For the first year since Arbortext was acquired by PTC and AUGI became PTC/User, we had so many presentations submitted that we had to turn several presentations away or schedule them as possible alternates should something happen to one of the selected presenters on their way to the conference. In addition, the quality of presentations submitted was higher than last year, which was higher than the year before.
Slides and papers from the presentations can still be found here: http://portal.ptcuser.org/p/do/sc/catid=46 (login required).
Much of this is due to the commitment of the members of the community to bring PTC/User back to AUGI standards. Just as much is due to the PTC/User board and staff who have worked diligently to make us feel welcome, included, and valued. PTC/User has been unbelievably supportive.
This year marked the second annual Arbortext Users Party. Liz Fraley from Single-Sourcing Solutions brought her Wii. Dayton T Brown and TerraXML sponsored food and drink tickets. Attendance this year at the Party seemed lower than last year, but I think that was mainly due to PTC sending fewer people to the conference overall. IIRC, there were a lot of PTC folks there last year. Everyone had a good time and a chance at the Wii. This year's favorite was Doubles Tennis. There was a lot of the same teamwork we see throughout the community and a good bit of competition as well.
The Arbortext community is very social.
- A large portion of the Ann Arbor-based PTC/Arbortext folks who were in attendance watched the Stanley Cup games in the hotel bar.
- Jason Aiken and I continued our tradition of going out on the town at least one night. This year several folks came out with us. No protesters this year, but we were all treated to a show.
- A good portion of the folks who post regularly to the adepters mailing list could be found in the Horizon's bar most every night until closing.
The Presentations were top-notch:
- As usual, Todd Hicks and David T "DTD" Davis from Wolters Kluwer wowed the crowd with the kind of things they're implementing at Wolters-Kluwer.
- Paul Nagai gave everyone a close-up, detailed look at using DMP.
- We were all lucky enough to have Gareth Oakes from GPSL with us for the week as well. He was part of the original Advent 3B2 (now APP, Advanced Print Publisher) team and essential for answering questions about APP - something we're all really getting to see in 5.4 as a technology preview. Expect to see not only Gareth, but more of the GPSL folks next year.
- James Sulak gave a fantastic presentation on more XML XSL (1.0 and 2.0) tools that make the lives of developer's working with advanced topics easier.
- From Single-Sourcing Solutions, Brandon Ibach and I laid the XSL 1.0 foundation and provided a lot of good basic, cheat-sheet kinds of information for those getting started. Brandon did most of the presentation and it was a good thing too. I nearly missed it!
- Brian Buehling, from Dakota Systems, was back for the first time in a long while. He gave two presentations that had a lot of people talking about strategy and ideas for management when they got back home.
- John Sillari, from Dayton T Brown, gave an excellent presentation about "Managing Expectations in XML Conversion Projects" -- something everyone struggles with.
- Jason Aiken and Suzanne Napoleon duked it out FOSI-style.
- Clay Helberg snagged the Best Arbortext Presenter award for his presentation on "Dynamic Publishing with Arbortext Data Merge."
- Charles Angione gave his community favorite "Tips and Tricks with Editor and Styler" on the post-conference tutorial day. Every year, Paul Nagai threatens to do an "Anti-Charles" version of the same presentation. Charles says he's game for it. Maybe next year!
Thanks to everyone who attended
We often feel that Arbortext doesn't get a lot of attention from PTC. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone on their behalf and to correct an oversight. I'm sure it was a mistake on PTC's part, but I noticed that this has not been mentioned in the press:
While the attendance for PTC/User was down 25% overall, we are delighted at the fact that the attendance for the Arbortext product line remained unchanged. This is a truly remarkable testament to the authoring industry's value of both the product and their commitment to growing their knowledge.
In addition, the Parners and VAR's of PTC who not only presented but also invested in participating by having a presence on the trade show often go unmentioned by PTC. People like Dayton T Brown, Single-Sourcing Solutions, Comtech Services, and many others. This is a great showing of their commitment to the products and the community they support.
Thank you to everyone who participated. We are stronger—as a product and as a community—because of you.
PTC/User will be in the same location next year: Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando Florida. The call for papers will come towards the end of this year. Remember presenters get to attend for free, so make your plans now!