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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] cross-book olinks in epub

Hi Tim,
You are correct that there is no syntax in Epub2 to link from one Epub to another. External linking for Epub3 is still under discussion and not included in the draft standard, as far as I can tell. The general solution is difficult because of uniqueness, file locations, etc.

However, I think there is still at least one case where active external links can work. For example, if you build your guides for both HTML and Epub outputs, and put the HTML up on a website, then the Epub user guide could link to the website version of the admin guide. Many Epub readers can follow web links, either directly or by forking off a browser.

This would require setting the baseuri of the "other" documents in the olink database to the appropriate "http://..."; value for each book so web link syntax is output for those external links.

With the current epub stylesheets, a customization can turn off the active link while still rendering the text from the olink database. The template named 'make.olink.href' in common/olink.xsl handles forming the href string for each olink. If the olink resolves in the database but that template returns a blank, then just the olink text is output without a hot link.

If you use olinks only for external linking, then just making that an empty template would do the job. However, if you use olinks for both internal links among modular docs and for external links, then a more detailed customization is needed to preserve the internal hot links. Your customization would need to compare the value of 'current.docid' to the targetdoc value of the olink, and return blank only if they differ, otherwise return the href from the database.

I think selecting this behavior with a new stylesheet param for the epub stylesheets would be a good new feature. In fact, it should probably be the default behavior, as the website setup I described is a special case.

I think you would want to set the stylesheet param 'olink.doctitle' to 'yes' so that external olink text includes a reference to the other book's title, otherwise readers would not have enough context to interpret "Table 3.1".

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises

----- Original Message ----- From: "Tim Arnold" <jtim.arnold@gmail.com>
To: <docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2011 11:53 AM
Subject: [docbook-apps] cross-book olinks in epub

I'm using xsltproc with the 1.76.1 epub/docbook.xsl stylesheets. When
creating a standalone epub doc, I get real hyperlinks for
cross-document links.

For example, see this page from the DocBook XSL Guide:

Suppose you create an epub of the userguide; I believe it should not
contain active hyperlinks to the admin guide.
I think that such cross-document references should resolve as text-only.
That is, a hyperlink that goes to an external docset should not be
created for epub.

That is just my opinion, I haven't read the official spec. But it
seems unusable for an epub to retain relative links to an external
Does that make sense? Am I misunderstanding?

--Tim Arnold

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