Home Forums DITA and XMetaL Discussion How to add an attribute called "target" to the "xref" element in XMetal 5.1+DITA Reply To: How to add an attribute called "target" to the "xref" element in XMetal 5.1+DITA

Derek Read

Reply to: How to add an attribute called "target" to the "xref" element in XMetal 5.1+DITA

The reason this attribute is not listed in the Attribute Inspector is because the element does not have this attribute (the DITA DTDs do not define/declare it). Perhaps you are confusing “target” with the attribute called “href? The DITA Language Reference uses the term “target” to refer to the content that the href points to or links to (ie: the target).

If you really need this attribute, and depending on your exact needs, you may be able to do what you need by specializing the DITA DTDs. In particular, by doing a “domain attribute specialization”. DITA 1.1 has been specifically designed for this and XMetaL Author supports this.

We do not have any tools that will aid you in making a specialized DTD (there are none in existence anywhere at this time that I know of), however, the following will help you both decide if you need to specialize and how it must be done.

That document just defines the rules for how a specialization must be done, it is not a step by step guide. However, Eliot Kimber's tutorial, which is very well written and explains things in an easy to read fashion, does provide step by step instructions:

I would read his entire tutorial (it is not too long) but the specific sections you will want to read at a minimum are titled “The Types of Specialization” and “Domain Attribute Specialization Tutorial”.

The following may also help you decide if specialization is really important for you at this point (though it sounds like you may have already decided you have a very specific need for a special attribute to be added for whatever reason):

Once you have a specialized DITA DTD you will want to read the sections in the XMetaL Author Enterprise help that deal with specializations. XMetaL Author Enterprise 5.5 must be configured to recognize your specialized DTD as being a DTD it should associate with its DITA editing functionality.

You should also probably check that the DITA Open Toolkit will be able to support what you need to do (if this attribute is an important part of producing output). If you use the DITA OT that is installed and configured with XMetaL Author Enterprise 5.5, its version is 1.4.2.

Or perhaps I'm way off and you mean something else entirely? If so, please provide more detail.