A map describes the relationships among a set of DITA topics. The following
are some examples of relationships that can be described in a map:
- Hierarchical (Parent/Child). Nested topics create a hierarchical relationship.
The topic that does the nesting is the parent, and the topics that are nested
are the children.
- Ordered. Child topics can be labeled as having an ordered relationship,
which means they are referenced in a definite sequence.
- Family. Child topics can be labeled as having a family relationship, which
means they all refer to each other.
The relationships defined in a map can be used to create a Table of Contents
(TOC), aggregate topics into a PDF document, or to create links between topics
The <map> element is used to define a map which describes the relationships among a set of resources, such as DITA topics. Maps consist of references to topics and other resources organized into hierarchies, groups, and tables. Maps provide a way to express these relationships in a single common format that can be used for different outputs.
The <anchor> element is used for runtime integration of navigation. It provides an integration point that another map can point to in order to insert its navigation into the current navigation tree. For those familiar with Eclipse help systems, this serves the same purpose as the <anchor> element in that system. It may not be supported for all output formats.
The <navref> represents a pointer to another map which should be preserved as a transcluding link rather than resolved. Output formats that support such linking will integrate the target when displaying the referencing map to an end user.
The relationship table (<reltable>) defines relationships between topics, based on the familiar table model of rows (<relrow>), columns (<relheader>), and cells (<relcell>). The <relcell> elements can contain <topicref> elements, which are then related to other <topicref> elements in the same row (although not necessarily in the same cell). By default, the contents of a <reltable> element are not output for navigation or TOC purposes, and are used only to define relationships that can be expressed as topic-to-topic links.
A <relrow> is a row in the relationship table. This creates a relationship between the cells in the row, which will end up expressed as links among the <topicref> elements in the cells.
A <relcell> element is a cell in the relationship table. The <topicref> elements it contains will be related to topicrefs in other cells of the same row. By default, topicrefs in the same cell are not related to each other, unless you change the relcell's collection-type attribute to indicate that they are related.
The <relheader> element is a row of column definitions (<relcolspec> elements) in a relationship table. Each table can have only one set of column definitions.
A column definition in the relationship table. You can use <relcolspec> column definitions to set defaults for the attributes of <topicref> elements in the column. For example, you can set type="concept" to treat all untyped <topicref> elements in the column as concepts.
The <topicmeta> element defines the metadata that applies to a topic when it appears in a map, and to the other topics in the map that are contained by the same element that contains the <topicmeta> element. When creating links, it can also be used to override the title and short description of the topic. In addition, it can be used to add index entries to referenced content using the <keywords> element.
The <topicref> element identifies a topic (such as a concept, task, or reference) or other resource. A <topicref> can contain other<topicref> elements, allowing you to express navigation or table-of-contents hierarchies, as well as implying relationships between the containing <topicref> and its children. You can set the collection-type of a container <topicref> to determine how its children are related to each other. You can also express relationships among <topicref>s using group and table structures (using <topicgroup> and <reltable>). Relationships end up expressed as links in the output (with each participant in a relationship having links to the other participants by default).
Return to main page.
OASIS DITA Version 1.1 Language Specification -- OASIS Standard, 1 August 2007
Copyright © OASIS Open 2005, 2007. All Rights Reserved.