How is DITA content with specializations validated for compliance with the specialization rules?

Validation of DITA content with specializations is essential to ensure compliance with the specialization rules. Here’s an overview of the validation process:

Authoring Environment Validation: Many authoring tools that support DITA offer real-time validation. Authors receive immediate feedback within the authoring environment, ensuring that they follow the specialization rules correctly as they create content.

Pre-Publication Review: Before content is published or integrated into the documentation, it undergoes a review process. This review includes validation against the specialization rules to confirm compliance. Reviewers check if the specialized elements and attributes are used according to the guidelines.

Automated Testing: Some organizations employ automated testing scripts that check DITA content with specializations for adherence to the specialization rules. These scripts can identify non-compliant content for further review and correction.

Manual Inspection: Content creators and subject matter experts manually inspect the DITA content to ensure compliance with specialization rules. They verify that specialized elements, attributes, and templates are applied correctly and consistently across the documentation.

Validation Reports: Organizations generate validation reports to document the compliance of content with specialization rules. These reports can help track and manage content quality and consistency over time.


Imagine an organization using a specialized DITA element <custom-warning> to highlight warnings in their documentation. The content with this specialization is validated to confirm that it follows the rules:

<!-- Validating content with a custom DITA specialization for warnings -->
<custom-warning type="important">This is an important warning message.</custom-warning>
<custom-warning type="caution">This is a cautionary warning message.</custom-warning>
<custom-warning type="note">This is a note for your reference.</custom-warning>