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

Subject: RE: Arguments for NOT using topics as parents to other topics in DITA-maps
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: Martin Jonasson <martinjonassonjobbet -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2013 08:34:06 -0700

Martin Jonasson wrote:

> 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 don't know DITA, but if I'm understanding your second (NOT OK) example, it's wrong for reasons having nothing to do with DITA. In outline form, the first example would look like this:

1. Alarms
A. Alarms overview
B. List of alarms
2. Some other topic

The second example would look like this:

1. Alarms overview
A. List of alarms
2. Some other topic

Bad form. A topic shouldn't have a single subtopic. Granted, many of us have occasionally broken that rule when in a hurry, but it's still a good one. I'm a bit surprised that DITA doesn't enforce it.

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-903-6372
------








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References:
Arguments for NOT using topics as parents to other topics in DITA-maps: From: Martin Jonasson

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