Simon Bate, Senior Technical Consultant at Scriptorium was in town teaching a class on DITA and we were lucky to have him come and share tips and information on XSL-FO and the DITA-OT. The large crowd in house as well as a good number of remote attendees kept him busy with questions. Based on the feedback I've received, everyone left with some good information.
Simon started with an overview of XSL-FO, discussing the basic concepts as well as its strengths and weaknesses. He then explained how to develop a "plugin for the plugin" to allow you to easily (well, that may depend) create customizations to the DITA-OT PDF2 plugin.
If you took notes or have some comments, please feel free to add them to this page!
2012-08-FO-for-SVDIG.pdf - Simon's presentation slides.
As is frequently the case, our round table discussions are often the best meetings! This one was well attended with local and remote participants.
We had a lively discussion about how the DITA-OT is used in various companies and under different conditions. Lots of questions and clarifications about what the OT is and how it can be used.
We had an interesting discussion dealing with how to best import DITA files into InDesign (specifically CS4 and CS5). It was a very hands-on meeting, with a real-world project as the test bed.
Like most DITA-type projects the important thing is the preparation. Importing the actual DITA files is as simple as File > Import XML, and then dragging and dropping elements onto the artboard.
Create Paragraph tags to match your DITA tags and use Structure's Map Tags to Styles to create a table that brings in the formatting easily. To modify the text, just edit the paragraph style.
When adding multiple DITA files, use Append when adding to an existing flow (good for columnar text) and use Merge when creating a new flow (good for individual text boxes).
Notes provided by Joanne Grey
Topic: Show and Tell .. DITA-OT customizations
Speaker: You! (Yes .. you.)
Pics and notes: djcline.com
Topic: Customizing the output of the Open Toolkit
Speaker: Robert Anderson, IBM Authoring Tools Development, Chief Architect, DITA Open Toolkit
Presentation: video (courtesy of ditausers.org!)
Topic: Roundtable discussion on ways we are customizing the OT
Topic: Implementing DITA: Production Notes from a Real-World DITA Open Toolkit Project
Speakers: Anna van Raaphorst, Content Specialist and Richard (Dick) Johnson, Technology Specialist at VR Communications, Inc., consultancy for multichannel communications solutions.
Presentation materials: ImplementingDITA.pdf [139KB]