[rfc-i] Direction of the RFC Format Development effort

George, Wes wesley.george at twcable.com
Tue Oct 15 10:50:54 PDT 2013

Last year I asked whether there were alternatives to XMLMind for XML document editing. I realized I wasn't asking the question correctly when I got back answers on good tools to manually edit XML (e.g. Emacs, etc). A recent change in laptop leaves me without a good solution, so I ask again, rephrased.

Is there a FOSS tool (or a commercially-available tool that isn't punitively expensive) to do direct WYSIWYG editing of XML files using IETF's DTD?

Prior to their change in licensing structure in September 2012, XMLMind offered a robust tool for what they call "near WYSIWYG" and when used with a plugin that integrated XML2RFC directly into the tool (xml2rfc-xxe on google code) and Elywn Davies's XML templates, it was nearly one-stop shopping for I-D production for those who weren't keen on hacking XML directly. However, XMLMind no longer offers a free version, and their licensing costs are prohibitive (starting at $350USD/250EUR, or $11K for a site license), and my searches for alternatives haven't netted much in the way of results.

As far as I can tell, the current options are to either manually edit XML, or to use a WYSIWYG editor to generate markdown, or HTML, or NROFF, or to use MS Word to generate text, then translate that to XML, then translate that to canonical text and other formats using XML2RFC. I would think that one of the primary goals of the RFC format transition would be to cut some of the steps out of document production to reduce complexity and make the process more accessible for newer participants. It's unclear from the text below if this need for a WYSIWYG XML editing tool with XML2RFC integration is something that the RFC Editor and/or Tools team is already aware of and working to find a solution to or not.

I'd love for someone to tell me that I'm needlessly complicating this and the solution is right under my nose, but that's not the sense I get from the existing ID prep tools page...


Wes George

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rfc-interest-bounces at rfc-editor.org [mailto:rfc-interest-
> bounces at rfc-editor.org] On Behalf Of Heather Flanagan (RFC Series
> Editor)
> Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 4:34 PM
> The direction we will be exploring is one where the Canonical format -
> the format that is authoritative for content of an RFC - is XML using
> the xml2rfc DTD.  [WEG] [snip]
> * Given the difficulty some authors have expressed in using xml2rfc, is
> it possible to add new elements to allow for additional Publication
> format while still having a commonly usable tool?

Anything below this line has been added by my company's mail server, I have no control over it.

This E-mail and any of its attachments may contain Time Warner Cable proprietary information, which is privileged, confidential, or subject to copyright belonging to Time Warner Cable. This E-mail is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this E-mail, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or action taken in relation to the contents of and attachments to this E-mail is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this E-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and permanently delete the original and any copy of this E-mail and any printout.

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list