Created by Stefan Rennick Egglestone 2005-12-06
Last update Stefan Rennick Egglestone 2006-06-29

These web-pages are designed to introduce the EQUATOR Component Toolkit (ECT) to both users and software developers who have not used it before. It is hoped, after having read these web-pages, users will have sufficient information to be able to download, install and run ECT, and developers will be able to obtain ECT source code and add their own contributions to it.

The best place to start if you wish to gain an understanding of why ECT exists and what it is for is to read the ECT Overview. This describes our motivation in constructing ECT, introduces some concepts necessary to understand the rest of the documentation on this website, and describes some useful features of the software.

After having read the overview, users should read the Getting started with ECT guide, which explains how to download and install ECT, and the Learning to use ECT tutorial, which introduces its most important features. Developers unfamiliar with ECT should also probably read these documents, but after having done this, they can learn how to obtain and build ECT from sourcecode. The developer section of this website also contains further docs describing the software structure of ECT, and how to add new components to it. Those interested in the more experimental features of ECT might also read Using the Scripter, Integrating processing applets into ECT and Using the display editor. Users whose internet connection is through a web-cache/proxy might also like to read Configuring ECT for web-caches/proxies as this might affect the operation of some ECT components.

Finally, these web-pages contain information about the various components provided with ECT to interface to hardware devices and to perform software processing on information gathered from these devices. See the Categorised component list, Alphabetical component list or the Technology-based component list for more details (although you may need to read the docs recommended above before you understand what a component actually is!)

Users and developers who are interested in ECT may also wish to join the two mailing lists that relate to this project.

We hope that these web-pages represent a simple and easy to understand introduction to ECT, but if you are confused by any of their contents, find errors or have suggestions for how either they or ECT itself can be improved, please send an email to eithr of the ECT mailing lists or to Stefan Rennick Egglestone.