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External Xrefs in Screen FOSI?


External Xrefs in Screen FOSI?

I'm trying to get gentext in Editor to pop up Item Numbers that are xref'd in different documents.

PTC's FOSI manual says external xrefs are only supported in ACL, but I can't find any data about that in the ACL manuals.

Can someone help me get started here? I do have the filename (minus the ".xml") as an attribute in the xref if that helps.

<xref itemid="ExMRS00004-87" posttext=")" pretext="(" wpid="S00004-9-2355-319"/">

It would also be extremely helpful if I could throw a warning that the work package referenced (wpid) does not exist. With wpid's that complicated, I'm seeing lots of typos that don't get found until the work package is inserted into the full manual and the xrefs can be updated with real data...which is really a bit late as writers aren't allowed to do that themselves.

Thanks again!

John T. Jarrett
BAE Systems | Arbortext version 5.4 | LOGSA XSL-FO v 1.5


This sounds like the type of functionality that would be part of PTC/Arbortext's DLM feature, which I am not sure, but I believe is separately-licensed and separately-installed and separately-purchased.

Hi John-

Ed's right, this is the sort of thing that DLM is designed to handle for
you. Then again, DLM might be more than you need for this particular

I think what they are referring to in the manual is the use of
SYSTEM-FUNC in your FOSI to call ACL code that would fetch the relevant
information from the referenced file. Conceptually, it would look
something like this:

* In your FOSI, the e-i-c for the <xref> element would include
generated text that invokes a SYSTEM-FUNC variable, to call an ACL

* The ACL function would get the file reference information from
the current oid, go out and load the target document, find the relevant
title or number or whatever from that document, and return it as a

* The ACL function would also handle checking for the existence
of the target; you could do this by popping up a warning message and
returning an empty string, or by returning an error string that would
appear in the document, or maybe both.

If you search the help for system-func, you should find some topics that
help you get started with using ACL functions in FOSI stylesheets. Once
you figure out the basics of that, it opens up a whole new world of
possibilities for formatting documents. (Of course, you have to be a
little careful about that, because using ACL functions in FOSI
stylesheets can have an impact on rendering performance.)


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