Miscellaneous Attributes

DITA has several elements for supporting translation and for providing additional classification or typing of a specific element.

Miscellaneous attributes of DITA elements include the following:

The xml:lang attribute's behavior is described in detail in the XML specification: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/#sec-lang-tag The attribute identifies a language by means of the standard language and country codes (as described in RFC 4646). For instance, French Canadian would be identified by the value fr-ca. As is usual, the language applies to the contained content and attributes of the current element and contained elements, other than fragments that declare a different language.
Determines whether the element requires translation. A default value may be inferred from the element type: for example, <apiname> may be untranslated by default, whereas <p> may be translated by default. A list of suggested defaults is provided in All elements with translation properties.
Determines the direction in which the content should be read.
The outputclass attribute provides a label on one or more element instances, typically to specify a role or other semantic distinction. As the outputclass attribute doesn't provide a formal type declaration or the structural consistency of specialization, it should be used sparingly, often only as a temporary measure while a specialization is developed. For example, <uicontrol> elements that define button labels could be distinguished by adding an outputclass: <uicontrol outputclass="button">Cancel</uicontrol>. The outputclass value could be used to trigger XSLT or CSS rules, as well as providing a mapping to be used for future migration to a more specialized set of UI elements.
A generic attribute that has no specific purpose, but is intended to act as a base for specialized attributes that have a simple value syntax like the conditional processing attributes (one or more alphanumeric values separated by whitespace).

The attributes @xml:lang, @translate, and @dir are described in more detail in Translation.

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OASIS DITA Version 1.1 Architectural Specification -- OASIS Standard, 1 August 2007
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