Concept topic

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Version 1.3 Part 2: Technical Content Edition

version
1.3
author
OASIS DITA Technical Committee

Concept topics are specialized from topic. They include the standard topic elements, including the short description, prolog, a body, and related links.

The purpose of the concept information type

Concepts provide background that helps readers understand essential information about a product, a task, a process, or any other conceptual or descriptive information. A concept might be an extended definition of a major abstraction such as a process or function. Conceptual information might explain the nature and components of a product and describe how it fits into a category of products. Conceptual information helps readers to map their knowledge and understanding to the tasks they need to perform and to provide other essential information about a product, process, or system.

The structure of the concept topic

The concept topic is specialized from the base topic information type. The top-level element for a DITA concept topic is the concept element. Every concept topic contains the standard topic elements, including title, short descriptions or abstract, prolog, a body, and related links.

The conbody element holds the main body-level elements of the concept topic. Like the body element of a base topic, the conbody allows paragraphs, lists, tables, figures and other general elements. It also provides two key elements that allow authors to subdivide the topic into parts, with or without titles. These subdivisions are called sections and examples. The conbody also allows div, bodydiv, and sectiondiv to facilitate grouping elements in the conbody.

Limitations within conbody

The conbody provides for an unlimited number of subdivisions in the form of sections and examples. However, once an author decides to incorporate a section or example in the conbody, only additional sections or examples are allowed. Sections and examples can not nest, meaning that only one level of subdivision is permitted in the concept topic.

Concept body primary subdivisions

section
Represents an organizational division in a concept topic. Sections organize subsets of information within a larger topic. You can only include a simple list of peer sections in a topic; sections cannot be nested. A section can have an optional title.
example
Provides examples that illustrate or support the current topic. The example element has the same content model as section.

Following is an example of a simple concept topic. Note that once an example is used, it can be followed only by another example or by a section.

<concept id="concept">
 <title>Bird Songs</title>

<shortdesc>Bird songs are complex vocalizations used to attract mates or defend territories. 
<conbody>
  <p>Bird songs vary widely among species, from simple songs that are genetically imprinted to complex songs that are learned over a lifetime.</p>
  <example>
   <p>Flycatchers know their songs from birth:</p>
   <ul>
    <li>Flycatcher songs are simple sequences of notes.</li>
    <li>Flycatcher songs never vary but are unique to each member of the Flycatcher family.</li>
   </ul>
  </example>
 </conbody>
</concept>