Two Talks: SWT on Cocoa / Helping Your Users

Boris Bokowski, Steve Northover (Oracle), Scott Kovatch (Oracle), , Achim Loerke (BREDEX GmbH)

Eclipse Platform - UI / RCP · Long - curated
Tuesday, 10:10, 50 minutes | Great America 1


One short talk on how SWT was ported to Cocoa, another short talk on techniques for making applications and plug-ins more user-friendly.

Carbon Dating: The treacherous path from Carbon to Cocoa for SWT

Let's take a time machine back to 2002. At that time, an important decision was made. Eclipse had to run on the Mac and needed to be native, but the Mac offered two completely different and incompatible operating system widget API's: carbon and cocoa. We chose carbon. Fast forward to 2008. It seems that the right answer was cocoa! This talk will examine that decision, the history, politics, sweat, blood and pain and describe the interesting technical challenges of the SWT port to cocoa.

Where do I click? Making Eclipse Applications User-Friendly

An application that works is only half the battle. If the user doesn't understand it, they'll never be able to appreciate all the wonderful features. They may not even get past the first steps.

Fortunately, Eclipse doesn't just offer a development environment for applications, it also contains a wide range of help sources for users. This talk covers some of the opportunities available to teams developing Eclipse applications to make them more user friendly, and to reduce the amount of documentation a user has to read to understand a program.

Topics covered will include the Welcome Pages, cheat sheets, context-sensitive help, context-sensitive tooltips on GUI components, "nag dialogs" and will also include references to the Eclipse Style Guide.

The talk is suited to both technical and non-technical participants. Each area will first be discussed in terms of what it is, how it can be used to make the user experience better, and tips and tricks for using it in projects. After the presentation of each feature, the implementation details will be shown and discussed, so that technical participants can see how these features can be incorporated into applications.

Boris Bokowski is a Software Developer with IBM Rational in Ottawa, Canada and a full-time Eclipse committer working on the Platform UI team and the new e4 project. He is part of the "API police" for the Eclipse Platform, and a member of the Eclipse Architecture Council. Boris is looking at the UI side of the RCP, and among other areas owns the JFace viewers component. He is also the main architect of the JFace data binding framework. He holds a PhD in computer science from Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Germany.

Steve Northover is a member of the Eclipse Project PMC, father of SWT and team lead for that component. His interests include programming languages, music, operating systems, optimization and user interfaces.

Scott Kovatch is a Senior Computer Scientist at Adobe Systems and committer on the SWT project. His main interests are Cocoa and Java UI development as well as Mac OS X deployment technologies.

Alexandra earned a degree and an MA in linguistics from York University before starting work at Bredex GmbH. She is engaged in various roles in the product development process, including conception, design and planning as well as documentation, web demos and customer support. Currently she is also learning Java to understand what these software developers are talking about.

Achim Loerke started software development in 1982 after earning his diploma in electronics. He began working at BREDEX GmbH in 1987 and is now co-owner and director of the company. Beginning in 1995 he successfully utilized Java in several customer projects. He is also the principal architect of GUIdancer, a commercial Eclipse based tool for automated testing of Swing, SWT/RCP and HTML GUIs. Doing consulting and project management for customers gives him ample opportunities to apply his favorite subject of automated software quality assurance and automated testing. In addition he represents his company as an Eclipse Foundation member. Achim is a committer for the Eclipse ORMF technology project.

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