Can specialized topic types be reused across DITA projects?

Yes, specialized DITA topic types can be reused across DITA projects, and this reuse can significantly enhance documentation consistency and efficiency.

Specialized DITA topic types are custom topic types designed to meet specific documentation needs within an organization or domain. Reusing specialized topic types allows organizations to maintain consistent structures and standards across multiple DITA projects. It streamlines the documentation process, reduces redundancy, and ensures that content conforms to established guidelines.

Specialized DITA topic types are often created to capture domain-specific information or adhere to industry-specific standards. Reusing these topic types involves referencing the custom topic type definitions in the Document Type Definition (DTD) or XML Schema Definition (XSD) of each project’s DITA documents.

Example: A software development company creates a specialized DITA topic type for documenting software features. This custom topic type includes elements for describing feature functionality, release history, and user instructions. This topic type is defined as “softwarefeature.”

In multiple software documentation projects, the company can reuse the “softwarefeature” topic type. Each project references the same “softwarefeature” definition in its DTD or XSD.

  <!-- Custom DITA Topic Type: softwarefeature -->
  <!ELEMENT softwarefeature (title, functionality, releasehistory, userinstructions)>

  <!ELEMENT title (#PCDATA)>
  <!ELEMENT functionality (#PCDATA)>
  <!ELEMENT releasehistory (#PCDATA)>
  <!ELEMENT userinstructions (#PCDATA)>

This reuse ensures that every software documentation project maintains a consistent structure for describing software features, enhancing the overall quality and coherence of the documentation.