DITA topics are the basic units of DITA content. Each topic should
be organized around a single subject. Topics may be of different types, such
as task or reference, or may be generic, that is, without a specific type.
- What are topics?
A topic is a unit of information with a title and some form of content, short enough to be specific to a single subject or answer a single question, but long enough to make sense on its own and be authored as a unit.
- Why topics?
Topics are the basis for high-quality information. They should be short enough to be easily readable, but long enough to make sense on their own.
- Information typing
Information typing is the practice of identifying types of topics that contain distinct kinds information, such as concepts, tasks, and reference information. Topics that answer different kinds of questions can be categorized as different information types. The base topic types provided by DITA provide a usable starter set that can be adopted for immediate authoring.
- Transitional text
Most writers are familiar with narrative writing, in which writers provide transitions that lead a reader from one section to the next (like "Next, we will consider..." or "Having completed the previous tasks,..."). The topic-oriented paradigm incorporated in DITA's design--and implicit in the bookmap model derived from DITA maps--favors a writing style that minimizes the use of such narrative filler between topics.
- Generic topics
The generic or unspecialized topic type provides the base for other specialized topic types, and also provides a place to author content that does not belong in existing specialized types.
DITA concept topics answer "What is..." questions. They include a body-level element with a basic topic structure, including sections and examples.
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.
Reference topics describe regular features of a subject or product, such as commands in a programming language.
Each DITA glossary topic defines a single sense of one term. Besides identifying the term and providing a definition, the topic can identify related terms.
- Topic domains
A DITA domain defines a set of elements associated with a particular subject area or authoring requirement regardless of topic type.
Return to main page.
OASIS DITA Version 1.1 Architectural Specification -- OASIS Standard, 1 August 2007
Copyright © OASIS Open 2005, 2007. All Rights Reserved.