Help with conrefs

We are trying to set up and customize the DITA OTK. We can't get the conrefs to work. We have played around with the WORKDIR param, with no luck whatsover. We even placed all of the *.dita files into the same directory with no changes. All we get is an empty element in the output.


Any guidance would be appreciated.

I can only guess at what your problem may be. Most conref problems that I've come across were due to inaccurate values in the conref attribute or due to an element-type mismatch between source and target. Here are the steps that I go through when troubleshooting conref problems:

  1. Verify that source element (the tag with the conref attribute) and the target element (the tag with the id attribute) are of the same type. For example, if the source is a <p> and the target is an <li>, conref will not work.
  2. Verify that the conref attribute uses correct syntax; namely:

  3. Verify that each component of the conref actually exists. I do this by copying the target topic's file name from the conref attribute to the clipboard and then pasting it into my editor's file select dialog box. I then copy the conref's topicID to the clipboard and search for it in the target topic; if the search does not hit the ID on the topic element, then this is your problem, or at least part of the problem. Finally, I copy the conref's target ID to the clipboard and search for it in the target topic; here again, the search should land on target element's ID attribute. If the search fails to land on your target element, or if it lands on some other element then you need to adjust the conref or the target element so that this does not happen.

Be sure to examine the DITA OT's error log. It will either tell you what the problem is or it will point you in the direction that you need to look.

Bob Thomas

Tagsmiths, LLC

We fixed it - it was a mistake in the FILEREF param. For some reason, even though we set DBG to yes, we did NOT get any error logs. We shut down the development environment, then restarted, and we got error logs. From the logs we then determined it was a mistake in the FILEREF.

 Thank you for your post.

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