by David Kelly
This session was presented by France Baril from Ixiasoft. I think by this time in the afternoon I was starting to need a cheeseburger fix – and not a fast food joint in sight. For each point Ms. Baril presented what it was, when to use it, how to do it, and what to watch out for. Here I will only give a brief description of the “whats” in hopes that the curious will ping me (or her) about the whys and hows.
The 7 types of re-use enabled by DITA that she presented were:
1. Multiple output types from one source. XML to PDF, HTML, etc.
2. Using the same topic in different projects and contexts. Basically, multiple DITA maps can point to the same topic, but in different orders or with different selections of companion topics.
3. Regular conditional text/filtering. This is the standard DITA mechanism of specifying an attribute and value on a topic (or other tags), then including or excluding that text based on a setting in a ditaval file.
4. “Systematic” conditional text/filtering. I was not familiar with this term. I somewhat lost the definition, but it appears to involve the use of DITA-specialized elements combined with custom XSL. The example was the use of a
5. Conrefs – this involved the standard DITA use of conrefs, which basically involve creating a piece of text in one place, then “conreffing” it from another. In the final document the conref is replaced by the reference text. See my comment in an earlier entry about thinking about conrefs as contextless, stand-alone units of information. (Hmm, maybe if this blogging application application supported DITA I could have used a conref!)
6. Variables for words and phrases. She mentioned the