All topics have the same basic structure, regardless of topic type:
title, description, prolog, and body.
All DITA topics must have an ID, a title, and a body. Topic structures
can consist of the following parts:
- Topic element
- Required id attribute, contains all other elements
- The subject of the topic.
- Alternate titles
- Titles specifically for use in navigation or search. When not provided,
the base title is used for all contexts.
- Short description
- A short description of the topic. Used both in topic content, in generated
summaries that include the topic, and in links to the topic. While short descriptions
aren't required, they can make a dramatic difference to the usability of an
information set, and should generally be provided for all topics.
- Container for various kinds of topic metadata, such as change history,
audience, product, and so on.
- The actual topic content: paragraphs, lists, sections - whatever the information
- Related links
- Links to other topics. When an author creates a link as part of a topic,
the topic becomes dependent on the other topic being available. To reduce
dependencies between topics and thereby increase the reusability of each topic,
authors can use DITA maps to define and manage links between topics, instead
of embedding links directly in each related topic.
- Nested topics
- Topics can be defined inside other topics. Nesting can result in complex
documents that are less usable and less reusable, and should be used carefully.
It is more often appropriate for reference information, which can support
longer documents organized into multiple topics for scanning
OASIS DITA Architectural Specification v1.0 -- 09 May 2005
Copyright (c) OASIS Open 2005. All Rights Reserved.