Skip to main content

Xml2rfc generates RFCs and IETF drafts from document source in XML according to the IETF xml2rfc v2 and v3 vocabularies.

Project description


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 grammars in RFC7749 (for v2 documents) or RFC7991 (for v3 documents). Note that the grammar for v3 is still being refined, and changes will eventually be captured in the bis draft for 7991. Changes not yet captured can be seen in the xml2rfc source v3.rng.

xml2rfc provides a variety of output formats. See the command line help for a full list of formats. It also provides conversion from v2 to v3, and can run the preptool on its input.


Installation of the python package is done as usual with ‘pip install xml2rfc’, using appropriate switches and/or sudo.

Installation of support libraries for the PDF-formatter

In order to generate PDFs, xml2rfc uses the WeasyPrint module, which depends on external libaries that must be installed as native packages on your platform, separately from the xml2rfc install.

First, install the Cairo, Pango, and GDK-PixBuf library files on your system. See installation instructions on the WeasyPrint Docs:

(Python 3 is not needed if your system Python is 2.7, though).

(On some OS X systems with System Integrity Protection active, you may need to create a symlink from your home directory to the library installation directory (often /opt/local/lib):

ln -s /opt/local/lib ~/lib

in order for weasyprint to find the installed cairo and pango libraries. Whether this is needed or not depends on whether you used macports or homebrew to install cairo and pango, and the homebrew / macport version.)

Next, install the pycairo and weasyprint python modules using pip. Depending on your system, you may need to use ‘sudo’ or install in user-specific directories, using the –user switch. On OS X in particular, you may also need to install a newer version of setuptools using –user before weasyprint can be installed. If you install with the –user switch, you may need to also set PYTHONPATH, e.g.,


for Python 2.7.

The basic pip commands (modify as needed according to the text above) are:

pip install ‘pycairo>=1.18’ ‘weasyprint<=0.42.3’

With these installed and available to xml2rfc, the –pdf switch will be enabled.

For PDF output, you also need to install the Noto font set. Download the full set from, and install as appropriate for your platform.


xml2rfc accepts a single XML document as input and outputs to one or more conversion formats.

Basic Usage: xml2rfc SOURCE [options] FORMATS...

Run xml2rfc --help for a full listing of command-line options.


Version 2.35.0 (12 Nov 2019)

  • Changed the pn numbers for ToC entries to use ‘section-toc.1-…’ instead of ‘section-boilerplate.3-…’.

  • Fixed schema and code so as to correctly show <name> entries with superscript (and more) in the ToC.

  • Added code to clean out instances of &nbsp; and other special characters when rendering ToC, title, xref and reference.

  • Eliminated postal address lines with only template content, i.e., no <postal> content, from output renderings.

  • Fixed a typo in the v2v3 converter which caused conversion of the tocdepth PI to fail.

  • Added handling of <sourcecode> name attributes which were too long to fit on the same line as the <CODE BEGINS> marker, and added a specific indentation setting for <sourcecode> within <section>, to avoid extra indentation.

  • For source code with markers and file name, only emit file name if actually set. Fixes an issue with the HTML renderer.

  • Added the same in-figure indent for sourcecode as for artwork, to avoid extra indentation.

  • Removed an extraneous leading comma in reference rendering for references without author information.

  • Added CSS for bottom margin after <sourcecode> rendering in print.

  • Added a missing conversion of attribute value ‘no’ to ‘false’ in the v2v3 converter.

  • Tweaked the text width when folding hang text.

  • Changed the location and method of checking and catching non-ascii characters in XML input declared with encoding=’us-ascii’.

  • Added warnings for tabs in artwork and sourcecode.

  • Added a warning for long lines in v3 text ouput.

  • Added a new metadata.js file from the RPC, with copyright and license information and a code tweak.

  • Refactored extract_date() into one extraction function and one augmentation function, in order to render references with missing date info correctly. Also updated renderers to handle this case appropriately.

  • Fixed an inconsistency in requiring the ascii attribute for Latin script non-ascii names.

  • Corrected a buggy format string. Fixes issue #449.

  • Added an error if pn numbers are present in a file which is not marked with prepTime.

  • Corrected the indentation for <t> in table cells.

  • Fixed an issue with duplicate pn numbers for <t> in table cells.

Version 2.34.0 (23 Oct 2019)

  • Made preptool reference sorting honour the sortRefs <rfc> attribute when symRefs is true.

  • Fixed an issue with v2v3 conversion of PIs to <xml> attributes, where PIs occuring before <rfc> would not be processed.

  • Fixed the v3 text output for authors with no organization to output blank lines, as for v2.

  • Changed the rendering of <xref> with section reference and text content, based on input from the RPC.

  • Fixed an issue with &nbsp; in section headers not being handled properly by PDF viewers, by using plain space instead of non-breaking space.

  • Fixed an issue with sizing of SVG artwork in PDF renderings.

  • Fixed a validation problem for an empty boilerplate element for ipr=’none’.

  • Added a <toc> entry in <rfc><front>, and moved table of contents XML from <boilerplate> to <toc>.

  • Fixed an issue with the use of seriesInfo for top first page of v3 text output.

  • Added support for a new attribute ‘brackets { “none” | “angle” }? for <eref>, on request from the RPC.

  • Changed the rendering of <dt><dd> so as to insert a newline if the <dt> entry extends too close to the right-hand margin.

  • Tweaked the removal of PIs during the preptool phase to occur before writing prepped content out to file, rather than earlier, in order to preserve PIs when prep() is used by xml2rfc internally.

  • Added a warning for SVG content that won’t scale.

  • Added ‘dd’ to is_htmlblock(). One effect of this is to let <dd> to be link targets for <xref> when generating HTML output.

  • Changed the schema for <postal> to a workable but less precise expression because the RFC7991bis generation scripts don’t support the RNG <interleave> construct.

Version 2.33.0 (16 Oct 2019)

  • Added an error message for a case that would otherwise break text table generation.

  • Added whitespace normalization for postal address tags, bcp14, and similar.

  • Fixed an issue with some special names like S/MIME in artwork.

  • Removed conditional insertion of <svg> width= and height=, leaving that up to the author.

  • Removed a page break restriction that could cause unwanted page breaks after reference section titles.

  • Fixed issues with added or omitted spaces in line-broken URLs and other items.

  • Updated metadata.js to a new version received from the RPC

  • Added conversion of some unicode code points to XML entities to the v2v3 converter, in order to make later editing easier.

Project details

Release history Release notifications | RSS feed

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

xml2rfc-2.35.0.tar.gz (3.9 MB view hashes)

Uploaded Source

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page