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Subject: Re: [dita-comment] Enhancing filtering logic

Hi, Ralf.

The DITA TC discussed your e-mail at its meeting on 12 June 2018. Here is the substance of the discussion:

  • General agreement that yes, there are some boolean expressions that cannot be handled through DITAVAL.
  • Strong concern that introducing boolean logic for filtering who add considerable complexity. (Since the release of DITA 1.2, the DITA TC has listed complexity as a factor that must be considered in conjunction with any proposals that change the standard.) Those TC members with experience with SGML or XML schemas that permitted boolean logic were especially vocal.
  • General agreement that a proposal for enhancing filtering to use boolean expressions would be considered, but no one present at the meeting had the time, interest, or business requirements necessary to champion such a proposal.

Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)

On 6/6/2018 11:44 AM, Frank Ralf wrote:



We stumbled across the limitations of the current filtering logic in DITA during a recent customer project. I found the following discussion in the Yahoo DITA Users group that makes some interesting suggestions to enhance the filtering logic and make it more versatile. We support these proposals. Basically it would allow switching the AND and OR behavior and introducing a kind of NOT operator. Would that be feasible?


Best regards,




Managing filtering logic


Filtering logic for attributes and values


The filtering of attributes and values follows a fixed logical combining behavior.


Combining several attributes in a filtering situation:

All attributes must be “true” to process the element (AND logic).

<ph type=”tree” color=”green”>…</ph>

(@type AND @color must be true to process the element)


Combining several values within one attribute in a filtering situation:

Only one of the listed values must be true to process the element (OR logic).

<ph product=”ProdA ProdB ProdC” >…</ph>

(only one of the listed “Prod…” values must be true to process the element)


We would like to give authors the chance to change the filtering logic because it depends on the filtering situation which logic is needed.


<ph type=”tree” color=”green” or-profiling-logic=”type color”>Process me if type is tree or color is green.</ph>


<ph feature=”all-values(wlan bluetooth nfc)” >Process me if all listed wireless-features are set</ph>


The “other-than” logic


Sometimes we want to filter-in a text fragment only if a specific value is NOT set (regardless other values of this attribute are set or not).



Normally, if you want to exclude content for only one product (e. g. ProdA) you have to filter all other products in, like:


<ph product=”ProdB ProdC ProdD … ProdN” >Text for non-ProdA products</ph>


This is very difficult to manage.


We would like to say:

<ph product=”if-not(ProdA)”/>

This fragment would be processed if @product is empty or any other value than “ProdA” is set.



Source: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/dita-users/conversations/topics/42463







Frank Ralf

Technical Consultant



Phone: +49 40 7200 500-30

E-Mail: frank.ralf@parson-europe.com




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