22.214.171.124 Task topic (strict task)
The strict task-document type supports the development of instructions for the completion of a procedure. The strict-task document type is built using the general-task information type combined with the strict taskbody constraint. See the reference below to ensure that you have the correct task document type when you update to DITA 1.3 from DITA 1.0 or DITA 1.1
The purpose of the standard task information type
Tasks are the essential building blocks to
provide procedural information. A task information type answers the "How do I?"
question by providing precise step-by-step instructions detailing the requirements
that must be fulfilled, the actions that must be performed, and the order in which
the actions must be performed. The
<task> topic includes
sections for describing the context, prerequisites, expected results, and other
aspects of a task.
The structure of the
<task> element is
the top-level element for the strict task topic. The strict task document type
<title> and a
with optional alternative titles (
<titlealts>), a short
is the main body element inside a strict task document type. The strict task body
has a constrained structure, with these optional elements in the following order:
- Describes information that the user needs to know or do before starting the immediate task. This section can occur only once.
- Provides background information for the task. This information helps the users understand the purpose of the task and what they will gain by completing the task correctly. This section should be brief and does not replace or recreate a concept topic on the same subject, although the context section might include some conceptual information. This section can occur only once.
- Provides the main content of the task topic. A
<task>consists of a series of steps that accomplish the task. The
<steps>element must have one or more
<step>elements, which provide the specifics about each step in the task. The
<steps>element can occur only once.
<step>element represents an action that a user must follow to accomplish a task. Each
<task>must contain a command
<cmd>element which describes the particular action the user must perform to accomplish the overall task. The
<step>element can also contain information
<substeps>, tutorial information
<tutorialinfo>, a step example
<choices>, a step result
<stepresult>, or troubleshooting
<steptroubleshooting>, although these are optional.
- Provides alternative content for the
<task>topic, allowing for a single step in a procedure or a set of commands that need not be performed in a specific order.
- Describes the expected outcome for the task as a whole.
- ►Describes actions that a user might take if the task does not produce the expected results.◄
- Provides an example that illustrates or supports the task.
- Describes steps or tasks that the user should do after the successful
completion of the current task. It is often supported by links to the next
task or tasks in the
<task id="birdhousebuilding"> <title>Building a bird house</title> <shortdesc>Building a birdhouse is a perfect activity for adults to share with their children or grandchildren. It can be used to teach about birds, as well as the proper use of tools. </shortdesc> <taskbody> ►<prereq>To build a sound birdhouse, you will need a complete set of tools: <ul><li>hand saw</li> <li>hammer ... </li> </ul></prereq> <context>Birdhouses provide safe locations for birds to build nests and raise their young. They also provide shelter during cold and rainy spells.</context>◄ <steps> <step><cmd>Lay out the dimensions for the birdhouse elements.</cmd></step> <step><cmd>Cut the elements to size.</cmd></step> <step><cmd>Drill a 1 1/2" diameter hole for the bird entrance on the front.</cmd> <info>You need to look at the drawing for the correct placement of the hole.</info></step> <!--...--> </steps> <result>You now have a beautiful new birdhouse!</result> <postreq>Now find a good place to mount it.</postreq> </taskbody> </task>
Maintaining specializations using the strict task model
Organizations that have created specializations based on the DITA 1.0 and 1.1 strict task model can review the recommendations in Migrating from DITA 1.1 to 1.2 for information about how to maintain their specializations.