DITA and XMetaL Discussion

XMetaL Community Forum DITA and XMetaL Discussion Customising "Create Reusable Component"

  • ChrisTMH

    Customising "Create Reusable Component"

    Participants 2
    Replies 3
    Last Activity 5 years, 3 months ago


    XMetaL Author Enterprise version

    In order to split some files down into smaller files, to make load time faster, we would like to use the reusable component functionality. The only issue we have is that this creates an XML file that uses the ditacomponent DTD, which means we cannot open the split file and edit it with our custom DTD.

    By copying the part of a file we want to split into a new file which we create manually, using our customisation, it is then possible to import this as a reusable component. However, what we want is a user interface similar to the existing “Create Reusable Component”, with the only difference being that our DTD is used.

    Is it possible to customise this form, or are there any standard functions that we could use in a new form to achieve a similar effect? Or would we have to build this from the ground up?



    Derek Read

    Reply to: Customising "Create Reusable Component"

    You mention the ditacomponent.dtd so I assume you are authoring DITA content?

    Your files are large enough that editing is slow, and you wish to avoid that? That's the main issue?
    Files need to be very large (generally) to make editing slow enough to be painful in XMetaL Author Enterprise.
    That is even less likely to happen with DITA (since each topic is typically quite small).

    You also say you have a custom DTD and customization. Is this a specialized DITA DTD?
    If it is a specialized DITA DTD then the Reusable Component feature should work without modification (for authoring and with the DITA Open Toolkit). However, XMetaL Author Enterprise does need to be configured properly to set this up.

    For non-DITA documents the Reuse menu and functionality isn't available as it is designed to be used with DITA. So if that is the case I'm not sure how to help.

    Or perhaps you want to use files created using ditacomponent.dtd with some other system? In this case (assuming it is a validating XML parser) you should be able to provide it with the ditacomponent.dtd as well.

    Or perhaps I'm completely misunderstanding this. I think I need more information or some clarification to help.



    Reply to: Customising "Create Reusable Component"

    1. Yes
    2. Yes that is the main issue
    3. We have some topicrefs that are in excess of 600kb, the one I am currently working with has a table that is 500kb in size on it's own. Editing in itself is not slow, however loading the file takes a good fair few minutes. We use DITA.
    4. Yes, this is a specialised DITA DTD. Using this function to create a different files containing the chosen elements means that the ditacomponent.dtd is referenced, and as our custom elements are not part of this DTD, they are not recognised. The document is thus always invalid and our custom toolbar is not used – changing the DTD to our specialisation solves this, however we want to save our authoring staff from having to do all of this manually.


    Derek Read

    Reply to: Customising "Create Reusable Component"

    I think you should submit everything you have done to XMetaL Support with a good description of where everything needs to be installed. They they can try to set up a similar system to understand what your issue is, what you are trying to solve, and how that might be done. Most of this sounds like something that can be supported. Include a sample XML document that is representative of something that causes issues.

    No guarantees, but it is possible that some kind of solution could be created.

    The “custom toolbar” has me a bit concerned though as extending the DITA authoring functionality in this way is not something that is supported, but I guess we will know once they see everything.

    Perhaps throwing a faster computer at this issue might be the easiest solution for people that need to work with files that have very large tables?


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