DITA-FMx User Guide

Setting Up to Use the Generate Output Command

Details on setting up DITA-FMx to communicate with the DITA Open Toolkit.

The DITA-FMx > Generate Output command lets you generate output through the DITA Open Toolkit. This command provides two main options, you can generate output from the current topic or map file, or by using a specific Ant target. The setup required for these two options is described below.

DITA-FMx makes a call to the DITA Open Toolkit (DITA-OT) through a batch file named ~ant-build.cmd. This file is generated on the fly in the FrameMaker\DITA-FMx folder. In order for this batch file to work properly, the environment variables that define the location of Java and Ant (and possibly other utilities) must be properly defined. DITA-FMx provides the DITA-OT Environment Setup File option (in DITA Options, External Applications dialog) which lets you specify a batch file that loads the proper environment settings when the OT is run. If you use this parameter and follow the instructions below, your OT connection should be fairly simple. However, if you use an older version of the OT or have special requirements you may need to ensure that the environment settings are defined globally.

If you are using DITA-OT 1.4.1 or later, we have found that you must use Java 1.5 or higher. We recommend that you use the “fullpackage” version of the DITA-OT. Note that it is fine to use the latest version of the DITA-OT (which supports DITA 1.2) even though you’re using DITA-FMx 1.1 (which supports DITA 1.1).

Complete the following steps to ensure that you are able to generate output through the Open Toolkit:

  1. Download the latest “full” ZIP of the DITA-OT (for example DITA-OT1.5.4_full_easy_install_bin.zip) from SourceForge <sourceforge.net/projects/dita-ot/files/DITA-OT Stable Release/>. Extract the contents of this file to your local file system into a directory named C:\DITA (or similar). It is important that the directory path that contains the DITA-OT directory has no spaces in any of the directory names. After extracting the contents of the OT archive, you will have a path such as C:\DITA\DITA-OT1.5.4.
  2. Download and install the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 5 or higher (www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads). (Yes the DITA-OT install instructions say JDK1.4.2, but that won't work with OT 1.4 it appears. You must use version 5 or higher!
  3. Set your JAVA_HOME environment variable to the path of the newly installed JDK (perhaps "C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_04").
  4. Copy the ditafmx-ant.xml file from the FrameMaker\DITA-FMx folder to your DITA-OT folder.
  5. In the DITA-OT folder, copy the startcmd.bat file to ditafmx-startcmd.bat (in the same folder copy the file to a new name).
  6. Open the ditafmx-startcmd.bat file in Notepad (or other text editor) and comment out the last line (add a “REM “ in front of the line). If you don't comment out this line, it will still work, you'll just get an empty shell that hangs around each time you build. It should look like this:
    REM start "DITA-OT" cmd.exe
  7. In the DITA Options dialog, select the External Apps button to display the External Application Settings dialog. Set the value of the DITA-OT Directory option to reference the main DITA-OT directory. Then set the value of the DITA-OT Environment Setup File option to reference the ditafmx-startcmd.bat file.

    If you make use of the Selected Target option with the Generate Output command in Frame, by default this environment setup file is used for those builds as well. If you want to specify an alternate environment setup file, you can add the “EnvironmentSetup” parameter to the associated "ANT:<targetname>" sections.

This should let you generate output through the default OT 1.5.4 targets, without requiring you to set up the system environment. If you use the PDF2 transform, you may need to do some additional work such as starting Frame from a shell in the OT directory (or adding a "cd %DITA_DIR%" line to the ditafmx-startcmd.bat file.

Alternatively, you may want to start FM from the DITA-OT directory. To do this just create a shortcut to FrameMaker.exe, and in the "Start In" field of the Shortcut tab, set this value to the path to your DITA-OT directory.

Generate Output: Current File Option

The Current File option of the Generate Output command lets you generate output from the current topic or map file using a pre-defined Ant script (ditafmx-ant.xml). The installation process described above should be all that’s needed to use this command.

The information about the current file and project are passed to the Ant script through command line parameters. By default, this provides three targets: HTML, CHM, and PDF. If you want to add others, modify the ditafmx-ant.xml file accordingly and add more targets to the BuildFile section of the ditafmx.ini file.

The “lmi-airhelp” target is now included in the ditafmx-ant.xml file. If you would like to try building AIR Help from DITA files, download the DITA to AIR Help plugin from Leximation at www.leximation.com/airhelp/. You will also need to add an “lmi-airhelp” entry to the BuildFile section of the ditafmx.ini file.

In order to take advantage of ditaval filtering, you must register or create ditaval files so they are known to DITA-FMx. The Ditaval Manager provides the means to add existing files, or create new files.

Generate Output: Selected Target Option

The following steps should get you up and running with the Selected Target option of the Generate Output command.

  1. Copy the PROJECT.xml file to your DITA-OT directory and rename it something appropriate for your project.

  2. Edit the <project>.xml file and set the properties indicated in the comments so they match your system and project.

  3. Set up the ditafmx.ini file as follows:

    • Be sure that the LogFile parameter specifies a directory that exists before the Ant script is run, otherwise the build will fail.

    • The optional EnvironmentSetup parameter can be used to specify a batch file to run before running the Ant script in order to set up the environment. (If this is not added, the default setting in the BuildFile section will be used.)

    • In the examples below, swap “<PROJECT>” for the actual project name.

    • If the builds aren't working, try running the script from the command line: ant -f project.xml html

    1=<PROJECT> - CHM 
    2=<PROJECT> - HTML 
    3=<PROJECT> - PDF 
    [ANT:<PROJECT> - CHM] 
    [ANT:<PROJECT> - PDF]