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Subject: Question on key resolution for complex <topicmeta> content

Hi everyone,

It is not entirely clear to my team, either from the spec or from Eliot's Understanding DITA Keys and Key Spaces article, how keys should be resolved if the <topicmeta> element within a <keydef> contains complex content.

The DITA 1.2 spec says:

"When a key definition has a <topicmeta> subelement, elements that refer to that key and that are empty may get their effective content from the first matching subelement of the <topicmeta> subelement of the key-defining topicref... For elements that in addition to @keyref or @conkeyref do specify an @href attribute (such as author, data, data-about, image, link, lq, navref, publisher, source, topicref, xref, and their specializations), matching content includes all elements from within the key definition element that are in valid context within the key reference. Elements that are invalid within the key reference element directly or after generalization are not included or are filtered out."

The first sentence says that the effective content is the "first matching" subelement in <topicmeta>. Does "first matching" "first element of exactly the same element type as the element which refers to the key," or does it mean something else?

The second sentence seems to say that the effective content should include multiple elements from <topicmeta> if they are valid in element which refers to the key. E.g. say a <xref> element is resolved using a keydef, and that keydef contains the following subelements:

<shortdesc>My short description content</shortdesc>

Should the processor should resolve this as:

Option 1:

Or should the processor resolve it as:

Option 2:

Or as:

Option 3:

Or as:

Option 4:




Su-Laine Yeo
Solutions Consultant

JustSystems Canada, Inc.
Office: 1 (778) 327-6356


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