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Subject: Definition Handling

Discussion in today’s meeting was subjectScheme enumerationDef behavior, union or override.  As well, we talked about keydef and keyscope.

I think we need to try for unity and simplicity on definition behavior otherwise it may get out of control where things are not specified or implemented or understood by a great number of people.  Consider this rough sketch:


*** all definitions within a definitionSpace are global and go into the built in “default” definitionSpace.

*** When any first named definition is encountered it is the one in effect, all others with duplicate names in that space are ignored.

*** we promote putting definitions in one file and importing them in one place within a publication to minimize or remove DITA’s need for override and merge behavoir anywhere.

      This might suggest the subjectScheme merge rules should be removed too.


*** if we need scoping to satisfy the reuse topic different behavoir use case, we add an override attribute to keydef <keydef keys=”foo” override=”true” />  which is in effect for the mergedmap scope of the keydef


    <keydef keys="ProductName" override=”true”>


        <linktext>Tractor X</linktext>



    <topicref href="">



*** definition spaces can be imported into a named space using <importDefinitions spaceName=”foo”> (like mapref)

*** simple references to keys always refer to keys in the “default” space (including scope overrides) which is the space we have now in DITA 1.2.

*** space qualified references to keys can take the form of myspace:mykey where myspace refers to an available named space brought in by >importDefinitions>


Please comment as to whether this can unify our definition handling and thus make DITA simpler.




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