Are there version control considerations when managing DITA indexes?

Version control considerations are critical when managing DITA indexes to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the index content over time. Effective version control practices help maintain consistency between the index and the evolving DITA content, preventing discrepancies and ensuring that users can access the right information.

Index Versioning

One key aspect of version control is aligning the index with the specific versions of the DITA content it references. This involves assigning version numbers or identifiers to the index itself to indicate which version of the content it corresponds to. When content is updated or revised, the index can be updated accordingly, and a clear record of which content version the index references is maintained. This ensures that users accessing a particular version of the content will see the corresponding index.

Content Dependency Tracking

Version control also involves tracking dependencies between the index and the DITA content it indexes. For example, when a specific topic or document is updated or deleted, the index should be aware of these changes. Dependency tracking mechanisms can be implemented to automatically detect modifications in the content and trigger updates or removals of corresponding entries in the index. This synchronization ensures that the index accurately reflects the state of the DITA content at all times.


Here’s an example of version control considerations in DITA index management:

<index version="3.0">
  <entry term="Topic A" link="topic_a_v3.dita" />
  <entry term="Topic B" link="topic_b_v3.dita" />
  <entry term="Topic C" link="topic_c_v3.dita" />
  <entry term="New Topic D" link="topic_d_v3.dita" />

In this example, the index is versioned as “3.0,” indicating that it corresponds to the third version of the DITA content. The index entries are updated to reference the appropriate content versions.