Home Forums DITA and XMetaL Discussion launching shell scripts. Reply To: launching shell scripts.

Derek Read

Reply to: launching shell scripts.

I see. What you mean is that you want the functionality you are seeing in the Windows help files to be in your final output, say a CHM, HTML or perhaps a PDF or other type of output?

I was answering as if you wanted to customize XMetaL Author to provide this functionality while authoring (this type of question is very common as we have many developers on the forum that manage large groups of “authors” and need to give them additional authoring capabilities not built into the product).

You have not said which document type your are authoring to, but since you have posted in this board, which is about DITA and XMetaL I assume you are authoring DITA documents. Since you have XMetaL Author 4.6 that would also mean you have the (very very old and very simplistic DITA authoring functionality) “XMetaL 4.6 Author DITA Edition” which was an add-on to XMetaL Author 4.6.

Since I'm guessing a little bit here, I'll break this into two sections for clarity:

1. You ARE authoring DITA documents:

DITA it has no standardized way to code this type of thing into the XML markup that the DITA Open Toolkit can use to generate the required code in the output to enable this.

Here's the strategy I would use to begin working on this:

1. Pick apart and have a look at the code in a particular output format that has this functionality so you know what needs to be in your output to do the same thing.
2. Generate output in the same output format and then hand code something similar to what you found in step 1 and test to see that functionality works.
3. Decide what you will put into your DITA XML to support modifications to the DITA OT that will generate the right code in the output.
4. Modify the DITA OT to generate the right code.
Note that 3 and 4 will likely be done at the same time as they feed into each other.
Also note that you might be able to get away with using a regular DITA either by recognizing the file type that is being referenced and adding code to do that into the DITA OT, or perhaps by adding additional standard markup such as a special value for @outputclass you can use to trigger off of.

2. You are NOT authoring DITA documents and are using some other schema:

This means you are probably using a publishing system that does not use the DITA Open Toolkit to generate your output. Check with the people that built this system to see if they can add this functionality for you. You will need to work with them to decide on the markup that needs to be inserted into your XML to support this functionality in the output.