XML::Grammar::Fiction - CPAN distribution implementing an XML grammar
and a lightweight markup language for stories, novels and other fiction.
our $VERSION = '0.12.2';
XML::Grammar::Fiction is a CPAN distribution that facilitates writing prose
fiction (= stories, novels, novellas, etc.). What it does is:
=item 1. Convert a well-formed plain text format to a specialized XML format.
=item 2. Convert the XML to DocBook/XML or directly to HTML for rendering.
The best way to use it non-programatically is using
L<XML::Grammar::Fiction::App::ToHTML>, which are modules implementing
command line applications for their processing.
In order to be able to share the common code and functionality more easily,
then L<XML::Grammar::Screenplay>, which provides similar XML grammar and
text-based markup language for writing screenplays, is now included in this
CPAN distribution, and you can refer to its documentation as well:
The rest of this page will document the syntax of the custom textual format.
Sections are placed in XML-like tags of C<< <section> ... </section> >> or
abbreviated as C<< <s> ... </s> >>. Opening tags in the format may have
attributes whose keys are plaintext and whose values are surrounded by
double quotes. (Single-quotes are not supported).
The section tag must have an C<id> attribute (for anchors, etc.) and could
contain an optional (but highly recommended) C<< <title> >> sub-tag. If the
title is not specified, it will default to the ID.
Sections may be B<nested>.
Text is any of:
=item 1. Plaintext
=item 2. XML-like tags.
Supported tags are C<< <b> >> for bold text, and C<< <i> >> for italic
=item 3. Entities
The text format supports SGML-like entities such as C<< & >>,
C<< < >>, C<< " >> and all other entities that are supported by
=item 4. Supported initial characters
The following characters can start a regular paragraph:
=item * Any alphanumeric character.
=item * Some special characters:
The characters C<"> (double quotes), C<'> (single quotes), etc. are supported.
=item * XML/SGML entities.
XML/SGML entities are also supported at the start.
All other characters are reserved for special markup in the future. If you
need to use them at the beginning of the paragraph you can escape them with
a backslash (C<\>) or their SGML/XML entity (e.g: C<&qout;>).
=head2 Types of top-level items.
These are not delimited by anything - just a paragraph of text not containing
an empty line. If a paragraph starts with a Plus sign ( C<+> ) then it is
immediately expected to be followed by a styling tag (as opposed to a
This is an ordered list with <li>s, similar to its purpose in XHTML.
An unordered list.
=head3 Examples Document.
<body id="index" lang="en-UK">
<title>David vs. Goliath - Part I</title>
<title>The Top Section</title>
<!-- David has Green hair here -->
King <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David">David</a> and Goliath
were standing by each other.
David said unto Goliath: “I will shoot you. I <b>swear</b> I will”
<!-- Goliath has to reply to that. -->
Goliath was not amused.
He said to David: “Oh, really. <i>David</i>, the red-headed!”.
=head3 Other Examples
Examples can be found in the C<t/data> directory, and here:
=item * The Pope Died on Sunday (Hebrew version)
=item * The Enemy and How I Helped to Fight it (Hebrew version)
=item * The Human Hacking Field Guide (Hebrew version)
I (= Shlomi Fish) originated this CPAN distribution (after forking
L<XML:Grammar::Screenplay> which was similar enough) so I'll have a convenient
way to edit a story I'm writing in Hebrew and similar fiction, as
OpenOffice.org caused me many problems, and I found editing bi-directional
DocBook/XML to be painful with either gvim or KDE 4's kate, so I opted for a
more plain-texty format.
I hope a lightweight markup language like that for fiction (and possibly
other types of manuscripts) will prove useful for other writers. At the
moment, a lot of stuff in the proto-text format is subject to change,
so you'll need to accept that some modifications to your sources will be
required in the future. I hope you still find it useful and let me know
if you need any feature or bug-fix.