Home Forums DITA and XMetaL Discussion Does DITA OT support a back cover?? Reply To: Does DITA OT support a back cover??

Derek Read

Reply to: Does DITA OT support a back cover??

There are no special elements or attributes for cover (front or back) in DITA (1.0 and 1.1 anyway) that I know of.

It seems that companies requiring such things are relying on the DITA Open Toolkit to extract any required information for front covers from the main merge file, and that often this information is coming originally from within the map's element, or the map's element or attribute. I have heard in some cases people extracting information from the very first topic referenced in a map as well (or at least experiments along those lines).</p> <p>Out of the box the DITA OT doesn't do anything like this for back covers, but something similar could be coded into the XSLT / XSL-FO (I assume we're discussing PDF here as covers don't generally apply to other formats).</p> <p>It seems to make perfect sense to organize all the information for a book inside <bookmeta> with that data being extracted as needed and placed on the front or back cover depending on what bit of information they represent and where they need to appear. For example, you may have an author's name on the front cover in large type and the same exact text in smaller type on the back cover.</p> <p>An alternative to consider might be to include a <topicref> inside the <backmatter> that has a special value set for @outputclass, perhaps the value “backcover”, with the href referencing a topic file containing various things you might wish to include on the back cover, then tweak the DITA OT to look for this and handle it and the content it has as a special case. Other element types might be used here but I think most of them have specific uses already (like colophon for example). I think referencing a topic file might give you some flexibility with the content over other things like <topicmeta>. It also means you could in theory reuse it for other books by referencing it in another map. That raises the question of whether you would ever reuse this in different maps (I can think of scenarios where that would never be the case and some where it might actually make sense).</topicmeta></backmatter></topicref></bookmeta>