Information typing

Information typing is the practice of identifying types of topics that contain distinct kinds information, such as concepts, tasks, and reference information. Topics that answer different kinds of questions can be categorized as different information types. The base topic types provided by DITA provide a usable starter set that can be adopted for immediate authoring.

Classifying information by type helps authors:

Information typing is part of the general authoring approach called structured writing, which is used across the technical authoring industry to improve information quality. It is based on extensive research and experience, including Robert Horn's Information Mapping, and Hughes Aircraft's STOP (Sequential Thematic Organization of Proposals).

Information types in DITA are expressed as topic types. The base topic types provided by DITA can be used as a base for further specialization. New information types that require different structures and semantics are directly supported by topic type modules, each of which defines the specific markup and structural rules required to describe a particular type of topic. These modules can then be integrated into document types to support authoring information-typed topics.