Free Resource: Fifth Edition of DITAinformationcenter (DITA 1.2, Toolkit 1.5.1)

Hi, All —
Dick Johnson and I have just released the fifth edition (publishing date June 30, 2010) of our DITAinformationcenter code distribution, documentation, and DITA project sample source files, available at:

This release focuses on DITA 1.2 features and DITA Open Toolkit 1.5.1 (final build).
The code distribution contains:
– DITA Open Toolkit 1.5.1 (final build)
– PHP interpreter 5.1.4
– A number of PHP debugging and reporting tools (also available in prior editions)
– A new Python repair tool (DITArepair) that fixes bad references (for example, if files have been moved and links broken) and also serves as an example of how Python can be used effectively in the XML/DITA environment
The documentation contains several DITA 1.2 features:
– Extensions to conref, conaction pushreplace: A Python script run in a preprocessing step to put keywords into shortdescriptions, both keywords present in the topic itself and also those keywords “inherited” from container topics
– Keyref: The values for publisher, copyright, and vrm version now have a single definition in a resource topics (instead of being defined separately in each topic)
– Coderef element: We have replaced some of the inline code examples with coderef elements that point to items in a code directory
Information describing how we implemented the 1.2 features are described in one of the topics (published as an appendix in the PDF output target).
Other documentation features:
– Added a section on trends in global communication and why DITA helps to solve some of the current challenges
– Information about our recommended DITAworkflow methodology based on the agile software development process
– New localization and translation topics and core vocabulary items
Sample DITA projects:
– As before, our grocery shopping and garage samples (garage is an expension of the garage sample available with the Toolkit)
– The current DITAinformationcenter source files, possibly useful as a model project of moderate size (350 topics) and complexity, and for testing processing tools. It contains a wide variety of DITA features, both from 1.2 and prior standards.
As always, comments are welcome. We hope the resource is useful to members of the DITA community.
-Anna and Dick

Meeting: WebHelp, Eric Armstrong

Eric Armstrong, Treelight Enterprises
eric at treelight dot com

When? Where?
June 9, 2010 at NetApp

Context-sensitive WebHelp using a “preview feature” in XMetaL

No user download required

Uses Javascript, XMetaL target (beta code)
Some customization required

Features (Pros)
Collapsible TOC
Index, search, browse
Print (but only single topic)

Does not launch if WebHelp already open
Links work (go to appropriate page), but framework not operational
XMetaL IDs are long and complex; Eric created his own unique IDs

For More Information

Tutorial by Su-Laine Yeo of JustSystems:


The demo page, to launch the CS help: