Arguments for NOT using topics as parents to other topics in DITA-maps

Subject: Arguments for NOT using topics as parents to other topics in DITA-maps
From: Martin Jonasson <martinjonassonjobbet -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 11:12:15 +0200

Hi all,

I had an argument with an experienced developer/technical writer about
creating structures for topic based authoring/DITA.

He argued that you should never use a topics as a parent for another
topic in a structure. Always use a heading without content as a parent.
(topichead)

In DITA that would mean using "topichead" for headings and never place a
"topicref" as a child to another "topicref" in the Ditamap.

Exemple:
topichead "Alarms"
- topicref "Concept: Alarms overview"
- topicref "Fact: List of Alarms"

... is OK!

topicref "Concept: Alarms overview"
- topicref "Fact: List of Alarms"

... is NOT OK as topicref is child of topicref.

He argued that this is the proper way of using topic based authoring and
would make the information more clear and logic.

I've been working with DITA/other systems for a while and can't really see
his point here.

Can someone please clarify me on this? Is he making a valid point I can't
see? How important is his point if this is the case? Or is he plain wrong?

How many of you avoid topicrefs in topicrefs?

Any thoughts are highly appriciated!

//MJ


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