The Build Process

DITA OT build process uses the build.xml Ant script to use a set of DITA resource files and produce output files in one of a number of standard formats from the DITA source map and the referenced topics from witim the map. The process employs the Java Development Kit (JDK) to execute the Ant build file.

There are three broad steps involved in building DITA target outputs.

  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.
  2. The Ant build tool calls the Toolkit, which produces the rendered temporary files. Input to this step is the DITA topic (*.dita or *.xml) and *.ditamap source files, and the DITA project DTDs or schemas.
  3. The XSLT processor (SAXON or Xalan) produces the published output files. Input to this step are the project's XSLT stylesheets, and the temporary files produced in step 2.
    If the target output is (X)HTML, it is directly generated by the XSLT processor and is styled using the default OT CSS files, or using (in part or as a whole) custom CSS files.
    If the target output is PDF, the XSLT processor generates an XSL-FO file, which is further processed (using FOP, XEP, or other processors) to produce the desired PDF document.