Example: Link redirection

This scenario outlines how different authors can redirect links to a common topic by using key definitions. This could apply to <xref>, <link>, or any elements (such as <keyword> or <term>) that become navigation links.

A company wants to use a common DITA topic for information about recycling: recycling.dita. However, the topic contains a cross-reference to a topic that needs to be unique for each product line; each such topic contains product-specific URLs.

  1. The editing team creates a recycling.dita topic that includes a cross-reference to the product-specific topic. The cross reference is implemented using a key reference:

    <xref keyref="product-recycling-info" href="generic-recycling-info.dita"/>

    The value of the @href attribute provides a fallback in the event that a product team forgets to include a key definition for "product-recycling-info".

  2. Each product documentation group creates a unique key definition for "product-recycling-info". Each group authors the key definition in a DITA map, for example:

      <!-- ... -->
      <keydef keys="product-recycling-info" href="acme-server-recycling.dita"/>
      <!-- ... -->

    Each team can use the recycling.dita topic, and the cross reference in the topic resolves differently for each team.

  3. A year later, there is an acquisition. The newly-acquired team wants to reuse Acme's common material, but it needs to direct its users to an external Web site that lists the URLs, rather than a topic in the product documentation. Their key definition looks like the following:

    <topicref  keys="product-recycling-info" 
                      scope="external" format="html"/>

    When newly-acquired team uses the recycling.dita topic, it resolves to the external Web site; however for all other teams, the cross reference in the topic continues to resolves to their product-specific topic.

  4. A new product team is formed, and the team forgets to include a key definition for "product-recycling-info" in one of their root maps. Because the cross reference in the recycling.dita topic contains a value for the @href attribute, the link falls back to generic-recycling-info.dita, thus avoiding a broken cross reference in the output.

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