Map markup

About DITA elements used only in map contexts.

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The topicref element

A wallet stuffed with credit cards, gift cards, library cards.
Andrew Huff / Foter / CC BY-NC

Among the cards you carry with you daily, you are likely to have credit cards, loyalty cards, insurance and library cards, and more. Each one is associated by your name or other identifier to a member profile in a database. Besides your unique identifier, each profile of yours also records your level or role of membership in a group, your address, possibly some value or role that you represent to the respective group, among other data. A profile is a unique member record that describes how you relate to other members and to the group itself. You are a resource, and the profile is your resource description. And like a profile, a topicref is also a resource description. What kind of resource? Well, don’t let the name fool you. Topicref is DITA’s most versatile element!
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The title element

The <title> element in DITA is pervasive; you find it not only as the title for a map or topic but also as the title for figures, tables, linklists, and sections/examples (and less obviously in the data element, where it is available for various specializations of that metadata element). Topic titles are the only case in DITA in which the representation of the title might change as topics are nested; all other uses represent labels, and thus generally have consistent representation as bolded phrases rather than as heading elements. (more…)

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The map element

You might think of a DITA map as the Swiss Army Knife of lists. When you do a search on the web, you get back a list of topics that match that query. When you sort business cardsĀ from a conference by company or job title, you are creating a hierarchical list of people by that category. Similarly, a DITA map is basically a list of resources that fits a particular reading sequence and hierarchy, possibly one of many depending on how the information was organized. (more…)