common element & conref versus ditaval

Subject: common element & conref versus ditaval
From: <jopakent -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2018 10:54:06 -0700

We're using DITA along with Oxygen & EasyDita to single source the admin
content we deliver for a software product user interface.

For each release we have a lot of procedures that are the same regardless of
the environment you use our product in. But we also have quite a few
procedures that are 'almost' the same, except for a word here, or a phrase
there.



I'd like to be able to lay out the case for using a ditavals versus common
element * conrefs. I'm not arguing for using only ditavals. I want to
explain why using the ditavals is a good idea in some cases (and what those
cases are). What I believe is optimum is to use common elements files and
conrefs for elements that are identical and then for steps that need a
different word or two, use a ditaval in a <ph> element that conditionalizes
the correct words into the publication.



The pushback I'm seeing is based on concern that if there is
miscommunication or error at production time, the conditions don't apply and
the resulting output is pretty hashed up.



Wondering if maybe someone can point me to some pro and cons for both
workflows.



Thanks. oh and if you can please cc me direct, it'd be great to see any
responses I get sooner rather than waiting for the digest.



TIA,

JPK

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