The design of the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is based on deriving multiple information types, or topic types, from a common, generic topic. This language reference describes the elements that comprise the topic DTD and its initial, information-typed descendents: concept, reference, task, and glossentry. It also describes the DITA map DTD and its current specialization (bookmap), as well as various topic and map based DITA domains.

This specification describes specific details of each element in the OASIS DITA language. The separate DITA Architectural Specification includes detailed information about DITA specialization, when to use each topic type, how topics and maps interact, details of complex behaviors such as conref and conditional processing, and many other best practices for working with DITA.

The elements that make up the DITA design represent a set of different authoring concerns, each of which is grouped into its own chapter. Major sections include:

In addition to glossentry topics, bookmap, the xNAL domain, and the formalized DITAVAL format, DITA 1.1 also includes a new indexing domain, clarifications to the image and object elements, new props and base attributes for attribute specialization, and several new elements:

DITA 1.1 includes a new "dir" attribute to aid in localization. This attribute, along with other localization attributes, is now available on nearly every DITA element. In addition, common metadata and id attributes that were available on many elements in DITA 1.0 are now available on nearly every element.


The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

Normative References

S. Bradner, Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels,, IETF RFC 2119, March 1997.

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