DITA and XMetaL Discussion
gcrews August 4, 2010 at 1:57 am
Xmetal default output folderAugust 4, 2010 at 1:57 amParticipants 2Replies 3Last Activity 12 years, 6 months ago
Right now we are using a file system for our Dita content. we are ending up with tons of junk output in folders within the directories of our content. I know you can setup the output so it defaults to a specific folder. I want to setup xmetal so it generates all output to a local folder. The problem I see with that though is content will get garbled up in the single output folder over time. Is there any way to have xmetal default to a single directory but append a time stamp of some kind to the directory name? Example would be “c:output8-3-6-50”Derek Read August 4, 2010 at 11:44 pm
Reply to: Xmetal default output folderAugust 4, 2010 at 11:44 pm
Is the real issue that you wish to separate your outputs automatically in dated folders, or that you don't like all the “extra” stuff that is generated to get the final output and would like XMetaL to automatically clean that stuff up and leave just the files considered final output for any particular output format (ie: just the *.pdf file, just *.chm, etc?)gcrews August 5, 2010 at 12:00 am
Reply to: Xmetal default output folderAugust 5, 2010 at 12:00 am
I would like to separate it out for both reasons and a few others.
Adds a bunch of extra files that have to get searched thorough when using windows search.
When you generate to the same output folder no one can have the file open.
If your editing the output css it can sometimes override the toolkit css and not get replaced.
If there are any compile errors in individual files you end up with old data in the final output.
I have run into this many times where I am modifying the toolkit any it uses old output files.
More and more writers are generating output for files and maps throught the day.
From experience it would just seem better to generate output to individual users computer. The only way I see to do that in XMetaL is to define the output to a single location. The problem with that is that every output you run will be going to the same chm_out folder or what not. Generating output to a folder that potently has files already in it just seems like a bad idea. I actually tried once to add a clean output directory stage to the toolkit but XMetaL locks on to a file in the output directory as soon as the compile starts. I'm also weary about having it clean out the output directory since someone could possibly specify an output folder that has non output content in it. Example would be a user just browsing to their desktop and generating output.
PS:about the “extra” files there are about 30 or so hm*.xml or something files that have appeared up over time. I assume they are temp files XMetaL has forgotten about that can be removed.Derek Read August 5, 2010 at 12:53 am
Reply to: Xmetal default output folderAugust 5, 2010 at 12:53 am
The kind of issues you are running into seem to be something that might be handled well by a CMS system.
We have clients that not only manage their documents in their CMS but also kick off the DITA OT output from their CMS system (and in some cases perhaps also have that output checked in as a particular version of that output). We have at least one partner that specializes in installing the DITA OT onto a server and integrating it with CMS processes and workflows.
It sounds to me like you might be about half way between these two setups:
a) People working alone with files stored on their local system and generating output there.
b) People working together on shared DITA projects that manage their content in a CMS and produce output from there.
Not sure if you are using a CMS or not (sounds like no)? So are you basically storing your DITA maps and topics on a file share (aka: network share / shared folder) and then generating output to the same place (or nearby on the same machine)?
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