Conditional processing attributes

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Version 1.3 Part 2: Technical Content Edition

version
1.3
author
OASIS DITA Technical Committee

The metadata attributes specify properties of the content that can be used to determine how the content should be processed. Specialized metadata attributes can be defined to enable specific business-processing needs, such as semantic processing and data mining.

Metadata attributes typically are used for the following purposes:

  • Filtering content based on the attribute values, for example, to suppress or publish profiled content
  • Flagging content based on the attribute values, for example, to highlight specific content on output
  • Performing custom processing, for example, to extract business-critical data and store it in a database

Typically audience, platform, product, otherprops, props, deliveryTarget, and specializations of the props attributes are used for filtering; the same attributes plus the rev attribute are used for flagging. The status and importance attributes, as well as custom attributes specialized from base, are used for application-specific behavior, such as identifying metadata to aid in search and retrieval.

Filtering and flagging attributes

The following conditional-processing attributes are available on most elements:

product
The product that is the subject of the discussion.
platform
The platform on which the product is deployed.
audience
The intended audience of the content.
deliveryTarget
The intended delivery target of the content, for example "html", "pdf", or "epub". This attribute is a replacement for the now deprecated print attribute.

The deliveryTarget attribute is specialized from the props attribute. It is defined in the deliveryTargetAttDomain, which is integrated into all OASIS-provided document-type shells. If this domain is not integrated into a given document-type shell, the deliveryTarget attribute will not be available.

rev
The revision or draft number of the current document. (This is used only for flagging.)
otherprops
Other properties that do not require semantic identification.
props
A generic conditional processing attribute that can be specialized to create new semantic conditional-processing attributes.

Other metadata attributes

Other attributes are still considered metadata on an element, but they are not designed for filtering or flagging.

importance
The degree of priority of the content. This attribute takes a single value from an enumeration.
status
The current state of the content. This attribute takes a single value from an enumeration.
base
A generic attribute that has no specific purpose, but is intended to act as the basis for specialized attributes that have a simple value syntax like the conditional processing attributes (one or more alphanumeric values separated by whitespace or parenthesized groups of values).
outputclass
Provides a label on one or more element instances, typically to specify a role or other semantic distinction. As the outputclass attribute does not provide a formal type declaration or the structural consistency of specialization, it should be used sparingly, usually only as a temporary measure while a specialization is developed. For example, uicontrol elements that define button labels could be distinguished by adding an outputclass attribute:
<uicontrol outputclass="button">Cancel</uicontrol>
The value of the outputclass attribute can be used to trigger XSLT or CSS rules, while providing a mapping to be used for future migration to a more specialized set of user interface elements.