What is the role of DITA specialization in adhering to maritime documentation standards?

DITA specialization plays a crucial role in adhering to maritime documentation standards by providing a means to extend and customize the DITA standard to meet the specific needs of the maritime industry. Specialization allows organizations in this sector to create their own DITA document types, elements, and attributes tailored to the unique requirements of maritime documentation.

Customized Document Types

Maritime documentation often includes specialized content, such as vessel specifications, safety procedures, or regulatory references. DITA specialization enables organizations to define custom document types that encapsulate these unique content structures. For example, a maritime company can create a specialized DITA document type for “Vessel Specifications,” complete with elements specific to vessel dimensions, capacity, and propulsion systems.

Attributes for Compliance

Compliance with maritime standards and regulations is a critical aspect of documentation in this industry. DITA specialization allows for the creation of custom attributes that capture compliance-related information. Organizations can define attributes like “compliance-ref” to link content to specific standards, making it easier to demonstrate adherence to industry-specific regulations.


Here’s an example of how DITA specialization can be used to create a custom document type for maritime “Safety Procedures” and a compliance attribute:

<!-- Define a specialized document type for Safety Procedures -->
<element name="safety-procedures" specialized="yes">
  <desc>A specialized document type for maritime safety procedures.</desc>
  <attribute name="compliance-ref">
    <desc>References the compliance standard or regulation applicable to these safety procedures.</desc>
    <element name="procedure" minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="unbounded">
      <desc>A safety procedure.</desc>
        <element name="step" minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="unbounded">
          <desc>A step in the safety procedure.</desc>

In this example, a specialized DITA element “safety-procedures” is defined with a custom “compliance-ref” attribute. Organizations can use this specialized element to author safety procedures while explicitly linking them to relevant compliance standards.