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Subject: Direct Links In a CCMS environment

Hi Folks

xrefs are often used to link from one DITA source topic to another - perhaps not always best practice but used nonetheless. In a CCMS an xref can either be to the same publication (same pub link) or to another publication link (cross pub link). A CCMS will typically host all the publications of a particular project.

As well, xrefs can be a link to any number of "uses" of a topic within a publication. A "use" refers to a single topicref to a given topic in the expanded map of a publication.

So in a CCMS, a full direct address to a topic would be composed of {publicationId}{topicUri}{useId}#{topicXmlId}/{elementId}. Certainly {publicationId} and {useId} could be dropped for simpler same pub cases. But for the full on cross pub and use location cases, all 5 parts are needed.

Unfortunately right now in DITA you can only directly address {topicUri}/#{topicXmlId}/{elementId}.

We have numerous customers that wish to have direct cross publication linking at a source level without the need for keys. Once you have addressing at the source level the user can move around freely through the source in the CCMS. As well, the CCMS can enforce link integrity across publication. As well, at publish time these source links can be converted too other link forms that work in target delivery platforms removing the need for subsequent explicit <resourceId> entries.

So far I am not aware of a simple DITA way of doing cross publication links aside from the key proposal. As well, our discussion of <resourceid> has focused on external identity but not source identity. Is this a shortcoming or am I missing something?


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