(Non-normative) DITA 1.2 adds a number of new features
to DITA, including indirect addressing via map-defined keys; the
ability to define content-model constraints for DITA document
types; specializations for learning content and the machine industry;
and taxonomies, ontologies, and controlled vocabularies. Other
refinements include extended markup for glossaries and terminology.
features are new in DITA 1.2:
- Keys and key references. See Key-based addressing.
- Constraint modules. Constraint modules allow base content models
to be further constrained without the need for specialization.
For example, a constraint module can make optional elements
required or disallow optional elements in a specific content
model. See Constraint domains.
- Topic and map specializations for learning and training information,
including interactive assessments. See the architectural
specification for learning and training content.
- New elements for use with glossary entry topics for more complete
description of terms, definition of acronyms, and so on.
- New map specialization for defining controlled vocabularies and
taxonomies. See subjectScheme.
- New machine-industry task specialization. See Machinery
New element types
base element types are new in DITA 1.2:
- Allowed in most contexts where text is allowed but neither <ph>
nor <keyword> are allowed. Enables reuse of text
in almost any context.
- Allows creation of untitled containers within topic bodies. Intended
primarily for specialization.
- Allows creation of untitled containers within sections. Intended
primarily for specialization.
- Topicref specialization for defining keys. Sets the default value
for the @processing-role attribute to "resource-only".
- Topicref specialization for referring to DITA maps. Sets the default
value for the @format attribute to "ditamap".
- Used to define sets of topicrefs that represent an atomic unit
of reusable navigation structure. Requires the @id attribute
- References a <topicset> element. Enables preservation of the
identity of the referenced topicset.
- Defines a point within a map to which topicrefs can be bound using
the <anchorref> element.
- "Pushes" one or more topicrefs onto an anchor point defined by
an <anchor> element. Similar to a conref push but
allows the relationship to be managed dynamically by
Refinements to maps
- Map elements can use the <title> element in place of the title
- Relationship table elements can have <title> as an optional
- Topicref elements can use the <navtitle> element in place of
the navtitle attribute.
- Maps and topicrefs can now contain the same metadata elements
as topic prologs.
- New topicref attribute named processing-role. Indicates whether
or not a topic reference contributes to the navigation
structure of the containing map.
Refinements to content references
- Content references can now point to ranges of elements. For example,
a single content reference from a <step> element can
include a sequence of <step> elements.
- Content references can "push" elements into a target context,
allowing unilateral augmentation of topics from other
topics. For example, given a base topic with generic content,
a using map could include both the generic topic and a separate topic
that uses conref push to add map-specific content to the
- Content reference resolution can be deferred so that it is done
later in a rendering process or completely deferred so
that it can be done by a separate delivery mechanism,
for example., Eclipse information centers.
Refinements to topic elements
- The base task topic type has a more relaxed content model. This
enables creation of a wider variety of specialized tasks,
including task specializations that do not have formal
markup for individual steps. The OASIS-defined task shell document
type integrates a constraint module that imposes the same
constrained content model as defined in the DITA 1.1 task
- A number of content elements allow the new @keyref attribute,
including the <ph>, <keyword>, and <term> elements.
When using the @keyref attribute, these elements can get
their effective content from the key-defining <topicref> element
and can also be treated as navigation links to the resource
pointed to by the key-defining <topicref> element,
if any. For example, a term element can use @keyref to link to
the glossary entry topics for the term.
- The <image> element takes the new @scalefit attribute, which
indicates whether or not the image should be scaled to
fit the presentation context.
- The <draft-comment> element is now allowed in most contexts.
- The <figgroup> element now allows <data> as a subelement.
Refinements to specialization
- Structural and domain vocabulary modules can now both be listed
in the domains attribute. Structural modules can depend
on and specialize elements from domains. For example,
a structural domain for reference topics for a specific programming
language could depend on the Programming domain (pr-d)
and specialize elements from that domain.
- Information Architects can indicate whether the use of a given
vocabulary module requires strict or weak checking of
content reference constraints.
- The implementation patterns for vocabulary modules have been refined.
In particular, each element type now defines a separate
parameter entity for its content model and attribute list,
allowing per-element configuration of content models and attribute
lists through constraint modules.
- The <dita> element now has the @DITAArchVersion attribute.
- A number of processing details have been clarified where they
were underspecified in DITA 1.1.
- Most attributes that had enumerated values in DITA 1.1 are now
unenumerated, allowing specializations to define different
enumerations if they choose.