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Subject: Question from keys review: processing keyref for text or link text


Topic: "Processing key references to generate text or link text"

Issue: DITA 1.2 text was unclear in many cases about how to use keys to get effective content for an element (for example, pulling text into an empty link or keyword during processing). I've collected all the rules from 1.2 and put them into a single list, including the order in which each condition should be checked. Summarizing the list here:

1. If keyref is on abbreviated-form, use special rules

2. Otherwise, if keyref element doesn't allow @href, look for <keyword> inside <keywords> inside topicmeta

3. Otherwise, if keyref element allows @href, elements legal inside the keyref element are pulled from topicmeta

4. Otherwise, if key definition has <linktext>, use that

5. Otherwise, resolve as you would other links, such as pulling a title from the target

I've added the following draft comment, which appeared in Review 2 last fall, and is still unresolved:
In the micro review, both Eliot and Chris agreed with my interpretation, but we need to determine where in the priority list the rule goes.

Robert D Anderson
IBM Authoring Tools Development
Chief Architect, DITA Open Toolkit (

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