Arbortext Styler 7.0 includes Stylesheet IDE

Arbortext Styler 7.0 includes new JavaScript IDE for better stylesheet development

APP became available to anyone who wanted to do high-quality print output about midway through the 5.4 release stream. Since 6.0 we’ve been encouraging people creating new stylesheets to use APP as their main rendering engine over FOSI. It’s new technology for many of us, but it’s so powerful that the benefits curve has always surpassed the learning curve.

In 6.0, APP source edits were new and a bit tough to learn. Documentation was there, but there was a lot of it and it was unfamiliar. It changed as APP Desktop features got more exposed in Styler throughout the 6.0 and 6.1 releases.

From time to time, we still find customers using FOSI when they’re creating new stylesheets. (We even find it in new stylesheets created by some of the other PTC partners.) Doing this now carries a serious risk: With 7.0 PTC has moved FOSI and XSL-FO engines to Sustained Support.  You should be using APP as the base rendering engine for Arbortext PDF output.

There are a few APP coding courses around out there — all in the hands of Qualified Arbortext Channel Partners. Until now, your only option was to take in-person or in-center training from one of them.

For the first time, with 7.0, it’s easier to make the move to APP. You can use JavaScript as your primary stylesheet coding language (this part isn’t new) and you can use the brand-new IDE that comes with both Styler and APP Desktop (this is!).  The IDE can really help you learn APP source coding.

The IDE has code completion. It has syntax validation. It has a debugger. It’s never been easier to find out if what you think is happening in your stylesheet is what actually is happening. And that’s invaluable to stylesheet developers.

If you’re ready to move your Stylersheets to APP, we’re one of the partners ready to train you. Just drop us a line and we’ll help you understand how to train your brain to think APP and move on from FOSI.

Interview with Suzanne Napoleon, FOSI Expert

This week’s podcast is an interview with Suzanne Napoleon. If you’ve been a part of the Arbortext community for any time at all, you know the name Suzanne Napoleon. Suzanne has been the voice of FOSI for at least 15 years on the adepters mailing list, at conferences, and has helped numerous individuals learn the intricacies of FOSI development — from beginner to expert. Her FOSI tutorials have been invaluable to many people in every industry.

It is my pleasure to talk to her about her experiences, her expertise, and her advice for all of us who want to get better at what we do every day. Continue reading “Interview with Suzanne Napoleon, FOSI Expert”

PTC/User 2010 Arbortext Edition (part 1)

How the PTC/User 2010 conference stacked up for Arbortext users. Pointers to pictures and session write-ups

by Liz Fraley

Every year, PTC/User improves for Arbortext users. This was the first year we had to turn presenters away. It was also the first year we didn’t have to extend the submission deadline because there were so many great presentation submitted. For me, PTC/User is like Summer Camp. The same folks come frequently enough (every year or every other year) that you start to recognize them and look forward to finding what they’ve done personally and professionally in the last year. You grow your expertise through collaboration and personal relationships. You give back.  This year was no exception. Despite the recession, Arbortext attendee numbers were up overall (AGAIN).

My favorite two sessions were the User-to-User panel and the Formatter Shootout. Each was well attended. The Shootout grew much bigger than expected. Originally, the presentation had three technology representatives: FOSI, XSL-FO, and APP (3B2). At the last minute, we added Zarella Rendon, representing Styler. It’s always interesting to see how the other side approaches the same problem. (15% of Arbortext attendees were APP/3B2 users.)

At PTC/User, the PTC product managers attend each session. It gives them a good insight as well to hear what customers are really doing. The Shootout and the User-to-User panel were fertile ground for them to see how different customers have adopted the different technologies to what end results.

All Software is designed with particular usage in mind and, invariably, all software gets used in ways the original designers never expected. As a programmer who’s written lots of scripts that “were never meant for production”, I know first-hand how they always, always end up in production. User sessions are great forums for learning new tricks and new possibilities. And we all learned about situations where we might benefit by adopting one another’s technology. Luckily, as Arbortext customers, we have all FOUR technologies right at our fingertips!

Take a look at some of the pictures from this year’s event in our Flickr stream.