EclipseCon 2007 March 5-8, Santa Clara California

How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Eclipse User Assistance!

Maria Brownstein (Sybase), Dave Resch (Sybase), Amber Swope (JustSystems), Dejan Glozic (IBM), Robert Lauriston (Embarcadero Technologies), Kari Halsted (IBM Canada), Lee Anne Kowalski ()

· Panel

Wednesday, 14:30, 50 minutes | Theater


Dave Resch

Amber Swope

Dejan Glozic

Kari Halsted

Lee Anne Kowalski

In this panel, committers and exploiters of Eclipse User Assistance will discuss Eclipse UA, especially what's on the horizon in Eclipse 3.3. We will seek an active discussion with the audience to identify potential future direction. This discussion will be very useful to both UA exploiters and end users, and will help build a stronger Eclipse UA community at large. Format: We will have a 4-5 member panel and a moderator. Moderator: Lee Anne Kowalski (IBM). Panelists: Dejan Glozic (Eclipse), Dave Resch (Sybase), Robert Lauriston (Embarcadero), Amber Swope (JustSystems), Kari Halsted (IBM).

Maria Brownstein has over 20 years of experience in the software development and technical communications fields. Maria is currently a senior engineering manager in the Technical Publications organization at Sybase. She manages both a writing team and a development team. Her writing team is primarily responsible for developing User Assistance for the Eclipse-based developer platform product, Sybase WorkSpace, and the open-source Eclipse DTP project. The charter of the development team, Technical Publications Solutions, is two-fold, tools development and DITA transition. On the tools development side they have responsibility to define, build, and maintain a DITA-based authoring system and output mechanism that meets the needs of all Sybase pubs teams. One of the many supported outputs is Eclipse user assistance. On the DITA transition side, the team is responsible for defining the migration path to DITA, establishing and documenting DITA guidelines, and creating and delivering DITA training throughout the technical publications department.

Dave Resch is a senior software engineer with the Sybase Technical Publications Solutions team. He is currently developing Eclipse-based tools for system administration and build management for a DITA-based documentation system. Before that, he was responsible for designing and developing Welcome content and implementing the original "intro framework" for the Eclipse-based IDE product, Sybase WorkSpace. Dave also worked with the doc team to migrate help content from Eclipse 3.0 to 3.1 (and now 3.2), and to migrate the Sybase WorkSpace product intro to the universal intro framework.

Amber Swope is a Principal Consultant in our Content Lifecycle Solutions practice for XMetaL, where she applies her information architecture and DITA experience to help JustSystems clients address their business challenges. Amber is an experienced information architect with almost 20 years in the information development field. She has supported teams through the full information development lifecycle from identifying use cases to deliverable publication. Her experience includes architecting and developing information for companies of various sizes, from a 17-person startup to led teams that produced and published Eclipse Help systems, first sourced in HTML, then sourced in XML (DITA). Amber is a member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee and participating on the Learning and Training Specialization subcommittee.

Dr Dejan Glozic was one of the first members of the Eclipse UI team. He currently works at the IBM Toronto Laboratory, Ontario, where he leads an Eclipse team responsible for PDE, User Assistance and Install/Update components. Before Eclipse, Dejan was widely known as 'the JFace guy', being responsible for the creation of the widely used JFace user interface framework that was later incorporated into the Eclipse platform. He is also known as 'the pixel freak' possibly due to his obsessive-compulsive insistence that all the pixels in the UI must align 'just so'. One of his more recent pixel fixations was Eclipse Forms used in PDE editors and the new help view.

Robert Lauriston manages the documentation department at Embarcadero Technologies, where he updated the automated single-source online help build system to add support for Eclipse. He also moderates the eclipse_tw Yahoo group, an online forum for technical writers who are developing online help for Eclipse platform products or plug-ins. In his previous career as a computer journalist, he wrote about computer hardware and software for publications such as CNET, PC World, and WINDOWS Magazine.

Kari Halsted is a User Assistance infrastructure specialist with IBM Rational Software in Canada. She works with information development teams to design and improve the tools and systems they use to create, maintain, and deliver user assistance content. She's had various UA- and Eclipse-related jobs at IBM over the past 12 years, including helping design the first help system in Eclipse and providing help content for the TPTP Eclipse project.

Dr. Lee Anne Kowalski is IBM's User Assistance Technology Lead in the IBM Corporate User Technologies organization. Her team is responsible for developing technology and tools for use in developing user assistance mechanisms in IBM's software projects and delivering help content within software products. The team recently delivered the "IBM User Interface Help System built on Eclipse" tool as an IBM alphaWorks emerging technology, and continues to develop user assistance tools based on Eclipse technologies.

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