DITA and XMetaL Discussion

XMetaL Community Forum DITA and XMetaL Discussion XMetaL 6.0 crashes when using the type attribute on <xref>

  • MarcB

    XMetaL 6.0 crashes when using the type attribute on <xref>

    Participants 1
    Replies 2
    Last Activity 12 years, 3 months ago

    I have been evaluating XMetaL 6.0 for use with DITA and have experienced regular crashes. I believe I have narrowed it down to the following:
    I add information to the type attribute on elements to drive the DITA-FMx plugin for FrameMaker, which we currently use to generate PDF from DITA in our corporate look&feel.
    Examples are:
    url” type=”fm:Header & Page”/>.
    As soon as I have instances of these in my document, XMetaL crashes with a frequency that makes it unusable. This usage of the type attribute drives a) the FrameMaker DITA-FMx plugin dialogs and b) formatting in PDF. The type attribute is defined as CDATA, so though the values used are proprietary, they are valid against the DTD.
    Editing documents without this use of the type attribute works fine.

    This is a severe obstacle to my idea of integrating XMetaL users with FrameMaker users with the long-term intent of taking out FrameMaker out of the authoring mix, and just use some instances of FrameMaker/DITA-FMx for PDF publishing until we get a automated solution using OTK.

    Any ideas?


    Su-Laine Yeo

    Reply to: XMetaL 6.0 crashes when using the type attribute on <xref>

    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for reporting this issue. We haven't heard other reports of crashes related to the type attribute on elements before. I did a quick test and haven't yet been able to reproduce the problem on my machine. There are a few things that would help us to better understand the problem and find a solution:

    1) Could you please download and install the patch here: http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php/topic,915.msg3679.html and see if that resolves the issue?

    2) What version of Windows are you using?

    3) Are you using any antivirus software?

    4) Can you provide more details on types of things you are doing when the crashes happen? E.g. typing in the document, inserting elements, opening or closing dialog boxes.

    5) If you could zip up and email me some examples of files that were produced using DITA-FMX, that would be great. Please contact me at [email protected].

    6) XMetaL Author Enterprise 5.5 has been in use for longer than 6.0, and is known to be very stable. Please let me know if you would like us to send you a copy.

    Best regards,



    Reply to: XMetaL 6.0 crashes when using the type attribute on <xref>

    Hello Su-Laine
    Thank you for your response (and indeed our nice conversation at the TeKom conference last November in Wiesbaden, Germany).
    I installed the patch as described and first smoke tests yielded no more crashes with documents that have the custom type attribute setting on xref tags. I am slightly bemused, since I definitely saw a pattern around our use of the xref.
    Anyway, just to complete the picture, I will answer your questions.
    2) XP, version 5.1 SP3
    3) MCafee, which is updated automatically on company hardware connected to the network. So I'd rather not touch it.
    4) The crashes would typically occur whenever I clicked between closing tags to insert another one, or when clicking inside a PCDATA element wanting to type.
    5) If you are still interested in seeing examples of DITA files prepared with XMetaL for production via DITA-FMx, let me know.
    6) One main motivation for using XMetaL 6.0 is the support for DITA Book Maps to serve DITA-FMx processing of Book Maps.

    Best regards,
    Marc Beckers
    Software AG


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