Getting started Help Authoring

Questions about XML that are not covered by the other forums should go here.
janedennis
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:57 pm

Getting started Help Authoring

Post by janedennis » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:03 pm

Hello,

I am trying to use xml author to output to Microsoft help format and simultaneously to html for inclusion on a website. I am finding oxygen quite confusing. Can someone point me in the right direction.

Firstly what constitutes a project? believe it or not but if you open the application help and go to index "project" is not in the index!!! I am trying to establish what files constitute the project. If we use the sample projects that is installed and do "save as" the project constituents are not copied to the new location. Is there a way force copy the constituents? I am a assuming all of the paths to documents are relative.

Also what constitutes a project. What do I need for a valid DITA project?

Using the sample included with oxygen I can output valid Microsoft help but I'm not having a lot of luck trying to output to html. Can anyone advise on the transformation that gives you html files with a directory tree navigation ie like Microsoft help.

regards
Jane

Radu
Posts: 7028
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:18 pm

Re: Getting started Help Authoring

Post by Radu » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:30 pm

Hi Jane,

An Oxygen project is a collection of files with which you work on a regular basis. In this way you can double click files in the Project view to quickly open them instead of opening them using the file chooser. The project information (referenced files) is stored in a ".xpr" file which can be saved anywhere you want.
You can find more details here:
http://www.oxygenxml.com/doc/ug-oxygen/ ... -view.html

Now for DITA:
A DITA Project usually is a directory containing the DITA Map (or Maps) and other sub-directories in which topics/tasks/concepts reside. The topics/tasks/concepts are referenced from the DITA Map and constitute the building blocks for the published output.
For example in the Oxygen "samples/dita" directory there is a "flowers" directory which contains the DITA Map + the referenced topics. You can call "flowers" a DITA Project.

You do not necessarily need an Oxygen project to work with DITA Maps.
Just open the file chooser, choose the DITA Map and it will be opened by default in the Oxygen DITA Maps Manager view.
Then edit/transform it to the desired output.
When a DITA Map is opened in the DITA Maps Manager you can choose and configure different transformation types for it like "HTML Help" (which outputs Microsoft CHM) or "XHTML" which outputs the map to XHTML.
Here is a link to additional resources:
http://www.oxygenxml.com/doc/ug-oxygen/ ... -dita.html
There is no XHTML transformation available which outputs something equivalent to CHM files.

Regards,
Radu
Radu Coravu
<oXygen/> XML Editor
http://www.oxygenxml.com

janedennis
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:57 pm

Re: Getting started Help Authoring

Post by janedennis » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:31 pm

Hello Radu,

So if we take the flowers example and I want to save this somewhere else and use it as a template to get started how do I do this. Are you saying this is not from within oxygen. I simply copy in explorer the dita map file and the sub-folders to new location? This seems a bit haphazard as could easily lose some files in large projects. Is there any checking if files are missing?

Thanks
Jane

Radu
Posts: 7028
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:18 pm

Re: Getting started Help Authoring

Post by Radu » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:50 pm

Hi Jane,

Yes, you can copy the entire "flowers" with the explorer to a different location and it should be a valid DITA Map project (references to topics are relative to the DITA Map location).

If a DITA Map has missing referenced topics you should see in the DITA Maps Manager red exclamation marks where the referenced topics are missing. Of course, the transformations will also fail or give warnings.

Regards,
Radu
Radu Coravu
<oXygen/> XML Editor
http://www.oxygenxml.com

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