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Subject: Proposal 13063: Cross-references to conditional content

Hi everyone,

I have an action from last week to email the group regarding proposal 13063, "Specify that if the target of a cross-reference should not appear in output, adding a cross-reference to it should not automatically make the target appear."

Here is an example in which the issue would arise. Say you have a file called "instructions.xml" which is conditionalized as 'audience="external internal"'. It includes the sentence, "Details are available in the <xref href="pricelist.xml">price list</xref>." The pricelist.xml file is conditionalized as audience = "internal". If you publish the instructions.xml file for audience = "external", it will include a link to the price list, and external users will be able to see the internal price list.

Is this a bug in the OT, or does the DITA spec currently allow this behaviour?

Here is a comment on the issue from Scriptorium (http://www.scriptorium.com/2010/11/to-ot-or-not-to-ot/):
"Do you need a different set of criteria for conditional inclusion of topics than is provided by the default DITA OT?  Consider: if a topic is the target of a cross-reference, it will be included in the output even if that topic is excluded by the ditaval conditions.  Does that inclusion represent a security violation for your implementation?  Rewriting the conditional processing in the DITA OT can be done, but it is a serious challenge."


Su-Laine Yeo
Interelement Consulting: Communications and design for technology adoption 

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