Divas Dish on Creator Tutorials

Gail Chappell and Chris Kutler research and write tutorials for Sun Java Studio Creator. They work closely with Creator engineers and customers to ensure that they are presenting the best information possible.

Gail: The tutorials are such a cool part of Creator. Once a week, my co-worker brings me an update on the number of times each tutorial was hit the previous week. And every week, I'm delighted. I've been in the technical writing business for a while now--long enough to hear "Who reads the documentation anyway?" So it warms me to see that you're reading the tutorials and that you want more. Yep, we read your comments in the Rate and Review box at the end of each tutorial and on the Creator interest aliases.

Chris: We just published two new tutorials, Delving Into Components and Using the File Upload Component.

Gail: We've collected a lot of statistics on the tutorials so we can determine what is important to you. Using an AJAX Text Completion Component is currently our most popular tutorial. Developing a Portlet Application and Performing Inserts, Updates, and Deletes are also very popular. Our tutorials have been viewed in more than 127 countries.

Chris: I'm working on a tutorial on how to use the Table Component. I posted a forum topic asking what you want to see in this tutorial. If there is something that you want me to cover, please post to that thread. Here's a tip that's coming up in one of our tutorials.

How to Dynamically Turn Off a Column's Sort Button:

To turn off a column's sort button at runtime, set the column's sort property to null, like this:
tableColumn1.setSort(null);
To turn it back on, set the sort property to the FieldKey id or the SortCriteria used to define criteria for sorting. That is, whatever the value of the sort property is at design time when the column's sort button is enabled. For example:
tableColumn1.setSort("TRIPTYPE.TRIPTYPEID");
When you enable sorting on more than one column, you should add a Clear Sort Button to the table. Right-click the table and choose Table Layout from the pop-up menu. Click the Options tab and select Show Clear Sort Button.

Gail: We try to keep the tutorials up-to-date as much as possible, and my main focus right now is to get the tutorials ready for the next release of Creator. I'm also working on a tutorial on how to use the Calendar component.

Chris: I enjoy corresponding with customers, so please feel free to provide us feedback on the tutorials. We are always looking for ways to improve the existing tutorials and suggestions for new topics. You can send us email at CreatorDocsFeedback@Sun.Com. You can also use the Rate and Review box at the end of each tutorial. If you submit questions, please don't forget to give your email address so that we can send you a reply.

Gail: You might hear from me as well, but Chris is more active with customers. I do a lot of behind-the-scenes work, such as coordinating engineering support and prioritizing your tutorial requests.

Chris: My writing passion is equal to my passion for new technology. One of the best parts about working on Sun Java Studio Creator is that I get to work with top-notch engineers who are cranking out bleeding edge stuff -- and I get to play with with the latest and greatest. My main passions are Hawaii, golf, and photography, which go perfectly well together. I am looking forward to my next snow-bird stint in Hawaii because the temperatures where I live are hitting the low 30s (farenheit).

Gail: Family is my first passion, writing is my second passion, and traveling is my third. At one time, my goal was to be a foreign correspondent, but that was before marriage and children. For now, I'm happy writing tutorials and traveling around the United States with my family. My new goal is to visit all 50 states-- so far I've been to 36 states. Hopefully someday I'll make it to Hawaii, which is one of Chris' favorite places to visit.

Chris: In 2007 I started playing the Photo Hunters game where I try to post a photo for each theme of the week. Here is the blog roll of all the players.

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src="http://rpc.blogrolling.com/display.php?r=df9a721099dd884c6817b640d698b551"></script>
Comments:

Hey Gail and Chris, YOU ROCK!!! I mean it, you REALLY rock! Seriously, I want to say that I enjoy working with you so much not only because you keep valuable content coming to the website (the #1 most hit content area on the entire site) but because you inject so much fun and creativity in the process. Keep it coming!
Carla King
Managing Editor
SDN for the Java Studio Creator IDE

Posted by Carla King on December 01, 2005 at 07:18 AM PST #

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