To what can we compare the body element in DITA? It’s not fluff, as in “hair with body.” There’s no inertia as in Newton’s First Law of Motion, “a body in motion tends to stay in motion.” There’s no official entity as in a corporate body. But it is a collection of information, as in “a body of evidence.” And that thought image leads to some interesting explorations. (more…)
You know the feeling: after a busy afternoon of researching and bookmarking the documentation for a product you just bought, you go back to look for the particular link you logged about installing on weekends. But all the bookmark titles just say “Installing FooFram” with no other clue about that weekend issue. Whoever wrote those chapters needed searchtitle for the web version of that document! (more…)
A navtitle, in DITAspeak, is a shorter version of a longer, actual topic title that can be displayed in navigation menus or other contexts where a more succinct version is preferred. In fact, any application that publishes adaptive content can make use of this version of the title in place of the main title for summary views of the topic such as in a sidebar blurb or for progressive disclosure in a responsive theme. (more…)
To cash a check or apply for a job, normally you validate your identity by opening up your pocketbook or wallet to show the various forms of identity you carry with you. The prolog in a DITA topic is like that wallet, holding the information that other applications might need to know about your topic. (more…)
When you need more than just the regular title as the text for links to your topic, the name to call is titlealts!
Titlealts can push a shorter version of the title into your navigation when needed, and provide a more specific version of the title for search results. It’s like having your own personal butler, keeping your linked appearance spiffy in all situations. Read more about The Children of Titlealts in the upcoming sequels, navtitle and searchtitle. (more…)
For Valentine’s Day, what could be more appropriate than a tryst with DITA’s relationship table? It was suggested to me that “Like real relationships, they are difficult to understand sometimes and even more difficult to build….” So let’s all hum “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you” as we open this Valentine card. (more…)
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…)