Are there tools or frameworks specifically designed for developing DITA specializations?

Tools and Frameworks for DITA Specialization Development: Developing DITA specializations often requires specialized tools and frameworks to simplify the process. Some commonly used tools and frameworks include:

DITA Open Toolkit (DITA-OT): DITA-OT is an open-source publishing engine for DITA content. While its primary purpose is to generate various output formats, it can also be used for specialization development. You can customize and extend DITA-OT to create new specializations and output formats.

Oxygen XML Editor: Oxygen XML Editor is a popular XML editor that offers extensive support for DITA specialization development. It provides features for creating, editing, and validating DITA specializations, making it a valuable tool for developers.

DITAVAL Filters: DITAVAL (DITA Validity) files are used to filter or constrain the elements and attributes in DITA documents. They can be utilized during specialization development to control which elements are available for customization in a given specialization.

DITA-OT Plug-ins: You can develop custom plug-ins for the DITA Open Toolkit to enhance and automate specialization development. These plug-ins can streamline the process of creating and managing DITA specializations.


Let’s consider the use of DITA-OT for DITA specialization development. Suppose you want to create a new specialization for software documentation that includes custom elements like <code-example> and <release-notes>. You can extend the DITA-OT to support these new elements by defining specialization rules and transformations. Here’s an example:

<!-- Defining a DITA specialization for software documentation -->
  <title>Software Documentation Specialization</title>
  <topicref href="base/dtd/reference.dita">
  <topicref href="specializations/software.dita">

In this example, the DITA-OT is extended to support a new specialization for software documentation, which includes the custom <code-example> element. This element can be used in DITA topics to provide code examples within software documentation.