IETF output formats

This section supplements Output formats in general Metanorma documentation.


The following outputs are generated [added in]:

  • RFC XML v3

    • Metanorma doctype: ietf (in previous versions: rfc3)

    • Metanorma file extension: rfc.xml (not xml, which is the suffix for Metanormal XML)

    • Format name: rfc (used in :mn-output-extensions: attribute, in metanorma -x, and in passthrough blocks to nominate RFC XML as their target.)

The xml2rfc Vocabulary (hereinafter “RFC XML”) is an XML-based language used for writing Internet-Drafts and RFCs (RFC 7322).

Metanorma-IETF allows you to author these types of documents in Metanorma AsciiDoc, and outputs RFC XML output in the RFC XML format, which is consumed by IETF software like xml2rfc IETF software discussion) to generate formatted IETF specifications.

If metanorma -x or the :mn-output-extensions: attribute are invoked with html, pdf, or txt, those formats are generated through xml2rfc instead of Metanorma’s rendering engine.

Historic formats

Previous versions of Metanorma supported RFC XML v3 as it was defined in RFC 7991 in 2016, but without the additions and modifications documented in Levkowetz' implementation notes. The v3 output of those versions will not compile under the xml2rfc releases that actually support v3.

Previous versions of Metanorma supported RFC XML v2 (RFC 7749):

  • RFC XML v2

    • Metanorma doctype: rfc2

    • Metanorma file extension: xmlrfc (not xml!)

IETF is moving to RFC XML v3 as its main format, and Metanorma will only be supporting RFC XML v3 from now on.

IETF support of RFC XML v3 is quite new, and v3 should be used with some caution. The IETF processing tools that consume RFC XML v3 are still under development; Metanorma will endeavor to keep Metanorma-IETF up to date with changes to Levkowetz' implementation notes.
Metanorma-IETF validates all RFC XML generated through the RELAXNG schema definitions of RFC XML. While Metanorma attempts to generate valid RFC XML, some AsciiDoc markup may not align with the RFC XML document model, and any highlighted syntax errors will also need to be rectified in postediting, before processing the generated XML further.