Can organizations use version control systems (e.g., Git) to manage conditional content in DITA?

Version control systems are valuable tools for managing conditional content in DITA, enabling organizations to track, collaborate on, and effectively manage different versions of content with distinct conditions. These systems help maintain a historical record of condition changes, facilitate parallel development of conditional content branches, and ensure consistency across various iterations of DITA documents, enhancing content management, quality control, and collaboration within the organization.

Content Repository:

Version control systems, like Git, SVN, or DITA-specific CMS solutions, serve as content repositories that store and manage DITA documents, including those with conditional elements and attributes. All document versions and their associated conditions are stored in a centralized repository, making it easy to access and track content history.

Version History:

Version control systems maintain a comprehensive version history of DITA documents, allowing organizations to monitor changes over time. This history includes modifications to conditions, element structures, and content updates. Each revision is timestamped and attributed to specific contributors, ensuring transparency in content evolution.

Branching for Conditions:

Organizations can create branches within the version control system to manage different versions of content with unique conditions. For example, separate branches can be established for content targeting different product versions, audiences, or languages. This branching enables parallel development of content tailored to specific conditions while maintaining a shared repository.

Content Retrieval:

Content creators can easily retrieve specific versions of DITA documents from the version control system. This is particularly useful when access to a previous iteration with specific conditions is required. Content retrieval ensures that the correct configurations are maintained and aids in preserving content consistency.


A global manufacturing company using DITA to produce product manuals in multiple languages and variations for different product lines uses version control systems to manage their conditional content.

The company maintains a version control repository where they store DITA documents for product manuals. For their flagship product, they have branches corresponding to different product releases, such as “Product A – Version 1.0” and “Product A – Version 2.0.” Within these branches, they manage conditions that define content variations for different languages and regions.

When a new product version is in development, the technical writing team creates a new branch in the version control system. In this branch, they apply specific conditions for that product version, languages, and regions. As the product evolves, they make condition-related changes to accommodate new features and updates.

To ensure content consistency, the team can retrieve specific branches when they need to access content for a particular product version or region. This ensures that the correct conditions are applied, and users receive documentation that aligns with their product version and region.