Developing your help system table-of-contents using IBM Task Modeler

Lee Anne Kowalski (Independent)

Tools · Short Talk
Presentation
Tuesday, 15:00, 10 minutes | Room 209/210 | Download in iCal Format

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Lee Anne Kowalski

IBM Task Modeler is an Eclipse-based software tool for modeling human activity as a hierarchy of tasks and related elements. It began life as a tool used by usability practitioners to produce either classic HTA (Hierarchical Task Analysis) diagrams or RAG (Roles and Goals) diagrams. Today, it is increasingly used by technical writers and content developers to iteratively model or design the table-of-contents trees (toc.xml files) for their Eclipse help topics or to develop their DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) maps, from which are generated the toc.xml files for the information. Task Modeler can be used in a workshop, during a field study, or at one's desk to rapidly create, explore, analyse, and share these models. It creates expressive diagrams that inform and engage design stakeholders. This short talk will provide a brief 5-minute introduction, then demonstrate how Task Modeler can be used to model, architect, and preview the table-of-contents tree for your Eclipse help system content and generate the toc.xml files for that table of contents.

To try it out, IBM Task Modeler is available for download as an alphaworks technology: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/taskmodeler

From 2003 to 2007, Dr. Lee Anne Kowalski was IBM's User Assistance Technology Lead in the IBM Corporate User Technologies organization. The 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. In 2006, the team delivered the "IBM User Interface Help System built on Eclipse" tool as an IBM alphaWorks emerging technology. Today, Dr. Kowalski is an independent consultant, helping companies with their information architectures and Eclipse user assistance deployments.

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