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Subject: Another Keyref Question: Keyref to mapref

If you have a root map A that has a mapref to submap B, e.g.:

 <mapref keys="subject-01"

And submap-01 looks like this:

<map id="submap-01">
  <topicref href="topic-01.dita"/>
  <topicref href="topic-02.dita"/>

And you have an xref to the key "subject-01":

See <xref keyref="subject-01"/>...

What is the ultimate target of the xref?

I can think of the following possibilities:

1. topic-01.dita (but the "first topic in document rule)"

2. topic-01.dita AND topic-02.dita (because that's what direct target of the
keyref contains.

3. Undefined (case is not covered by DITA 1.2 and there is no obvious single
sensible answer).

I would accept sny of these answers based on my current thinking. Option (1)
is the clearest and most consistent with analogous rules. Option (2) is
probably the most correct in the abstract but DITA to date has not really
defined any explicit cases where a single reference can resolve to multiple
objects (although you could create this same case by putting the key on a
topicgroup rather than on a mapref to a submap). Option (3) is clear but

To the degree I have a preference I think I like (1) best because it's
clear, easy to explain, consistent with the rule for references to documents
that contain multiple child topics, and helps enforce the idea that if you
want to avoid this issue you need to design your map structures so that they
always have a single root normal-role topicref or topichead.


Eliot Kimber
Senior Solutions Architect
"Bringing Strategy, Content, and Technology Together"
Main: 512.554.9368

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