Xml2rfc generates RFCs and IETF drafts from document source in XML according to the dtd in RFC2629.
The IETF uses a specific format for the standards and other documents it publishes as RFCs, and for the draft documents which are produced when developing documents for publications. There exists a number of different tools to facilitate the formatting of drafts and RFCs according to the existing rules, and this tool, xml2rfc, is one of them. It takes as input an xml file which contains the text and meta-information about author names etc., and transforms it into suitably formatted output. The input xml file should follow the DTD given in RFC2629 (or it’s inofficial successor).
The current incarnation of xml2rfc provides output in the following formats: Paginated and unpaginated ascii text, html, nroff, and expanded xml. Only the paginated text format is currently (January 2013) accepable as draft submissions to the IETF.
To install a system-wide version of xml2rfc, download and unpack the xml2rfc distribution package, then cd into the resulting package directory and run:
$ python setup.py install
Alternatively, if you have the ‘pip’ command (‘Pip Installs Packages’) installed, you can run pip to download and install the package:
$ pip install xml2rfc
If you want to perform a local installation for a specific user, you have a couple of options. You may use python’s default location of user site-packages by specifying the flag --user. These locations are:
- UNIX: $HOME/.local/lib/python<ver>/site-packages
- OSX: $HOME/Library/Python/<ver>/lib/python/site-packages
- Windows: %APPDATA%/Python/Python<ver>/site-packages
You can additionally combine the flag --install-scripts with --user to specify a directory on your PATH to install the xml2rfc executable to. For example, the following command:
$ python setup.py install --user --install-scripts=$HOME/bin
will install the xml2rfc library and data to your local site-packages directory, and an executable python script xml2rfc to $HOME/bin.
The option --prefix allows you to specify the base path for all installation files. The setup.py script will exit with an error if your PYTHONPATH is not correctly configured to contain the library path the script tries to install to.
The command is used as follows:
$ python setup.py install --prefix=<path>
For further fine-tuning of the installation behavior, you can get a list of all available options by running:
$ python setup.py install --help
xml2rfc accepts a single XML document as input and outputs to one or more conversion formats.
Basic Usage: xml2rfc SOURCE [options] FORMATS...
The following parameters affect how xml2rfc behaves, however none are required.
Short Long Description -h --help show the help message and exit -v --verbose print extra information -q --quiet dont print anything -n --no-dtd disable DTD validation step -c CACHE --cache=CACHE specify an alternate cache directory to write to -d DTD --dtd=DTD specify an alternate dtd file -b BASENAME --basename=BASENAME specify the base name for output files -f FILENAME --filename=FILENAME specify an output filename (none) --date=DATE run as if todays date is DATE (format: yyyy-mm-dd) (none) --clear-cache purge the cache and exit (none) --version display the version number and exit
At least one but as many as all of the following output formats must be specified. The destination file will be created according to the argument given to –filename. If no argument was given, it will create the file(s) “output.format”. If no format is specified, xml2rfc will default to paginated text (--text).
Command Description --raw outputs to a text file, unpaginated --text outputs to a text file with proper page breaks --nroff outputs to an nroff file --html outputs to an html file --exp outputs to an XML file with all references expanded
- xml2rfc draft.xmlxml2rfc draft.xml --dtd=alt.dtd --basename=draft-1.0 --text --nroff --html
xml2rfc depends on the following packages:
- lxml (> 2.2.7)
Version 220.127.116.11 (18 Jan 2013)
- Tweaked the install_required setting in setup.py to not pull down lxml 3.x (as it’s not been tested with xml2rfc) and bumped the version.
Version 2.3.11 (18 Jan 2013)
This release fixes all outstanding major bugs, details below. The issue tracker is at http://tools.ietf.org/tools/xml2rfc/trac/.
- Updated the nroff writer to do backslash escaping on source text, to avoid escaping nroff control characters. Fixes issue #77.
- Added a modified xref writer to the nroff output writer, in order to handle xref targets which should not be broken across lines. This, together with changeset , fixes issue #80.
- Added text to the section test case to trigger the second part of issue #79. It turns out that the changes in  fixed this, too; this closes issue #79.
- Tweaked the nroff generation to not break on hyphens, in order to avoid hyphenated words ending up with embedded spaces: ‘pre-processing’ becoming ‘pre- processing’ if ‘pre-’ occurred at the end of an nroff text line. Also tweaked the line-width used in line-breaking to have matching line-breaks between .txt and .nroff output (with exception for lines ending in hyphens).
- Tweaked roman number list counter to output roman numbers in a field 5 spaces wide, instead of having varied widths. This is different from version 1, so may have to be reverted, depending on how people react.
- Added a warning for too long lines in figures and tables. No outdenting for now; I’d like to consult some about that. Fixes issue #76.
- Updated tests showing that all list format specifiers mentioned in issue #70 now works. Closes isssue #70.
- Changed spanx emphasis back to _this_ instead of -this-, matching the v1 behaviour. Addresses issue #70.
- Make <vspace/> in a hangindent list reset the indentation to the hang-indent, even if the bullet text is longer than the hang-indent. Addresses issue #70.
- Refined the page-breaking to not insert an extra page break for artwork that won’t fit on a page anyway.
- Refined the page-breaking to avoid breaking artwork and tables across pages, if possible.
- Fixed a problem with centering of titles and labels. Fixes issue #73.
- Changed the leading and trailing whitespace lines of a page to better match legacy output. Fixed the autobreaking algorithm to correctly avoid orphans and widows; fixes issue #72. Removed an extra blank line at the top of the page following an early page break to avoid orphan or widow.
- Tweaked the generation of ToC dot-lines and page numbers to better match legacy xml2rfc. Fixed a bug in the generation of xref text where trailing whitespace could cause double spaces. Tweaked the output format to produce the correct number of leading blank lines on the first page of a document.
- Modified the handling of figure titles, so that given titles will be written also without anchor or figure counting. Fixes issue #75.
- Tweaked the html writer to have a buffer interface that provides a self.buf similar to the other writers, for test purposes.
- Reworked the WriterElementTest suite to test all the output formats, not only paginated text.
- Added a note about /usr/local/bin permissions. This closes issue #65.
- Added files describing possible install methods (INSTALL), and possible build commands (Makefile).
- The syntax that was used to specify the version of the lxml dependency (‘>=’) is not supported in python distutil setup.py files, and caused setup to try to find an lxml version greater than =2.2.8, which couldn’t succeed. Fixed to say ‘>2.2.7’ instead. This was probably the cause of always reinstalling lxml even when it was present.
- Updated README.rst to cover the new –date option, and tweaked it a bit.
- Added some files to provide an enhanced source distribution package.
- Updated setup.py with maintainer and licence information.
Version 2.3.10 (03 Jan 2013)
- Changed the output text for Internet-Draft references to omit the series name, but add (work in progress). Updated the test case to match draft revision number.
- Updated all the rfc editor boilerplate in valid test facits to match the correct outcome (which is also what the code actually produces).
- Changed the diff test error message so that the valid text is output as the original, not as the changed text of a diff.
- Corrected test cases to match correct expiry using 185 days instead of 183 days from document date.
- Added missing attributes to the XmlRfcError Exception subclass, necessary in order to make it resemble lxml’s error class and provide consistent error messages to the user whether they come from lxml or our own code.
- Added a licence file, indicating the licencing used by the IETF for the xml2rfc code.
- Fixed up the xml2rfc cli script to provide better help texts by telling the option parser the appropriate option variable names.
- Fixed up the help text formatting by explicitly providing an appropriate help text formatter to the option parser.
- Added an option (–date=DATE)to provide the document date on the command line.
- Added an option (–no-dtd) to disable the DTD validation step.
- Added code to catch additional exceptions and provide appropriate user information, instead of an exception traceback.
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