Reply to: Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDsNovember 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm
– “Are there certain preferences that have to be set in XMetal to allow authoring to MIL-STD DTDs?”
No. For basic SGML authoring all you need to do is make sure that the DTD is found. However, if a set of customization files (minimum CSS and CTM files) are not found then the authoring experience that is auto-generated can be sub-optimal when compared to using a proper (human created) customization.
In general it is best to create a proper customization for any DTD you are working with. XMetaL Author will auto-generate one for you, but the styling (CSS) and other settings (minimally a CTM file) for most of the MIL-STD DTDs will be lacking because the element and attribute names tend to be non-English terms. The customization auto-generator in XMetaL Author is familiar only with a list of commonly used element names and makes best guesses based on those (such as: p = para = paragraph, image = graphic = img, etc). However, even for words it recognizes the rendered document can be not to your liking for terms that have multiple meanings or contexts. So, ideally a customization should almost always be created by a human being, or the auto-generated one should be tweaked. This is the same as for PTC Arbortext. Their software provides basic authoring support for DTDs it does not include a customization for, but you can customize to provide a nicer authoring experience.
However, the type of errors you are seeing are most likely not related to the customization. They are probably directly related to the DTD itself. So either there are really issues with the DTD or you've somehow found a bug in the software triggered by a valid DTD.