DITA 1.2 added a number of new features to DITA, including indirect addressing using
map-defined keys; the ability to define content-model constraints for DITA document
types; specializations for learning content and the machine industry; and taxonomies,
ontologies, and controlled vocabularies. Other refinements include extended markup for
glossaries and terminology.
features are new in DITA 1.2:
- Keys and key references.
- Constraint modules. Constraint modules allow base content models to be further restricted
without the need for specialization. For example, a constraint
module can make optional elements required or disallow optional
elements in a specific content model.
- Topic and map specializations for learning and training information, including interactive
- New elements for use with glossary entry topics for more complete
description of terms, definition of acronyms, and so on.
- New map specialization for defining controlled vocabularies and taxonomies.
- New machine-industry task specialization.
- New general-task information type.
New element types
base element types are new in DITA 1.2:
- Allowed in most contexts where text is allowed but neither
<keyword> are allowed. Enables reuse of text in almost any
- Allows creation of untitled containers within topic bodies. Intended
primarily for specialization.
- Allows creation of untitled containers within sections. Intended
primarily for specialization.
- Topicref specialization for defining keys. Sets the default value for the
@role attribute to "resource-only".
- Topicref specialization for referring to DITA maps. Sets the default value for the
@format attribute to "ditamap".
- Used to define sets of topicrefs that represent an atomic unit of reusable navigation structure.
@id attribute be specified.
- References a
<topicset> element. Enables preservation of the identity of
the referenced topic set.
- Defines a point within a map to which
<topicref> elements can be bound
- "Pushes" one or more
<topicref> elements onto an anchor point defined by
<anchor> element. Similar to a conref push but allows the
relationship to be managed dynamically by the renderer.
Refinements to maps
- Map elements can use the
<title> element in
place of the
- Relationship table elements can have
<title> as an optional first
- Topicref elements can use the
element in place of the
- Maps and topicrefs can now contain the same metadata elements as
<topicref> attribute named
@processing-role. Indicates whether or not
a topic reference contributes to the navigation structure of the
Refinements to content references
- Content references can now point to ranges of elements. For
example, a single content reference from a
<step> element can include a
- Content references can "push" elements into a target context,
allowing unilateral augmentation of topics from other topics.
For example, given a base topic with generic content, a using
map could include both the generic topic and a separate topic
that uses conref push to add map-specific content to the generic
- Content reference resolution can be deferred so that it is done
later in a rendering process or completely deferred so that it
can be done by a separate delivery mechanism, for example,
Eclipse information centers.
Refinements to topic elements
- The base task topic type has a more relaxed content model. This
enables creation of a wider variety of specialized tasks,
including task specializations that do not have formal markup
for individual steps. The strict-task document type integrates a
constraint module that imposes the same constrained content
model as defined in the DITA 1.1 task topic type.
- A number of content elements allow the new
attribute, including the
<term> elements. When using the
@keyref attribute, these elements can get
their effective content from the key-defining
<topicref> element and can also be
treated as navigation links to the resource pointed to by the
<topicref> element, if any.
For example, a
<term> element can use
@keyref to link to the glossary entry
topics for the term.
<image> element takes the new
@scalefit attribute, which indicates
whether or not the image should be scaled to fit the
<draft-comment> element is now allowed
in most contexts.
<figgroup> element now allows
<data> as a subelement.
Refinements to specialization
- Structural and domain vocabulary modules can now both be listed in
@domains attribute. Structural modules can
depend on and specialize elements from domains. For example, a
structural domain for reference topics for a specific
programming language could depend on the Programming domain
(pr-d) and specialize elements from that domain.
- Information architects can indicate whether the use of a given
vocabulary module requires strict or weak checking of content
- The implementation patterns for vocabulary modules have been
refined. In particular, each element type now defines a separate
parameter entity for its content model and attribute list,
allowing per-element configuration of content models and
attribute lists through constraint modules.
<dita> element now has the
- A number of processing details have been clarified where they were
underspecified in DITA 1.1.
- Most attributes that had enumerated values in DITA 1.1 are now
unenumerated, allowing specializations to define different
enumerations if they choose.