Processing overview

Processing is producing output files from a set of DITA source files.

DITA Open Toolkit, working with other tools like the Java Development Kit (JDK) and Ant, provides a method to process DITA documents.

The following figure provides an overview of the processing and publishing of DITA documents using DITA Open Toolkit:
  • In step 1, the Ant build tool is initialized (either through an optional batch script or directly from the command line), and arguments that will be passed from the Ant script to Ant are validated.
  • In step 2, the Ant build tool calls the Toolkit, which produces the rendered temporary files. Input to this step is the .dita and .ditamap source files, and the DITA project DTDs or schemas.
  • In step 3, the XSLT processor (SAXON or Xalan) produces the published output files. Input to this step are the XSLT stylesheets for the project, and the temporary files produced in step 2.

The following figures show the annotated console log from processing the garage sample files to XHTML.

Stage 1 - Initialization and validation of arguments

Processing begins by initalizing the Toolkit runtime environment and by echoing and validating the input arguments.

Stage 2 - Creating the merged files in the temp directory

This stage, carried out primarily by the Toolkit Java code, creates files in the temp directory where conrefs and related links have been resolved.

Stage 3 - Create specified output type from temporary files

During the final stage, carried out mostly by the appropriate XSLT stylesheets, the merged temporary files are transformed into the correct output format. Also, any other files, such as CSS files, are copied to the output directory. Other applications, such as the HTML Help compiler or the FO renderer are invoked.