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Author Topic: "Please select or create a DITA topic file"  (Read 3141 times)

Posts: 15

« on: September 15, 2011, 12:39:03 PM »

Using XMetal Author Enterprise 6.0 SP1 (version with SP Edition (version

Following the instructions in the help topics: "DITA specializations": "Configure XMetaL" and "Create a specialization template", I install a DITA specialization and a template. I can create a new topic from my template and it has all the right elements available. And I know that XMetaL understands this is a DITA topic type, because the Paragraph and Reuse menus are available.

Now I create a new DITA map, and attempt to insert a reference to my new topic file, using the Map Editor's menu item Insert, Topic Reference. In the Insert Topic Reference dialog, I Browse to my topic file and click OK. I get the error message "Please select or create a DITA topic file". I don't get it. I'm pretty sure my file is a DITA topic file.

Derek Read
Program Manager (XMetaL)

Posts: 2621

« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 03:23:46 PM »

[replying to this old message now, which we dealt with offline, because others are finding it and wondering if they have the same issue]

One requirement that is not stressed in the help for configuring XMetaL Author Enterprise to use a specialized DITA DTD is that all references in the DTD must resolve in order for all DITA functionality to function properly.

XMetaL Author Enterprise itself (using its own XML parser, the one it uses to validate and for "Rules Checking") can use catalog files to locate files it cannot otherwise find. This is why you may get no errors while authoring and why XMetaL's editing view may treat the file as DITA, providing most DITA editing capabilities. However, for a number of features (including the Map Editor) we use some 3rd party parsers (like MSXML) and these do no support catalog lookup. For this reason, all references in the DTD must resolve exactly. This means that the paths such as "..\..\topic.mod" or "topic.mod" and similar must be exact.

This is true for all versions up to and including 7.0. At some point we would like to replace these 3rd party parsers with our own to eliminate this particular requirement. I don't see us getting that work done for 8.0 (other features are more important) so this might be a requirement for some time.

If anyone has similar issues and cannot resolve them it is best to submit a case to XMetaL Support. Include your specialized DTD and let them know where you are placing it. The location is important precisely because paths must resolve.

It is also a good idea to check to see that your specialized DTD has been written correctly. A good reference for creating specialized DITA DTDs is Eliot Kimber's tutorials that he currently hosts here:
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 03:27:30 PM by Derek Read » Logged
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