Machinery task topic

The machinery task document type supports the development of instructions for the completion of a procedure. The machinery task document type is built using the general task information type combined with the Machinery Taskbody Constraint.

The purpose of the machinery task information type

The machinery-task is designed to provide procedural information, similar to the strict task topic, and has a well-defined semantic structure that describes how to perform the steps required to accomplish a specific goal. Compared to the strict task information type, the machinery-task information type contains additional descriptive elements in the prelreqs section that add detail to the pre-requisites required to perform a task. The machinery-task topic is developed using the DITA constraint mechanism, in addition to specializations for new elements.

Machinery tasks are the essential building blocks to provide procedural information for machines, machinery equipment, assemblies, and apparatuses. A machinery-task information type answers the "How do I?" question by providing precise step-by-step instructions detailing the requirements that must be fulfilled, the actions that must be performed, and the order in which the actions must be performed. The machinery-task topic includes sections for describing the context, preliminary requirements, expected results, examples, closing requirements, and other aspects of a task.

The structure of the machinery-task topic

Similar to a strict DITA task, the <task> element is the top-level element for a machinery task topic. The machinery task document type contains a title and a taskbody with optional alternative titles (titlealts), a short description or abstract, a prolog,and related-links.

The <taskbody> element is the main body element inside a machinery-task topic. A machinery-task body has a very specific structure, with the following elements in this order: (<prelreqs> or <context> or <section>)*, <steps>, <result>, <example>, and <closereqs>. Each of the body sections is optional.

The machinery task includes two specialized element groups: <prelreqs> and <closereqs>. All other element groups are the same as the general task model.

The preliminary-requirements section of a task is used to describe what the user needs to know or do before starting the immediate task. The <prelreqs> element is similar to the prerequisites section of the general task model but contains a more descriptive content model. The <prelreqs> element contains required conditions, required personnel, required equipment, supplies, spares, and safety information.
The close-requirements section is used to describe conditions that must be fulfilled after the successful completion of the current task. It is often supported by links to the next task or tasks in the <related-links> section. The <closereqs> element contains required conditions <reqconds>.


The following DITA modules are provided for the machinery task topic.

  • machineryTask.dtd (DTD), machineryTaskbodyConstraint.mod
  • machineryTask.xsd, machineryTaskbodyConstraintMod.xsd, machineryTaskbodyConstraintIntMod.xsd (Schema)

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