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Author Topic: DITA error - can't start XMetaL  (Read 3383 times)
larose
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« on: September 25, 2009, 12:18:01 PM »

When I try to launch XMetaL 5.0, I get this message:

"rules checking cannot be turned on - the element p is not allowed at this point in its container task."

Here's what I did. I had a trial version of XMetaL 5.5, which is somewhat more forgiving of errors. Just to do a quick test, I threw some files together that had a couple of DITA irregularities, but these did not preclude saving the files and successfully generating pdf output.

Well, my company bought 5.0 instead of 5.5, and now I'm in a real pickle. Despite deleting all the old files, 5.0 still seems to have an old DITA error stuck in its head. I get the error, and the process shuts down (though task manager still shows it; I have to delete it from there as well).

I have rebooted, removed the entire installation, and reinstalled, but XMetaL can't "forget" the error and still cannot start. I'm thinking I probably have to get into the registry and delete something, but I am not a regedit guru and am afraid I'll mess things up even more. But it's very frustrating that I can't even run XMetaL now at all, no matter what I do!
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Derek Read
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 12:46:45 PM »

XMetaL is telling you the file is invalid. You should be able to put the files into a valid state by moving or removing the element(s) that are not allowed.

Note that our 5.5 release ships with the 1.1 version of DITA configured by default (which is what you would have authored to), while the 5.0 release shipped with the 1.0.1 version of the DITA DTDs.

Going backwards from a newer version of DITA to an older version could be troublesome. OASIS created the 1.0.1 and 1.1 versions of the DTDs to be forward compatible but not backward compatible. The error you are reporting about <p> not being allowed is not necessarily due to the DTD version being different, but there are likely many other problems you will see, depending on how you have written your documents.

You have two real options as far as I can tell:
1. Use the 5.5 or 5.5 SP1 release which ships with the same version of the DTDs that you originally authored to.
2. Correct your documents so that they are valid according to the version of the DTDs you are currently authoring to.

If you would like us to have a look please send a copy of a sample file to XMetaL Support through the normal support channels. If your company purchased "maintenance" with the product then you are entitled to support and they can confirm my suspicions above. However, you would also be entitled to use XMetaL Author Enterprise 5.0 SP1, 5.1, 5.5 or 5.5 SP1 as well -- so if possible I would try to find out if there is some reason your company feels you need to use 5.0 and if there is not simply use the current (5.5 SP1) release.
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