Unzip or extract the "full_easy_install" zip file to a convenient directory, such as your c: drive's root directory. The package will create a directory such as C:\DITA-OT1.5.3\ that contains not only the usual Toolkit materials but also all the run-time components needed to run the Toolkit in a basic evaluation mode.
Browse over to this new directory and double-click on the "startcmd.bat" file in that directory. A new "command shell" window will open up, with the environment variables already set to enable the Toolkit to run within that shell.
At the command prompt (usually C:\DITA-OT1.5.3\ for this version), type "ant samples.web -f build_demo.xml". After a series of processing messages, there should be a new out\ directory in the DITA-OT1.5.3\ directory that contains a folder with the resulting HTML output in it. Congratulations on creating your first example of DITA output!
Now try the full set of transforms from a single command: "ant all -f build_demo.xml". This command will process DITA samples in the toolkit into many of the supported output types for the Toolkit. After a much longer flurry of messages, the out\ directory should have a number of folders in it, each with several deliverables produced by the Toolkit demos. If you happen to have the Microsoft HTMLHelp Workshop or the JavaHelp toolset installed for other work you have done with User Assistance, you might even get ready-to use CHM and JavaHelp output files. By comparing the outputs with the various source materials in the distribution, you can get an idea about how the processing works. That explanation is best found in the DITA Open Toolkit User Guide and at the DITA-OT Focus Area at http://dita.xml.org .
Here are the individual demo targets that you can try while evaluating the DITA Open Toolkit. Note that most are subcomponents of larger operations--you can use any of these individually. Earlier releases also contained demo targets for building the DITA 1.1 Language Specification, but that was removed in DITA-OT 1.5.2 because it was superseded by the DITA 1.2 specification.
all Build all output clean Delete all output clean.demo Remove the demo output clean.demo.book Remove the book demo output clean.demo.elementref Remove the Element Reference demo output clean.demo.enote Remove the eNote demo output clean.demo.faq Remove the FAQ demo output clean.doc Remove the documentation output clean.doc.articles Delete the articles directory in doc. clean.docbook Remove the docbook output clean.samples Remove the sample output clean.samples.eclipse Remove the sample Eclipse output clean.samples.htmlhelp Remove the sample HTMLHelp output clean.samples.javahelp Remove the sample JavaHelp output clean.samples.pdf Remove the sample PDF output clean.samples.web Remove the sample web output demo Build the demos demo.book Build the book demo demo.elementref Build the element reference demo demo.enote Build the eNote demo demo.faq Build the FAQ demo doc Build the documentation doc.articles.chm Build the articles of dita as document. doc.articles.pdf Build the articles of dita as document. doc.articles.web Build the articles of dita as document. docbook Transform the samples to DocBook prompt Prompt to build anything samples Build the sample output samples.eclipse Build the samples for Eclipse samples.htmlhelp Build the samples for HTMLHelp samples.javahelp Build the samples for JavaHelp samples.pdf Build the samples as PDF samples.troff Build the samples as troff samples.web Build the samples for the web
If you do not specify a target for build_demo.xml, the default target is prompt.
You can also try your hand at modifying some of the sample scripts in the ant directory. These represent the kind of driver files that you would create for your own projects. You can easily adapt these to process your own test DITA files, for example. Call the other ant samples after this example:
C:\DITA-OT-1.5.3>ant -f samples/ant_sample/sample_xhtml.xml
(This is basically the same as running ant samples.web -f build_demo.xml, but intended for you to modify.)
You will find the output for this exercise in the samples/ant_sample/ directory itself. You can add parameters to the sample_xhtml.xml file to change where your outputs end up, and also to modify the build process in other ways. See the documentation for Ant parameters to learn more about processing options.