Re: Handle cross-book xrefs in large book collections? #linking


Chris Papademetrious
 

The writers in our pilot project have started inserting cross-book links in their books. We quickly realized that the <xref> must contain the text of the target or the reference is blank in the PDF. To its credit, the DITA-OT warns of this need:

[move-meta] file:/mnt/c/Users/chrispy/Documents/DITA/bugs/oxygen_key_scope/bookA.ditamap:13:114: [DOTX020E][ERROR]: Missing navtitle attribute or element for peer topic "bookB.ditamap". References must provide a local navigation title when the target is not a local DITA resource.
[move-meta] file:/mnt/c/Users/chrispy/Documents/DITA/bugs/oxygen_key_scope/bookA.ditamap:13:114: [DOTX024E][ERROR]: Missing linktext and navtitle for peer topic "bookB.ditamap". References must provide a local navigation title when the target is not a local DITA resource.

although the message is strangely worded to refer to the peer map as a topic.

It is impractical to require writers to insert the title of the destination topic for every <xref>. We already have a "book fixer" utility that adds topicrefs for nested subtopics. I'll update the utility to populate the text of cross-book links.

In addition, Radu helped me put together a real DITA-OT plugin to preserve cross-book keyref information in the processing pipeline. Once I have a working start-to-finish solution, I'll share it here.

 - Chris

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