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Subject: Question on alt text for links defined using keyref

Title: Question on alt text for links defined using keyref

Another question from the question-making factory:

<xref> and <link> elements can contain <desc> elements, which are generally used to store the alt text for a hyperlink.

Say you have:


<keydef href=""http://www.cbc.ca" keys="cbc"><topicmeta><shortdesc>alt text from topicmeta</shortdesc></topicmeta></keydef>



<xref keyref="cbc"><desc>local alt text</desc></xref>


Should the local alt text or the alt text from topicmeta be used? I've just changed the FAQ item below to say that local content wins, in order to be consistent with the general preference for local content. If you expect it to work differently, please let us know this week.


From: Su-Laine Yeo
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:38 PM
To: dita; 'dita-adoption@lists.oasis-open.org'
Subject: Third draft of keyref FAQ item #3: How should elements with keyref attributes be rendered? (formerly 'Key resolution for complex <topicmeta> content')

Hi everyone,

I think this is is the final draft of this FAQ item, or close to final: http://wiki.oasis-open.org/dita/Review-FAQ-#preview . Please let us know in the next week if you have any suggestions or questions on it, as I would like to post it to dita.xml.org after next Tuesday's DITA TC meeting. Thanks to Chris, Kris, Robert, Michael, Bruce, and Dave for reviewing the earlier drafts over the past two months.

I should point out a couple of issues which we've clarified or noticed recently, which have some important implications for information architects adopting DITA:

1) Topicmeta never overrides local content. This means that you cannot use a strategy of writing topics with general terminology for a product line, and using <topicmeta> in key definitions to make the output more  specific for particular products within the product line.

2) If a team requires a particular alt text string to be reused wherever a particular image is used, it is not possible to do this using keys that point directly to image files (e.g. <keydef keys="smile" href=""images/smile.gif"/>)." As an alternative strategy, teams with this requirement could put <image> elements with alt text in resource-only topics, and use conkeyref to include those images in the topics where they ought to be displayed.



Su-Laine Yeo
Solutions Consultant

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

XMetaL Community Forums: http://forums.xmetal.com

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