How is the modularization of DITA specializations managed during development?

Modularization of DITA Specializations: Managing the modularization of DITA specializations during development is essential to ensure flexibility and reusability. This is typically achieved through:

Topic-Based Structuring: DITA encourages structuring content into topics, which are self-contained and can be reused in multiple publications. Specializations follow the same topic-based structure, allowing developers to create modular extensions with their own specialized topics.

Topicrefs and Maps: DITA uses topicrefs and maps to assemble topics into coherent documents. Specializations are typically organized as a set of topicrefs that reference the specialized topics, allowing for modular inclusion and exclusion based on project requirements.

Conditional Processing: DITA supports conditional processing attributes like “audience,” “product,” or “platform.” Specializations can use these attributes to create modular content variations, tailoring content to different audiences or scenarios without duplicating topics.

Content Reference: In DITA, one specialization can reference elements or content from another specialization. This promotes modularization by enabling the reuse of specialized content across different domains or projects.


Consider a scenario where you have a DITA specialization for product documentation, and you want to reuse specific content modules for different product versions. You can achieve modularization like this:

<!-- Modularized DITA specialization for product documentation -->
  <title>Product Documentation for XYZ Software</title>
  <topicref href="specializations/product-intro.dita">
    <props product="XYZ Pro" platform="Windows"/>
  <topicref href="specializations/product-features.dita">
    <props product="XYZ Pro"/>
  <topicref href="specializations/product-release-notes.dita">
    <props product="XYZ Pro" version="2.0"/>

In this example, different topicrefs are used to include specialized content modules for the product documentation. By setting conditional attributes like “product” and “version,” you can easily modularize content for different product versions while maintaining a single specialization.