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I've been using DITA for about 10 years, and LaTex for about 3. If the market for my type of writing (technical manuals for software engineers) supported it, I would happily ditch DITA in favor of LaTeX. The former is long on promises, the later long on very practical features that fulfill those promises. LaTeX is rich in out-of-the-box packages that solve real problems in ways that our in-house DITA support group has been kicking down the road for years; things as simple as numbering in code blocks.

One thing DITA offers that LaTeX seems to be missing is automatic linking based on relationships between topics. There are two basic strategies I'm aware of, @collection-type attributes in maps, and relationship tables.

The closest thing I seen in LaTeX-land to a collection-type is minitocs, and I am unaware of any feature equivalent to a relationship table.

Does anyone know of strategies to achieve either of these? I'm particularly interested in relationship table type linking.

  • DITA ignorant here. What is a "topic" in a indivisible PDF/HTML document made with LaTeX? A whole chapter, a section, maybe a subparagraph... or maybe any possible level without child sections? From what I could understand, in LaTeX the collection-type-like attributes are all the sectioning commands themselves and their relationship-like table is the classic \tableofcontents or well, the mini-tocs too. What else are you looking for.... exactly? – Fran Nov 15 '17 at 5:56
  • Yes, a topic basically maps to the lowest level of indivisible content in LaTeX, so a section or subsection. @collection-type does not produce a table of contents. For example, collection-type="family" may produce a list of links to other topics in the node at the bottom of an HTML page, whereas collection-type="sequence" will produce "Next" and "Previous" links. Other collection types produce different results. I am wondering if anyone knows of packages that offer similar behavior. My CTAN searches have not produced anything, but I may be looking in the wrong places – Ron Nov 15 '17 at 12:57
  • There are similar features in Wikis as Twiki/Foswiki webs (pertl+txt+javascript, no related with TeX) and, If a remember correctly, DocBook (SGML/XML) could produce webs with navigation bar, were LyX (but no TeX) could be of some help... but for LaTeX the only lighty similar automatism that I can remember for LaTeX are the navigation bars of presentations (see the Indian TEX Users Group tutorials or make a simple Beamer document without any preamble). – Fran Nov 15 '17 at 14:40

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