Re: Something like ditaval, but for topics or smaller?

Chris Papademetrious

Hi Kris, Chris, (!!)

Our team has been using DITA for almost two years. Our writers are just now getting comfortable working with maps via Oxygen's GUI. The creation and use of DITAVAL files is well beyond their comfort level. (We do use DITAVAL files for @product filtering, but I maintain those and the writers don't know the details.)

I have wished for a more ad-hoc form of filtering that (1) uses attributes instead of files to locally impose a condition, and (2) works for both map and topic elements. For example, something like this:

<profiling audience="foo">
  <ul conref="supersetList"><li/></ul>

where the attribute values of a <profiling> element *apply* conditions, rather than being affected by them. (I don't claim to have thought through all the details...)

About six months ago, I had a user who wanted to reuse the same table in two places in their book, but a subset of rows in each location (just like Chris's question). Asking the writer to use DITAVAL was not an option. There wasn't even an obvious profiling attribute to use. Maybe @audience="table1" and @audience="table2"?

So although DITA was mechanically capable of the request, the writer mechanics weren't feasible. They ended up duplicating and modifying the table. It made me sad.

 - Chris

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