replicated.
BUT it also combines with another topic which deserves its own thread.