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…)
Explanations from Don’s perspective on the design and history of the DITA standard.
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 cards 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…)
The dita element
Which element is not the most important element in DITA? Paradoxically, that would be the <dita> element. This element defines a container that can hold one or more DITA topics, but it has no formal meaning as a part of structured representation. You might use it to group several topics in a single file unit for ease of loading and working on in parallel, particularly when using file-based content in a word processor-based DITA editor such as FrameMaker or Simply XML or Quark XML Author. (more…)