Release 1.3.1 and 1.3 information

Release 1.3.1

Release 1.3.1 was a maintenance release in which 15 bugs were fixed. Release 1.3.1 was based on the prior major release (1.3).

Note: Release 1.3.1 is still based on the DITA 1.0 standard. As of this writing, DITA 1.1 is expected to be approved in 2Q07. The release that will bring the Toolkit up to the DITA 1.1 standard has not yet been announced.

Deprecated functionality

The following functionality is deprecated as of release 1.3.1:
  • The "old" PDF output (in favor of PDF2).
  • The "old" topicmerge function (of concern only to developers).
  • The demo bookmap DTD (which is still being used in this document). A new, fully supported bookmap is part of the DITA 1.1 standard and will be supported in the next release of DITA Open Toolkit.

In our experience, several target outputs can be problematic (although they are not officially listed as deprecated): DocBook, JavaHelp, troff, and Word RTF.

In addition, any specializations and plug-ins in the demo directory are in the "use at your own risk" category.

Release 1.3

Release 1.3 was a major release to add new and improved functionality, fulfill new requirements, and fix bugs.

Strategic updates to DITA Open Toolkit


  1. Toolkit distributions: In prior releases, the DITA Open Toolkit distibution contained only the Toolkit. In release 1.3.1, the Toolkit was available in three distributions:
    • Full package distribution, which contained all required tools except Java J2SE SDK
    • Small package distribution, which contained only the Toolkit
    • Source distribution, which contained the source and executable code for the Toolkit, and the source code for this document
  2. Change to build.xml: To make the DITA processing environment more like other Ant-driven build environments, the build.xml file from the 1.2.2 version of the Toolkit was renamed as build_demo.xml. The 1.3 build.xml file was the top-level script for starting a transformation.
  3. Change to command-line invocations: The "Ant refactoring" exercise for this release changed some previously documented Ant calls for running demos. This change enabled better use of the Ant modules for power users who needed to integrate the Toolkit into programming build environments such as Eclipse.
  4. Separation of demo targets from formal component targets: The internal programming targets are displayed when you type "ant -p". To see both those programming targets and the demos that are part of this component, type "C:\dita-ot>ant -p -f build_demo.xml". To run just one of the demos that you see in the resulting list, dita.faq, for example, type "C:\dita-ot>ant dita.faq -f build_demo.xml".
  5. Classpath update to enable catalog resolver: Release 1.3 included the Apache catalog resolver for improved lookup of DTDs by any of the Toolkit components. The full package version of the Toolkit sets up these variables for each session. For the small package distribution of the Toolkit, you need to include lib and lib\resource\resolver.jar in your CLASSPATH. For example, if your CLASSPATH is:
    C:\dita-ot\lib\dost.jar

    you need to change it to:

    C:\dita-ot\lib;C:\dita-ot\lib\dost.jar;C:\dita-ot\lib\resolver.jar

    The full package can be used like a normal installation as long as you update the system variables either in the evironment settings or in a batch file that sets up the shell environment.

  6. License bundling: To reduce the duplication of builds on SourceForge in which the only difference was the license provided in each, both the Apache and CPL licenses were included in root directory of the Toolkit. Use the one that applies to your environment.

New and enhanced features


  1. OASIS DITA 1.1 support
    • New element <abstract>

      The <abstract> element can include complex markups besides the <shortdesc> element. The <shortdesc> element can be put inside the <abstract> element, together with many other elements.

    • New element <data>

      The proposed DITA 1.1 standard includes a new element, <data>. This element and the content inside it is ignored in the transformation process of DITA files.

    • The following new indexing elements have been proposed for DITA 1.1: <index-see>, <index-see-also>, and <index-sort-as>. Preliminary support was added in DITA Open Toolkit 1.3.
    • As an aid to information architects, extensible metadata attributes have been proposed for DITA 1.1. Preliminary support was added in DITA Open Toolkit 1.3.
    • DITA Open Toolkit 1.3 provided improved support for graphic scaling. This feature applied to HTML Help, XHTML, PDF, and FO, but was not supported in RTF output.
    • The <unknown> element has been proposed for DITA 1.1 to incorporate existing standard vocabularies for special content, like MathML and SVG, as inline objects.
  2. Eclipse integration of DITA documents

    Capabilities were added to allow use of a template to develop documentation plug-ins with DITA in Eclipse PDE, and to use DITA Open Toolkit to build and pack the final plug-in.

  3. Topicmerge improvements

    The topicmerge feature improved the Toolkit build speed and reduced the possibility of encountering an "out of memory" exception in the build process.

  4. Indexing improvements for localization

    In prior releases of DITA Open Toolkit, index entries were sorted based on the Java JDK collator. For example, Swedish words beginning with umlauted a and o vowels appeared with the equivalent non-umlauted vowels, ignoring the linguistic significance in Swedish.

    In release 1.3, the index sort was based on the paradigm of the language specified for the files. In the case of Swedish umlauted vowels, they now appear at the end of the alphabet, after Z.

  5. XML catalog improvements

    In prior releases of DITA Open Toolkit, a simple XML catalog resolver was enabled. Users did not need to update the references to DTDs in DITA files when the file paths were changed; however, this simple implementation could be redistributed because it did not support standard XML catalogs.

    In DITA OT 1.3, a standard XML catalog resolver was enabled so that references to DTDs in DITA files do not need to be updated each time users change the file paths on their workstations or use another workstation.

  6. Support for multiple file extensions in one DITA map

    Release 1.3 introduced support for two different file extensions, .dita and .xml. Previous releases of DITA Open Toolkit did not support the transformation of DITA maps containing inconsistent file types, for example one DITA map containing both .dita and .xml files.

  7. Ant refactoring

    In DITA Open Toolkit 1.3, the system-level Ant scripts were refactored so developers could easily find the targets they needed, and create their own extensions.

  8. Command-line help
    In release 1.3, the command-line help function was enhanced to improve usability, allowing users to display the version of the Toolkit and the usage of the command line with the following commands:


    java -jar lib/dost.jar -version

    java -jar lib/dost.jar -h

Bug fixes: 21

Patches added: 1

RFEs added: 1