XML format specifications for liturgical texts

What is the XML format?

The XML format is probably the format of the future. It looks like HTML, but the tags it contains vary from one user to the other.

However some browser can display XML in conjunction with a style sheet, the main goal of XML (in the current state of the art) is to be a source that can be transformed into other formats: PDF, HTML, LaTeX, etc.

How does a XML file for www.romanliturgy.org look like?

This is an example of an XML file for liturgical texts at www.romanliturgy.org:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE romanliturgy
      PUBLIC "-//romanliturgy.org/DTD for liturgy//EN"
      <romanliturgy typus="oratio" lingua="la">
        <titulum>Angelus Domini</titulum>
          <v/> Ángelus Dómini nuntiávit Maríæ.<n/>
          <r/> Et concépit de Spíritu Sancto.<n/>
          Ave María...
          <v/> Ecce ancílla Dómini.<n/>
          <r/> Fiat mihi secúndum verbum tuum.<n/>
          Ave María...
          <v/> Et Verbum caro factum est.<n/>
          <r/> Et habitávit in nobis.<n/>
          Ave Maria...
          <v/> Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Génitrix,<n/>
          <r/> ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus
        <para>Grátiam tuam,
            qu<lig>aé</lig>sumus, Dómine,
            méntibus nostris infúnde:
            ut, qui, Ángelo nuntiánte,
            Christi Fílii tui incarnatióne cognóvimus,
            per passiónem eius et crucem
            ad resurrectiónis glóriam perducámur.
            Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.
          <r/> Amen.

In the example above, the <para></para> tags must be seen as enclosing parallel paragraphs, i.e. paragraphs which are to be displayed parallel with the corresponding <para></para> of another language, in the case we generate an output with several languages aside to each other.

The <n/> tag means that the line is broken as this point, but without beginning a new parallel paragraph.

Some special characters, like versicle and reponse (see liturgical fonts), are introduced into the XML file with the tags <v/> and <r/>.

One of the most interesting features is perhaps the tag <lig> that enables us to specify two letters that have to be ligated: v.gr. <lig>ae</lig> produces æ.

We are still working on the definition of our standards. You will have to be a little bit patient before the first complete release.

About file formats

What is the preferred format for sending liturgical texts to www.romanliturgy.org?

The best one is XML, because this is the format of the future. We are preparing instructions for telling which tags we are using in our documents.

If you have OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice running on your computer, you are a lucky man. Send us the files in their format.

Why don’t you use the DOC format of MS-Windows®? It is a de facto standard.

This DOC format causes a lot of problems. It has undergone a lot of changes between the successive versions, so that older computers not always can read files with newer formats, and the software present on newer computers not always can import easily older formats from their own system.

This is not a bug. It is aimed.