Workflow Description Language, aka Workflow Description Language, is an actively used programming language created in 2012. The Workflow Description Language (WDL) is a way to specify data processing workflows with a human-readable and -writeable syntax. WDL makes it straightforward to define analysis tasks, chain them together in workflows, and parallelize their execution. The language makes common patterns simple to express, while also admitting uncommon or complicated behavior; and strives to achieve portability not only across execution platforms, but also different types of users. Whether one is an analyst, a programmer, an operator of a production system, or any other sort of user, WDL should be accessible and understandable.

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Example code from Linguist:

# Sample originally from https://github.com/broadinstitute/centaur

task hello {
  String addressee
  command {
    echo "Hello ${addressee}!"
  }
  output {
    String salutation = read_string(stdout())
  }
  runtime {
    docker: "ubuntu@sha256:71cd81252a3563a03ad8daee81047b62ab5d892ebbfbf71cf53415f29c130950"
  }
}

workflow wf_hello {
  call hello
  output {
     hello.salutation
  }
}

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Last updated February 18th, 2020

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