Controversial New DITA Element Set For 2.0 Release

The DITA 2.0 major version represents an opportunity for major architectural revisions to the DITA standard. Numerous internal improvements are not directly visible to end users, but the hotly debated and contested <twerk> element is.

“It can be used anywhere within the <body> element, but preferably the lower sections”, said Casey Attbatt of DITAFab who demonstrated the element while wearing a welding mask at a recent STC Central Iowa chapter meeting. “It caused many of the technical writers in attendance to start wobbling, bouncing, and clapping”.

The element is the only creation that originated from the OASIS DITA for Tweens subcommittee, aimed at promoting DITA awareness among the 10-14 age group, which was abruptly made inactive by a unanimous vote at a recent emergency OASIS DITA Technical Committee meeting.

The <twerk> element identifies content that appears in a different format from the default of a document and draws attention to a point, much like the <note> element. Unlike its forerunner, however, the <twerk> element uses motion and colors to yank eyes away from surrounding content.

The variant types of (in order of increasing levels of colours and motion) “cringe”, “empower”, “seekattention”, “controversial” can be indicated through values selected on the type attribute.

“Even when the visual pain and trauma wears off, the content is present as an afterimage when you close your eyes. That means there’s no need for the user to look at the Help screen for an hour or two”, said Attbat. “It’s like augmented reality for a fraction of the development effort!”

Markup example:

<twerk type =”controversial”>Failure to turn off the device before opening it can result in electric shock!</twerk>

Output example:

Twerk_Element_Example

Edward Smyda-Homa

Edward is a Canadian-born Technical Writer based in Galway City, Republic of Ireland. In addition to content quality, he has a special interest in information navigation and retrievability. Among his favourite past times are mountain hiking, film making, and coffee drinking.

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