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XMetaL Community Forum General XMetaL Discussion Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

  • forumuser

    Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

    Participants 6
    Replies 7
    Last Activity 8 years, 11 months ago

    We currently have MIL-STD (Military Standard) SGML documents that we edit in PTC Arbortext Editor that parse against Air Force provided DTDs. I am researching/investigating the possibility of switching editors.  I downloaded the XMetal Author Enterprise 8.0 trial version and attempted to create a document using the Air Force DTDs but was unsuccessful.  I keep receive errors that the DTD has bad markup declarations.  These are Air Force standard DTDs that are downloaded from the TMSS (Technical Manual Specifications and Standard) site that we cannot alter.  Are there any users that edit SGML documents using Air Force DTDs?

    The error that I receive is:

    Error: on line 1503 of
    38784STD-BV938784STD-BV9.dtd: Bad Markup Declaration. Expected an attribute definition, a parameter separator, or “>” to end the ATTLIST declaration.

    Can XMetal can open SGML documents using the Air Force DTDs?

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

    We have a number of clients authoring to MIL-STD DTDs and authoring SGML. However, there are many different MIL-STD DTDs so it is possible there is an issue with the DTD, or it is possible that you have somehow found a limitation in the software that others are not seeing, which might be triggered by a specific DTD (perhaps a lesser-used one).

    Our parser has supported SGML since the late 1980s (it began life in a previous product called “Author Editor” which was solely an SGML authoring tool) and I think most issues have been ironed out by now. Can't say for sure that you haven't found one though.

    Please contact XMetaL Support with detailed information about your documents and DTDs so they can do some testing and let you know what's going on (presumably you would not want to share sample files on this forum): http://xmetal.com/contact-support/

    Reply

    forumuser

    Reply to: Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

    Thanks for your response.  I have submitted my issue to support.  I can attach the MIL-STD DTD and sample SGML document.

    Are there certain preferences that have to be set in XMetal to allow authoring to MIL-STD DTDs?

    When I launched XMetal, I clicked on the Open button and browsed for the SGML instance. Then I was asked to browse for the DTD.  I located and selected the appropriate DTD and an error occurring stating bad markup declaration.

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

    – “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.

    Reply

    forumuser

    Reply to: Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

    he DTD I tried to use is one of the most commonly used ones (38784STD-BV9).  We do not alter or customize any of the DTDs. Can I upload the DTD and a sample SGML file to see if you can get it to open to author?

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

    If you want to post the files here please do so (in this case all visitors to the forum can view the files).
    If you want to submit a support case via XMetaL Support and provide them that way you can do that as well.

    Reply

    forumuser

    Reply to: Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

    I submitted the issue to Support last Friday, but I haven't heard anything yet.  I wasn't able to upload the  files here because the file extension .sgm and .dtd aren't allowed.

    Reply

    BobWBristolRI

    Reply to: Use XMetal to open SGML – Air Force DTDs

    Sorry – Lurking – Am following your topic as I'm currently digging for the same info (USAF SGML 38784 DTD & FOSI) to use with either a commercial editor like XMetaL or Arbortext.

    If you wouldn't mind, would you let me know how you make out? ( robert williams techresearchgroup com )

    I've done lots of military TMs in XML and SGML, for USAF, Navy, USMC, and Army – mostly with Arbortext and Structured Framemaker.  This USAF SGML thing is a new pain in the a** project potentially, for us (a small TM shop in RI).

    Thanks in advance for reading and your thoughts.

    Regards,

    Bob Williams
    Bristol RI

    Reply

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