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Derek Read

Reply to: Customization of XMetal

Newer versions can typically read older RLX files. We don't support 2.0 any longer so I cannot say for sure. That is a very old release. I suspect it would not be an issue.

You will find some information about “rules files” in the XMetaL Developer help in the Customization Guide, but in general you do not need to worry about it so the documentation does not go into great detail. If you provide your DTD to XMetaL Author 6.0 (or any other version) it will automatically generate and manage the RLX file for you. There are some very specific use cases where you might choose to deliver the RLX instead of the DTD. The main one being that you wish to “protect” your DTD (we have some partners that do this). However, for the average customization you can pretty much completely ignore it as long as XMetaL can find your DTD.

Clear Case:
In order to support ClearCase you do not need a connector. You are free to author your XML in XMetaL Author and then use the ClearCase tools to manage these files. A connector would simply attempt to make some of this functionality accessible through the XMetaL Author Enterprise “Repository” menu. Having a connector in place does have some advantages especially when it comes to “link management” (linking from one XML document to another either to incude images located in a CMS, general linking to other documents, or in the case of DITA for example for “conrefs”). When a connector is in place and a customization for your DTD is written properly this link management just works automatically (in theory).

CTM / Assets / Drag and Drop:
First thing you should note is that the Assets tab was deprecated long ago and although it is still in the product it is no longer supported. It could not be made compliant with newer versions of Windows (Vista and 7) and so will be removed. This does not mean you cannot have similar functionality as the product supports the addition of new tabs (with the ResourceManager.AddTab method outlined in the XMetaL Developer Programmer's Guide) and you are free to load Internet Explorer or any other ActiveX control into such a tab so you could easily reproduce this without using Assets. You may wish to continue to use Assets until we completely remove it (the timing of that is uncertain) but I think you should consider this as one thing to add to your to-do list.

The CTM file will not help with allowing people to drop items into a document. In order to enable drag and drop will need to create an On_Drop_* macro for a particular type of content. This is outlined in the XMetaL Developer Programmer's Guide. Working with On_Drop_* can be difficult so you may wish to consider creating an On_Click event inside the HTML page (assuming your titles are in an HTML page) hosted inside IE hosted inside the Resource Manager. This On_Click event would instantiate XMetaL Author as a COM object and then simply use the various APIs available for inserting the title. There are many so it would be difficult to say which is best for your case. Another advantage to this is that the user need not drop the title into the exact position in the document for it to succeed in this case. This alternative solution would be able to decide if a title was valid at the current position, whether or not it would look for the next valid location to insert one, insert any missing elements if necessary, etc. In theory that could be done with On_Drop_* as well but it seems like it would be easier this way (as it will be entirely contained within script). Perhaps after reading about what is required for On_Drop_* events you will have a better understanding of the complexity.