Can attributes be used for metadata in DITA map elements?

Yes, attributes can be used for metadata in DITA map elements. Metadata provides information about the content, such as its title, author, publication date, keywords, and more. Attributes within DITA maps can be used to specify and store this metadata, aiding in content categorization, discoverability, and organization.

Metadata in DITA maps serves the purpose of describing and categorizing the content within the map. It helps content creators and systems understand key details about the content, which is valuable for organization, search, and retrieval.

Attributes are added to DITA map elements, such as <map>, <topicref>, or <topicmeta>, to capture metadata. Common attributes used for metadata include:

  • @title: Specifies the title of the content.
  • @creator: Indicates the author or creator of the content.
  • @date: Represents the publication date or last modification date.
  • @keywords: Stores keywords or tags related to the content.
  • @desc: Provides a brief description or summary of the content.
  • Custom attributes: Organizations can define custom attributes for specific metadata needs.

Metadata Example:

    <title>Sample Documentation Map</title>
    <topicref href="chapter1.dita">
            <data name="title">Introduction to DITA</data>
            <data name="creator">John Doe</data>
            <data name="date">2023-09-20</data>
            <data name="keywords">DITA, documentation, introduction</data>
            <data name="desc">This chapter provides an overview of DITA.</data>
    <topicref href="chapter2.dita">
            <data name="title">DITA Best Practices</data>
            <data name="creator">Jane Smith</data>
            <data name="date">2023-09-25</data>
            <data name="keywords">best practices, DITA, documentation</data>
            <data name="desc">Learn about best practices in DITA documentation.</data>

In this example:

  • The <topicmeta> element is used within <topicref> to capture metadata.
  • Metadata attributes like @title, @creator, @date, @keywords, and @desc are applied to describe each topic’s attributes.
  • These attributes provide valuable information about the content, facilitating better organization and retrieval of documentation.