Limiting the use of conditions

You should take care to limit the complexity of conditions that you apply to content. Context-agnostic writing is often a better approach.

In traditional publishing processes, conditions or build tags set on document elements have been a key enabler of conditional publishing. Technical communicators working with tools such as FrameMaker and RoboHelp sometimes create complicated nested conditions, so that numerous permutations of a document can be produced from the one project. In a DITA authoring environment, which is modular and library-focussed rather than document-focussed, there are additional, more flexible, mechanisms for single-sourcing.

In a DITA environment, there should be greater focus on writing more agnostically, so that complicated conditions are not necessary. DITA encourages more information analysis than earlier approaches to documentation, and during that analysis, authors should investigate whether context-agnostic writing may be a better approach than very context-specific writing where conditions become overly important.

For example, if a topic includes a product name, which may vary from publication to publication, you may be able to phrase your content so that the specific product name is not used.