"Structuring your Documents for Maximum Reuse," Janice (Ginny) Redish, Best Practices, June 2000. [Best Practices is the bimonthly newsletter of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)]
Content referencing (conref) is a convenient DITA mechanism for reuse of content from other topics or maps. A fragment of content in one topic or map can be pulled by reference into any other topic or map where the content is allowed. To create the reference, start by creating an empty element of the type that you want to pull in, and then use the element's conref attribute to provide the target's location.
The architectural specification describes content referencing at:
Conditional processing, also known as profiling, is the filtering or flagging of information based on processing-time criteria. The filtering mechanism first matches against the criteria, and then takes a specified action.
DITA provides several built-in attributes to hold the values for filter criteria for an element. These are:
For some, perhaps the real question is Why XML? (or What is XML?), but assuming you have answered those questions (and are using XML), then the next step is to locate an appropriate data model for your content. This is an important step because you will spend a lot of time and money developing processes and selecting tools to support your chosen data model.
The DITA Architecture area contains references to specifications and articles that explain the architectural underpinnings of the DITA language.