General Task

The general task information type was introduced in DITA 1.2 as a less prescriptive alternative to the task (or strict task) information type.

In DITA 1.2, the task information type was separated into general task and strict task. Technically speaking, the general task is now the base task information type, because strict type is implemented as a constrained version of general task. (DITA 1.2 also introduced the constraints feature, which allows the rules of an information type to be tightened in a simpler way than otherwise creating a specialised information type.)

Task information types in base DITA 1.2

For documenting most procedures, the strict task is the more appropriate choice. Conceptually, it is best to think of the task information type as meaning strict task. The strict task information type is the equivalent of the DITA 1.1 task, while the general task has much more relaxed content rules.

Note: In The DITA Style Guide, the term task information type means the task information type in DITA 1.0 and 1.1, and the strict task information type in DITA 1.2.

Wherever possible, you should prefer the strict task. If your organisation's content model is more appropriately served by general task, then stick to general task across the document repository. Avoid mixing strict task and general task in the same publication.