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Home » Eclipse Projects » Platform - User Assistance (UA) » Re: General user documentation question
Re: General user documentation question [message #609393] Thu, 07 February 2008 20:03
Eclipse UserFriend
Originally posted by:

Hi Pete,

I'm not part of the Eclipse development team. I will respond with some
things that I am aware of as someone who's attended EclipseCon and
conversations with committers working on various Eclipse projects.

I think the answer you'll get from Eclipse committers is "It depends".

The reason is because the answer depends on what you picture is the
"Eclipse development group". It is not one monolithic team. Eclipse as a
whole consists of many different projects, and each project can choose
their methods to generate and manage the user documentation associated
with their project.

In addition, if by "Eclipse", you mean the Eclipse Platform project, or
the Eclipse Software Developers Kit (SDK) specifically, that too is
componentized, meaning it is made up of different software components
that are built by different teams. For example, the team working on the
PDE could choose to always use PDE itself to create the documentation
files necessary for the PDE help, while the JDT team could choose a
different method if they want.

Eclipse itself was architected to be flexible. That flexibility allows
developers who commit code to use whatever mechanism they find best to
generate and manage the user documentation--as long as the content files
that get deployed into the system match the formats (e.g., DTDs) that
the underlying system expects.

At a project level, I believe the Data Tools Project is sourcing their
user documentation files in DITA XML, and then transforming that output
using the DITA Open Toolkit to create the resulting content files that
get deployed into the Data Tools Project components. I think that in the
past, the Web Tools Project also used DITA XML. Other projects might use
other tools to generate the file formats required by the Eclipse user
assistance infrastructure.

Hope this helps--if only to generate some follow-up discussion,

Lee Anne

Pete Ellis wrote:
> Hello all,
> I suppose I'm cross-posting this question from the eclipse.platform.ui
> newsgroup, but my curiosity is getting the best of me. Can anyone in the
> Eclipse development group chime in on what mechanism is used to generate and
> manage the user documentation HTML that is displayed via the Help framework?
> Is there a specific web publishing package or HTML authoring tool that the
> Eclipse team uses?
> I'm in the position of having to write user documentation for my company's
> Eclipse-based tool sets, and am looking to adopt an approach that is known
> to work well.
> Thanks for any thoughts on this,
> -Pete
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