Task topics answer "How do I?" questions, and have a well-defined structure that describes how to complete a procedure to accomplish a specific goal.
Tasks are the essential building blocks for providing procedure information. A task topic answers the "How do I?" question by providing precise step-by-step instructions detailing what to do and the order in which to do it. The task topic includes sections for describing the context, prerequisites, expected results, and other aspects of a task.
The <task> element is the top-level element for a task topic. Every task topic contains a <title> and a <taskbody> and optional <titlealts>, <shortdesc> or <abstract>, <prolog>, <related-links>, and nested topics.
The <taskbody> element is the main body-level element inside a task topic. A task body has a very specific structure, with the following elements in this order: <prereq>, <context>, <steps>, <result, <example> and <postreq>. Each of the body sections is optional.
The <step> element represents an action that a user must follow to accomplish a task. Each step in a task must contain a command <cmd> element which describes the particular action the user must do to accomplish the overall task. The step element can also contain information <info>, substeps <substeps>, tutorial information <tutorialinfo>, a step example <stepxmp>, choices <choices> or a stepresult <stepresult>, although these are optional.
<task id="ertx"> <title>Creating an ERTX file</title> <taskbody> <context>Each morning before breakfast you need to create a fresh ERTX file.</context> <steps> <step><cmd>Start ERTX.</cmd></step> <step><cmd>Click New ERTX File.</cmd></step> </steps> <result>You now have your ERTX file for today!</result> </taskbody> </task>
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OASIS DITA Version 1.1 Architectural Specification -- OASIS Standard, 1 August 2007
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