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Subject: Issues relating to creating HTML Help from DITA

Hi fellow DITA Help SC members,

I recently met up with UK-based author Ian Balanza-Davis at the X-Pubs
Conference at Heathrow.  He has been doing some interesting work using the
DITA Open Toolkit to create Microsoft HTML Help.  He has encountered a
number of issues and wondered whether these were being addressed by the DITA
Help TC.  Ian's issues are as follows:

-- Child CHMs cannot be included in a ditamap, as there is no type="chm"
option that could be picked up and used during processing.

-- Window definitions cannot be created. Currently a definition is hardwired
into the Dita open toolkit, but again there is nothing in place to define
windows through Dita. (This would also be more than a little helpful for
context-sensitive help.)

-- He can only create a hierarchy of HTML headings by having multiple topics
within a single file rather than through a ditamap. (He has raised this with
John Hunt, but has yet to get a reply.)

-- The default topic in a TOC is hardwired in the output, but there are many
good reasons not to have the first topic in a TOC as the default.

-- There seems to be no way to convert See Also links (ALinks) to Active X,
or include javascript in Dita. That seems to be a bit of a hole for IE-based
resources (and web-based in general).

I told him that I would pass on the list of issues to the committee. It
seems to me a pretty good checklist of items that we should ensure are
addressed, particularly in relation to HTML Help.  Any thoughts on these


Matthew Ellison Consulting Ltd
5 College Road
Ringwood, Hampshire
BH24 1NU, UK

+44 (0)1425 489 263

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