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The README file: xml2rfc v1.7
The README fileM. Rose
 Invisible Worlds, Inc.
 August 22, 2001

xml2rfc v1.7

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

2.1 Tcl/Tk version 8

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.

2.2 TclXML version 1.1.1

You need to also have TclXML version 1.1.1 running on your system. TclXML is a Tcl package that parses XML.

We've included a copy of TclXML in this release, you can also look in the TclXML site.

For example, on Unix, you'd probably put the files somewhere under



    C:\Program Files\Tcl\lib\tcl8.0\TclXML-1.0\

depending on whether you're on UNIX or Windows.

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 either rfc2629.txt[1] or rfc2629.html. 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

    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.

5. Limitations


[1] Rose, M., "Writing I-Ds and RFCs using XML", RFC 2629, June 1999.

Author's Address

  Marshall T. Rose
  Invisible Worlds, Inc.
  131 Stony Circle
  Suite 500
  Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Phone:  +1 707 578 2350