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You should validate your DITA maps regularly to make sure that your maps and topics are valid, and all of the relationships between them are working. Changing one topic, image, or piece of metadata may create errors in references that rely on them. You may not discover these problems all at once. Validate your map to catch all of these kinds of problems. The longer you wait between validating your maps, the more difficult it may be to detect and correct any errors you find.

Validating a DITA Map

To validate a DITA, follow these steps:
  1. In the DITA Maps Manager view, make sure that the tab that holds your root map is selected and that the Root map selection is set either to the name of your root map or to <current map>.
  2. It is a good practice to refresh your DITA map before running the validation process. To do so, select the DITA map in the DITA Maps Manager view and click Reload (F5).
  3. Click the Validate and Check for Completeness button on the DITA Maps Manager toolbar to open the DITA Map Completeness Check dialog box.
  4. If you are using profiling, check the Use DITAVAL filters box and select the appropriate option.
  5. Select any other options you want to check.
  6. Click Check to run the validation process.

Validation Process

The validation process of a DITA map includes the following:
  • Verifies that the file paths of the topic references are valid. For example, if an href attribute points to an invalid file path, it is reported as an error in the message panel at the bottom of the editor.
  • Validates each referenced topic and map. Each topic file is opened and validated against the appropriate DITA DTD. If another DITA map is referenced in the main one, the referenced DITA map is verified recursively, applying the same algorithm as for the main map.
  • If errors or warnings are found, they are displayed in a separate message pane at the bottom of the editor and clicking them takes you to the location of the error or warning in the file where it was found.

DITA Map Completeness Check Dialog Box

The DITA Map Completeness Check dialog box allows you to configure the DITA map validation.

Figure: DITA Map Completeness Check Dialog Box

You can configure the validation process with the following options that are available in the DITA Map Completeness Check dialog box:
Batch validate referenced DITA resources
This option specifies the level of validation that applies to referenced DITA files:
  • If the checkbox is left unchecked (default setting), the DITA files will be validated using the rules defined in the DTD or XML Schema declared in the document.
  • If the checkbox is selected, the DITA files will be validated using rules defined in their associated validation scenario.
Check the existence of non-DITA references resources
Extends the validation of referenced resources to non-DITA files.
Include remote resources
Select this option if you want to check that remote referenced binary resources (such as images, movie clips, ZIP archives) exist at the specified location.
Use DITAVAL filters
The content of the map is filtered by applying a profiling condition set before validation. You can choose between the following options:
  • From the current condition set - The map is filtered using the condition set currently applied in the DITA Maps Manager view. Clicking the Details icon opens a topic in the Oxygen XML Editor User Guide that explains how to create a profiling condition set.
  • From all available condition sets - For each available condition set, the map content is filtered using that set before validation.
  • From the associated transformation scenario - The filtering condition set is specified explicitly as a DITAVAL file in the current transformation scenario associated with the DITA map.
  • Other DITAVAL files - For each DITAVAL file from this list, the map content is filtered using the DITAVAL file before validation. Use the Add or Remove buttons to configure the list. The Add button opens a dialog box that allows you to select a local or remote path to a DITAVAL file. You can specify the path by using the text field, its history drop-down, the Insert Editor Variables button, or the browsing tools in the Browse drop-down list.
Report references to resources outside of the DITA map folder
If selected, it will report any references to DITA resources that are located outside the main DITA map folder.
Report links to topics not referenced in DITA maps
Checks that all the topics referenced by other topics are also linked in the DITA map.
Report multiple references to the same topic
If selected, it will report warnings when a topic is referenced multiple times in the DITA map, unless a unique copy-to attribute is used on the topicref element for any topic that is referenced multiple times.
For example, it will not report a warning if there is a topic referenced twice, but the second topicref has a copy-to attribute set:
<topicref href="topic.dita"/>
.....
 <topicref href="topic.dita" copy-to="topic2.dita"/>
On the other hand, it will report a warning if there is a topic referenced twice and none of the reference-type elements has a copy-to attribute set or both of them have the copy-to attribute set to the same value:
<topicref href="topic.dita" copy-to="topic2.dita"/>
......
 <topicref href="topic.dita" copy-to="topic2.dita"/>
Check for duplicate topic IDs within the DITA map context
Checks for multiple topics with the same ID in the context of the entire map.
Report duplicate key definitions
Checks the DITA map for multiple key references with the same key defined for them. This is helpful because if you have two different resources with the same value for the keys attribute, all references will point to the first one encountered and the other will be ignored.
Note: This option takes key scopes into account. For example, if you have something like this:
<topicref href="t2.dita" keys="k2"/>
    <topicgroup keyscope="ks">
        <topicref href="t2.dita" keys="k2"/>    
    </topicgroup>

it will not report the "k2" key as a duplicate because it is defined in a key scope on the second occurrence.

Report table layout problems
Looks for table layout problems. The types of errors that may be reported include:
  • If a row has fewer cells than the number of columns detected.
  • For a CALS table, if a cell has a vertical span greater than the available rows count.
  • For a CALS table, if the number of colspecs is different than the number of columns detected from the table cols attribute.
  • For a CALS table, if the number of columns detected from the table cols attribute is different than the number of columns detected in the table structure.
  • For a CALS table, if the value of the cols, rowsep, or colsep attributes are not numeric.
  • For a CALS table, if the namest, nameend, or colname attributes point to an incorrect column name.
Identify possible conflicts in profile attribute values
When the profiling attributes of a topic contain values that are not found in parent topic profiling attributes, the content of the topic is overshadowed when generating profiled output. This option reports these possible conflicts.
Report attributes and values that conflict with profiling preferences
Looks for profiling attributes and values that are not defined in the Profiling / Conditional Text preferences page (you can click the Profiling Preferences button to open this preferences page). It also checks if profiling attributes defined as single-value have multiple values set in the searched topics.
Additional schematron checks
Allows you to select a Schematron file that Oxygen XML Editor will use for the validation of DITA resources. You can specify the path by using the text field, its history drop-down, the Insert Editor Variables button, or the browsing tools in the Browse drop-down list.
Export settings
Allows you to export the settings assigned in this dialog box to an XML file that you can share with other users or use on other systems.
Import settings
Allows you to import settings for this dialog box from an XML file that was created by the Export settings action.
Check
Use the Check button to begin the validation process. The options that you choose in this dialog box are preserved between sessions.