Home Forums DITA and XMetaL Discussion Menucascade in the Short Description of a Task Reply To: Menucascade in the Short Description of a Task

Derek Read

Reply to: Menucascade in the Short Description of a Task

I finally figured out what you're doing…

This seems to be a very specific issue inherent to the XHTML output produced by the DITA OT. All of the other formats that use that output, ie: anything that includes HTML as the primary content, including 'Multiple HTML', 'HTML Help (CHM)', 'WebHelp', 'Eclipse Content', 'Eclipse Help', 'JavaHelp', etc, will therefore inherit this same issue.

I can reproduce this with the following setup:

1. A map with this structure (the important part is that the task1.xml is referenced inside a nested topicref):

test map

2. The file task1.xml needs the following content in :

  task 1
  Go to ToolsOptions for this task.
this is step 1

3. Generate output to any format that uses XHTML (as listed above).

4. Open the output file corresponding to topic1.xml (ie: topic1.html) it will contain the content from the of task1.xml inside a section listing links related to this file, but it will not have been processed to include the separator text ” > ” between each of the elements and so that content will appear to run together in the output.

Actual HTML Output:

Desired HTML Output:

Note that PDF outputs do handle this structure, so that tells me this is not done as part of the “topic merge” that the DITA Open Toolkit does, it occurs after that during the transformation to HTML (vs FO for PDF).

From what I can tell the DITA OT was simply not designed to take this into account for XHTML-based outputs. Extra processing will probably need to be added to discover this structure inside the element and format it correctly for output.

If all browsers supported CSS “generated content” (using the pseudo-element “:before” and “:after” together with the “content” property) then there might be a simple CSS fix for this. However, I wouldn't consider such a CSS fix a “true” fix anyway as most people would probably prefer this text to “really be there” rather than included as generated text using CSS rules. The point is fairly mute anyway as at this point I don't believe many browsers have support for this type of CSS, so to really fix this I think the text needs to really be injected in there by the DITA OT.

I would suggest filing a bug with the DITA Open Toolkit Project here:

From what I can tell nobody has reported this issue yet. Searching for “uicontrol” turns up one unrelated issue there.

When you file this with the DITA OT project I would submit it in reference to the “XHTML transtype” which is the same as the “Multiple HTML” output in XMetaL (because the DITA OT itself does not include “WebHelp”).