Audience or Use Alternatives

The <alternatives> element names processing alternatives for a single display object such as a graphic or a table. It does not, however, accommodate versions of semantically equivalent material intended for different audiences (for patients versus for doctors). Typical cases of this type of multiple version include:

These textual/semantic alternatives are very different from the case of multiple formats of the same graphic, in part because there is a structural difference; a given section does or does not contain this paragraph. The is also a slight difference in complexity between this case and that of the graphic in that, for the multiple formats graphic, software picks one alternative and, for the structure, the software must build a different structural tree. While this Tag Suite does not support alternate trees, it does include an attribute (@specific-use) to record these distinctions.

The @specific-use could be used to record that certain paragraphs were for print-only:

   <p specific-use="print-only">See the latest updates on our website:</p>

The @specific-use attribute can be placed on all the block-level structures, that is, on paragraphs, figures, sections, and all the block display objects. There is no recommended set of values, but publishers have used “print-only”, “web-only”. “online-only”, “voice-only”, “specific-product-name”, etc.