The metadata attributes express qualifications on the content. These qualifications can be used to modify the processing of the content.
One typical use of the metadata attributes is to filter content based on their values. Another typical use is to flag content based on their values, for example by highlighting the affected text on output. Typically audience, platform, product, and otherprops are used for filtering, and the same attributes plus rev are used for flagging. Status and importance are used for tool-specific or transform-specific behavior, for example marking steps in a task as optional or required.
In general, a conditional processing attribute provides a list of one or more values separated with whitespace. For instance, audience="administrator programmer" qualifies the content as applying to administrators and programmers.
Other attributes are still considered part of an element's metadata but are not designed for conditional processing, such as filtering or flagging.
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OASIS DITA Version 1.1 Architectural Specification -- OASIS Standard, 1 August 2007
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