What role does conditional processing play in tailoring menu documentation for different dining occasions, dietary preferences, and ingredient availability?

Conditional Processing in Tailoring Menu Documentation

Conditional processing is a valuable feature of DITA that plays a pivotal role in customizing menu documentation for different dining occasions, dietary preferences, and ingredient availability. With conditional processing, culinary professionals can ensure that their menus are tailored to specific needs, providing a personalized dining experience. Here’s how it works:

Dynamic Dining Occasions

For different dining occasions such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, DITA allows menu authors to apply conditional attributes to menu items. For example, a breakfast menu may contain items available only during morning hours, and these items can be tagged with a “breakfast” condition. When generating a menu for lunch or dinner, the “breakfast” items can be automatically excluded, resulting in a menu that matches the dining occasion.

Catering to Dietary Preferences

DITA’s conditional processing is instrumental in accommodating diverse dietary preferences. Menu items can be marked with conditions like “vegetarian,” “gluten-free,” or “vegan.” When customers with specific dietary requirements access the menu, only the items meeting their preferences are displayed. This ensures that diners easily find suitable choices and fosters a positive dining experience.

Adapting to Ingredient Availability

In the culinary world, ingredient availability can change due to seasons or supply chain variations. DITA enables menu authors to create conditional content based on ingredient availability. For instance, if a seafood ingredient becomes temporarily unavailable, the menu items relying on it can be hidden or substituted with alternative choices. This ensures that the menu remains accurate and minimizes customer disappointment.


Here’s an example of conditional processing in a DITA menu:

  <title>Seasonal Salad</title>
  <description>A refreshing salad with seasonal ingredients.</description>
  <condition-expr platform="mobile" effect="exclude"/>
  <condition-expr class="vegetarian" effect="exclude"/>
  <condition-expr class="gluten-free" effect="exclude"/>

In this example, the “Seasonal Salad” menu item is conditionally processed based on different factors. It is excluded on mobile platforms, from vegetarian menus, and from gluten-free menus, ensuring it appears only under specific conditions.