What is the purpose of specialization documentation in DITA?

The purpose of specialization documentation in DITA is to provide detailed guidance and information to content authors, enabling them to effectively use, understand, and customize specialized elements and attributes introduced through DITA specializations. Here’s an overview:

Guidance for Content Authors: Specialization documentation acts as a reference and instructional guide for content authors. It provides clear and comprehensive explanations of custom elements and attributes specific to a DITA specialization, ensuring content authors understand how to use them correctly.

Usage Examples: Specialization documentation often includes usage examples that illustrate how specialized components should be employed. These examples serve as templates for content authors, helping them create valid content that adheres to the specialization’s rules.

Customization Instructions: When a DITA specialization allows for customization, the documentation outlines how content authors can adapt the specialized components to meet specific requirements. It may provide instructions on modifying templates, stylesheets, or transformation scenarios.

Validation Reference: Since validation checks are based on the rules defined in specialization documentation, it acts as a reference for validation tools to confirm that content is compliant with the documented guidelines. Accurate documentation ensures proper validation.

Consistency and Quality: Specialization documentation plays a crucial role in maintaining content consistency and quality. It prevents errors, standardizes the use of custom elements, and ensures that content adheres to the organization’s requirements.


<!-- Example of specialization documentation for a custom DITA specialization -->
    <element name="product-specification">
        Guidelines for using the <product-specification> element in product documentation.
            <spec-title>Technical Specifications</spec-title>
        Instructions for customizing <product-specification> templates and styles.