General XMetaL Discussion
DirkDubois January 21, 2014 at 10:25 pm
Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd)January 21, 2014 at 10:25 pmParticipants 4Replies 5Last Activity 8 years, 8 months ago
I am using XMetaL Author, Version#: 4.6.10.028.
I am investigating using LongDescription in the CTM to provide tips for element items and attribute description files, *.att, to provide tips for their corresponding attributes. The XML structure is defined using a custom schema (xsd).
1) Does the attribute description file support xsd schemas if its name matches that of the schema and is placed in the appropriate folder? If so, how would I go about setting up such a mechanism?
2) I am aware of the text wrapping bug associated with LongDescription in older versions of XMetal, but has this been resolved in the new XMetaL Author 8.0 release?
Thank you for all your help.
Dirk DuboisDerek Read January 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm
Reply to: Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd)January 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm
1. The .att file only works with a DTD, not XSD Schemas.
2. This issue has not been addressed in the 8.0 release.DirkDubois January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm
Reply to: Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd)January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm
Thank you very much for the reply. Given that I am using an xsd schema that is documented and that the LongDescription issue has not been resolved in XMetaL 8.0, do you have any suggestions for how I might get a similar style of tool tip or helpful information for our writers as they use XMetaL?Derek Read January 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm
Reply to: Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd)January 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm
Depending on what the documentation looks like you might implement something similar to what we have done for our DITA authoring solution. In that solution pressing Alt+F1 runs a macro that:
1. Gets the current element's name using the Selection.ContainerName property.
2. Generates a link based on that name.
3. Opens a CHM file and navigates to the topic for that element based on the link.
Something similar could be done with HTML files or possibly files in a different format. For DITA this was fairly easy to do because the documentation was organized (for the most part) so that the filename for the topic that describes each element is the same as the element name itself and we were able to easily generate a CHM file from the XML source provided at OASIS.
The Resource Manager can also host ActiveX controls. Hosting Internet Explorer (in this case the WebBrowser control version of Internet Explorer installed on all versions of Windows) in the Resource Manager would allow you to open a local HTML page or a page hosted on a website or a page generated from script. What is displayed there could be altered based on the current selection in the document (again probably using Selection.ContainerName). This could be triggered explicitly by a user clicking a button or pressing a shortcut key combination or such a macro could be placed inside the On_Update_UI event so that it constantly updates the information whenever the Selection moves.
There is also the API Application.SetStatusText() that lets you display text in the status bar area. This could be used in a similar fashion to the previous suggestion, but the amount of information you could provide would be limited to a short text string.
I can think of some other options (including launching a browser externally, putting content into an XFT form, launching some other software if the documentation is in special format) but these are probably the easiest to implement and possibly the least intrusive / most intuitive for a writer to use.Derek Read January 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm
Reply to: Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd)January 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm
Note that none of these scripting solutions are really equivalent to the LongDescription property for the Element List since they require an element to already be in a document in order to get information on it (rather than just selecting it in the Element List).
Depending on how the docs are designed the CHM option or displaying HTML in the Resource Manager (inside IE) could allow you to display a list of all elements that someone could look at before insertion, or if a CHM was designed well it might include a table of contents that lists all elements, or a page with elements and some relatively short description for each. These could be displayed at any time (with no need to get input from the writer as to which particular element they are working with or want information on).
I have asked our development team to look at seeing if they can fix your #2 issue for our 9.0 release.DirkDubois January 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm
Reply to: Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd)January 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm
Thank you so much for the detailed response. We do in fact have a chm where each element is its own page. An F1 style link that jumps to the appropriate portion of the help seems like the best solution for us. Do you have any documentation I should look at to develop macros for XMetaL that open CHMs? Also, would this solution work if you select a given element from the tags on view? Thank you for all your help.
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