Migrating to release 4.0

DITA-OT 4.0 requires Java 17 and includes a new plug-in for easier PDF customization, project file improvements, updates to LwDITA processing, and support for the split chunking feature in the latest draft of the upcoming DITA 2.0 standard.

This topic provides a summary of changes in DITA-OT 4.0 that may require modifications to custom stylesheets or plug-ins. For more information on changes in this release, see the DITA-OT 4.0 Release Notes.

DITA-OT now requires Java 17

DITA-OT 4.2 is designed to run on Java version 17 or later and built and tested with the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK). Compatible Java distributions are available from multiple sources:
The Java virtual machine is generally backwards compatible, so class files built with earlier versions should still run correctly with Java 17 and DITA-OT 4.2. If your DITA-OT installation contains plug-ins with custom Java code, you may need to recompile these with Java 17 — but in most cases, this step should not be necessary.

Deprecated attribute set reflection in PDF2

The legacy attribute set reflection in PDF2 has been replaced with code that generates new attribute sets directly. This change is backwards-compatible as the old attribute set reflection code has been retained, but PDF2 now uses the new attribute set generation mechanism everywhere reflection was used. Custom plug-ins that still use reflection should be updated to the new approach, as the legacy code may be removed in a future version. #3827, #3829

Code references now default to UTF-8 encoding

The default character set for code references has been changed from the system default encoding to UTF-8.

This allows a wider range of characters to be used without needing to specify the @format attribute on the <coderef> element as described in character set definition or change the default encoding in the configuration.properties file. #4046
If you have code references that require a different encoding, use either of these mechanisms to specify the character set explicitly.

Deprecated place-tbl-lbl template in HTML5

The place-tbl-lbl template that was originally used to define table titles in XHTML has been deprecated in HTML5 processing and will be removed in a future release. This template was carried over from XHTML code (which still has a copy that is used), but the copy in HTML5 is not called. #3435, #4056