In which are collected a few random ideas and articles about DITA, DITA-OT, and possibly related subjects.
Why, oh WHY, do you care what's in my content reference?September 18, 2017
In DITA, when you use the @conref content reference mechanism on an
element with required children, you still have to put in the required children. This is a pain, and
nobody likes it. This rule is a combination of DITA's reuse design with basic XML rules, but it's
not intuitive, and everyone is confused the first time they run into it. If you forget to do
add those children, you get parser errors, build errors, and more. Which leads you to either shake
your fist at DITA in general, or to find the closest DITA tools developer and start
Making zippy HTML (or other zippy output)June 13, 2017
Have you ever wished that DITA-OT could return your files as a zip, instead of thousands
of little files? Are you willing to experiment with a small DITA-OT plugin, or tweak one you've
already got? If no – that's great! Have a good day! Otherwise – read on to learn about a new feature
in DITA-OT 2.5!
But what if I want a whole new transform dot dot dot?March 21, 2017
In my many years talking about DITA-OT transformation types, perhaps the most requested format
has been "morse code". I'm pretty sure everybody was joking dot dot dot but why should I let that stop me?
Getting Gorey with DITAFebruary 15, 2017
I … apologize. I just … I'm so sorry. I present to you … The DITAcrumb Tinies.
Happy HTML for happier contentJanuary 31, 2017
Do you pretty much always use the same options when building your HTML? (Assumed answer: yes.)
Do you find it annoying having to type them in and/or set up a batch script and/or copy paste your
Ant properties every time you have a new input file? (Assumed answer: Yes.)
Would you like to know how to set up a single "option" that stands in for "all these options I have
to remember to set every time"? (Assumed answer: Yes!)
Well then I'm going to tell you how and why to set up your own transform type! (Assumed response: wait, what?)
No, no, no, no, not another
@domains discussionJanuary 3, 2017
This is my attempt to work out my feelings about the DITA @domains
attribute. It's very technical. If you're reading this, you probably shouldn't be. If you want
something technical and/or DTD related, go read my
instead - it's at least supposed to be easy to read.
DITA vs. DITA-OT?June 27, 2016
For years, almost everybody in the world of DITA has at some point confused DITA and
DITA-OT. Who owns what? How are they developed? As one of the few working on both, I may also be
responsible for at least some of the confusion. So, here is my view of the differences. Also,
Who cares about modular DITA grammar files, anyway?June 2, 2016
A summary / paraphrasing / imaginary retelling of a conversation I've had
with several people over the last couple years. In most of these conversations I'm asked a lot of
questions, like "Does the specification really say this?", or "Surely I'm reading this wrong?", or
"Why could the specification possibly care?"
Where, oh where, is my startcmd going?November 2015
The startcmd batch script was added to the DITA Open Toolkit as a way to simplify the complex process of building DITA content. Over time it became the most common way to use the toolkit (outside of an editor or content management system). Plans to remove this batch script in one of the 2.X releases have understandably raised concerns, but changes within the toolkit itself really mean that startcmd is no longer needed.
DITA-OT Sample plug-ins
A collection of sample DITA-OT plugins to help you get started with your own customizations.