In the DITA OT, you can use the .ditaval files to control conditional text (profiling) and revision bars. However, in Arbortext Editor 6.0, you can only use the .ditaval files to control the conditional text. If you allow the .ditaval files to control the revision bars, the writer can flag any new information. When a new version is released, the writer can flag that release's new information, and the flags on the now old information can be easily ignored, with minimal work.
In our current set up, I had to create a condition in all of our block style elements where if rev=[any value] AND status=new, a change bar is added in the PDF output. When a new release comes out though, the writer is forced to go back and change the status attribute from new to unchanged, or to no value so the change bar will not generate. This is a lot of manual work for each release, elements can be easily missed, and it is very time consuming.
The following process describes the steps a writer would follow to use .ditaval files to set the revision bars.
Create or modify a .ditaval file:
In a book directory, create a .ditaval file.
Add a revprop element.
Set the following elements:
val=[any value, for example, the release number]
Save and close the .ditaval file.
In the .dita files, mark the new information:
Open any block style element's Modify Attributes window. For example, a paragraph, or list, or even a list item. Or, from a Map or BookMap, you can open any topicref, chapter, appendix, etc. element's Modify Attributes window.
Set the rev attribute to the val value that you set the in the .ditaval file.
Optional: Set the status attribute to new. This is more for the writer's reference. In the future, if something changes, they can change this to changed, or deleted. Not necessary to make the feature work though.
Build a PDF and call the .ditaval file that was created or modified in step 1. The block elements, or topics, that are marked as new information contain a revision bar in the margin.
When a new release is being worked on, the writer does not need to change all of the old rev attributes in the entire book. They can simply edit the existing .ditaval file and mark the new information.
Edit the .ditaval file for a new release:
Open the necessary .ditaval file.
In the existing revprop element, change the action attribute from flag to include.
Add a new revprop element.
Set the following elements:
val=[any new value, for example, the new release number]
Save and close the file.
In the .dita files, mark the new information with the new val value.
Build a PDF. The old information is included in the output; however, it is not flagged with the revision bar. The new information is flagged with a revision bar in the margin.