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
The attributes @xml:lang, @translate, and @dir are described in more detail
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OASIS DITA Version 1.1 Architectural Specification -- OASIS Standard, 1 August 2007
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