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The README file: xml2rfc v1.13
The README fileM. Rose
 Dover Beach Consulting, Inc.
 June 9, 2002

xml2rfc v1.13


Table of Contents


1. Introduction

This is a package to convert memos written in XML to the RFC format.

If you don't want to install any software, you can use the web-based service.


2. Requirements

You need to have Tcl/Tk version 8 running on your system. Tcl is a scripting language, Tk is Tcl with support for your windowing system.

To get a source or binary distribution for your system, go to the Scriptics website and install it. If you get the binary distribution, this is pretty simple.

Of course, you may already have Tcl version 8. To find out, try typing this command from the shell (including the "MS-DOS Prompt"):

    % tclsh

If the program launches, you're good to go with Tcl version 8.

If you are running under a windowing system (e.g., X or Windows), you can also try:

    % wish

If a new window comes up along with a "Console" window, then you're good to go with Tk version 8.

Finally, you may notice a file called xml2sgml.tcl in the distribution. It contains some extra functionality for a few special users — so, if you don't know what it is, don't worry about it...


3. Testing

Now test your installation.

3.1 Testing under a windowing system

Type this command from the shell:

    % xml2rfc.tcl

A new window should come up that looks like this:

    |                     Convert XML to RFC                     |
    |                                                            |
    |  Select input file: ____________________________  [Browse] |
    |                                                            |
    | Select output file: ____________________________  [Browse] |
    |                                                            |    
    |               [Convert]               [Quit]               |
    |                                                            |

Fill-in the blanks and click on [Convert].

3.2 Testing without a windowing system

Type this command from the shell:

    % tclsh

If the program launches, type this command to it:

    % source xml2rfc.tcl

and you should see these four lines:

    invoke as "xml2rfc   inputfile outputfile"
           or "xml2txt   inputfile"
           or "xml2html  inputfile"
           or "xml2nroff inputfile"


4. Next steps

Read the 2629bis document. In particular, Section 3 has some good information.

4.1 Processing Instructions

A processing instruction is a directive to an XML application. If you want to give directives to xml2rfc, the PIs look like this:

    <?rfc keyword='value'?>

4.1.1 Option Settings

The list of valid keywords are:

    keyword     default     meaning
    =======     =======     =======
    compact     no          when producing a .txt file, try to
                            conserve vertical whitespace
    subcompact  compact     if compact is "yes", then setting
                            this to "no" will make things a 
                            little less compact

    toc         no          generate a table-of-contents

    tocompact   yes         if toc is "yes", then setting this to
                            "no" will make it a little less compact

    tocdepth    3           if toc is "yes", then this determines the
                            depth of the table-of-contents

    editing     no          insert editing marks for ease of
                            discussing draft versions

    private     ""          produce a private memo rather than
                            an RFC or Internet-Draft.

    header      ""          override the leftmost header string

    footer      ""          override the center footer string

    slides      no          when producing an .html file, produce
                            multiple files for a slide show

    sortrefs    no          sort references

    symrefs     no          use anchors rather than numbers for

    background  ""          when producing an .html file, use this

Remember, that as with everything else in XML, keywords and values are case-sensitive.

4.1.2 Include Files

xml2rfc has an include-file facility, e.g.,

    <?rfc include='file'?>

xml2rfc will consult the $XML_LIBRARY environment variable for a search path of where to look for files. (If this envariable isn't set, the directory containing the file that contains the include-file directive is used.)

You can also have xml2rfc set this envariable directly, by including a file called .xml2rfc.rc in the directory where your main file is, e.g.,

global env

if {![info exists env(XML_LIBRARY)]} {
    set env(XML_LIBRARY) \
set nativeD [file nativename $inputD]
if {[lsearch [split $env(XML_LIBRARY) ";"] $nativeD] < 0} {
    set env(XML_LIBRARY) "$nativeD;$env(XML_LIBRARY)"

which, on Windows, sets the envariable to a default value, and then inserts, at the front, the directory where your main file is.

There are links to various bibliographic databases (RFCs, I-Ds, and so on) on the xml2rfc homepage.


5. Additions to RFC 2629

For more information on these last two additions, see Section of the 2629bis document for the details.


6. Limitations


Author's Address

  Marshall T. Rose
  Dover Beach Consulting, Inc.
  POB 255268
  Sacramento, CA 95865-5268
Phone:  +1 916 483 8878


Appendix A. MacOS 9 Installation (courtesy of Ned Freed)

  1. Install Tcl/Tk 8.3.4
  2. When you performed Step 1, a folder in your "Extensions" folder called "Tool Command Language" was created. Create a new folder under "Extensions", with any name you like.
  3. Drag the file xml2rfc.tcl onto the "Drag & Drop Tclets" application that was installed in Step 1.
  4. When asked for an appropriate wish stub, select "Wish 8.3.4".
  5. The "Drap & Drop Tclets" application will write out an executable version of xml2rfc.


Appendix B. rfc2629.xslt (courtesy of Julian Reschke)

The file rfc2629.xslt can be used with an XSLT-capable formatter (i.e., IE6) to produce HTML. A word of warning though: the XSLT script doesn't support the processing instructions discussed earlier.