If an environment dictionary were passed to each action the action could add variables and modify variables. These could then be used to modify the actions .
In addition actions could be defined that do not modify the image but instead decide which actions to apply depending on the values of both built in variables and user defined variables.
For instance different scaling methods could be chosen depending on the dimensions of the image.
With the addition of user defined variables, decision actions and the ability to execute the action list without showing a UI Phatch could become an alternative to writing shell scripts for some kinds of tasks.
Being able to run non-interactively means that one Phatch action list could run another as an external action.