Interview with Kevin Dietz, Timpani Software, docbook for small teams

This week’s podcast features Kevin Dietz from Timpani Software. Timpani Software develops BuildBeat, a comprehensive automated software build management system, and MergeMagician, an automated merging server designed to work with your existing software configuration management (SCM) system.

It’s my pleasure to present Kevin Dietz so he can share his experience with dynamic publishing systems and the reasons for moving away from traditional publishing tools. Figuring out how to move from proprietary authoring tools to DocBook not only freed his content, but inspired a new product line for Timpani Software.


Interview with Chris Makler, Aplia, customization master

This week’s podcast features Chris Makler from Aplia. Aplia is part of Cengage Learning.  Chris works on a team that has built an interesting application on top of Arbortext Editor. They’re using a lot of different technology to create an educational application for teaching economics.

Customization is a tricky subject. Used intelligently, and with prudence, it can be extremely effective. Arbortext Editor has hooks available to developers to touch every part of the document and Arbortext application. Aplia is one of those cases where they’re doing it well and in pursuit of an industry application where it works. Continue reading “Interview with Chris Makler, Aplia, customization master”

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.