Reply to: Specialized topic types – DITA OT PDF outputFebruary 20, 2009 at 12:19 am
If the DITA OT cannot find your DTDs that is one main reason for output to fail. The only thing that should be necessary in most cases is to tell the DITA OT how to find your specialized DTDs by placing entries in catalog-dita_template.xml.
If you place a copy of your specialized DTDs near the DITA OT's DTDs (here: ..DITA_OTdtd) and reference files relative to that position then things should “just work” (and doing so makes it easier to keep track of the relative paths). In most cases I would recommend putting your specialized DTDs in a folder at the same level as the FAQ demo. This is because FAQ definitely works, so if your's doesn't you can then have a look at how they differ. With a default XMetaL Author Enterprise 5.1 installation on English XP this would be here:
C:Program FilesCommon FilesXMetaL SharedDITA_OTdemo
In some cases a specialization may also provide its own custom output format(s). The DITA OT has a standard method for creating those. But with a proper specialization (one that follows the OASIS specs) that should not be necessary unless you need to do special processing for your particular document type(s) to generate output in a way that differs from the standard output for the element that your specialized element is based on. A good example of this (I believe) would be the “DITA Learning and Training Content Specialization” which includes additional special output processing, if I remember correctly (it's been a while since I looked at it and it has probably changed significantly since then as well).