A handy little tool, xml2rfc, will allow you to take your XML source (using the format defined in RFC 2629 and its unofficial successor) and see how the results look like in the original ASCII look-and-feel or the new modern HTML rendition of that look-and-feel.

Oct '09 release

Version 1.34 is available. (This version is equivalent to pre-release 5 of 1.34.) Here's the README file.

Living on the edge?

Here is the current development release.


  1. Download xml2rfc as a zip or tgz file, or
  2. Try your results in this handy converter form:
Convert Your XML Source
 Input file
 Output mode Text HTML nroff unpaginated XML
 Output result Window File

Citation Libraries

retrieve entire directory
as a file
retrieve entire directory using
wget -r -l 1 -A .xml -nd -nc ...

RFC zip or tgz http://xml.resource.org/public/rfc/bibxml/ rss 1.0 yes
Internet-Draft zip or tgz http://xml.resource.org/public/rfc/bibxml3/ rss 1.0 yes
W3C zip or tgz http://xml.resource.org/public/rfc/bibxml4/ rss 1.0 yes
JSF zip or tgz http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/refs/ rss 0.92 no
3GPP zip or tgz http://xml.resource.org/public/rfc/bibxml5/ rss 1.0 yes
Miscellaneous zip or tgz http://xml.resource.org/public/rfc/bibxml2/ no yes

rsync access is available at two independent servers (rsync1.xml.resource.org::xml2rfc.bibxml, and rsync3.xml.resource.org::xml2rfc.bibxml) — after you pick one, you shouldn't switch. 

Helpful Hints

See the xml2rfc FAQ for answers to common questions.

Normative References

If you need to have multiple references sections, try something like this:

<references title='Normative References'>
<references title='Informative References'>

That's right: the <references/> element may occur more than once in the back section, and has an optional 'title' attribute.

Including files

Use the XML external entity mechanism, e.g.,

    <?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE rfc SYSTEM 'rfc2629.dtd' [

<!ENTITY rfc2629 PUBLIC '' 'http://xml.resource.org/public/rfc/bibxml/reference.RFC.2629.xml'>



<t>This document was constructed using the <xref target="RFC2629" /> DTD.</t>



Note that this syntax is rather pedantic, i.e., you declare the entity toward the top of your file and then you invoke it exactly once (using an "&") in the <references/> element to include it.

Take a look at this file, provided by Dan Kohn. In addition to showing a complete example, it also works with the XSL transformation written by Julian Reschke and the DTD. (Depending on the capabilities of your browser, instead of clicking on these links directly, you may want to download these three files using "Save Target As...")

To try out this sample, you'll need to put all three files in the same directory. Also, note that some XSLT processors disable the use of external entities, you may need to check "Preferences" to see if there's an option to enable their use.

Notes for Authors


The IETF Tools Team maintains a library of templates you can use for different kinds of drafts.

Using your source file

When submitting an Internet-Draft using the IETF Internet-Draft Submission Tool, you can upload the XML source file in addition to the text file. If your draft is approved for publication as an RFC, the RFC Editor will retrieve the XML file from the I-D repository, or you can submit it directly to the RFC Editor.

When published

To improve the quality of the citation library, send a copy of the updated XML file here. Thanks!

Questions? Try the mailing list.