ANN: Atox 0.5 released

Magnus Lie Hetland
Fri, 23 Apr 2004 22:58:12 +0000 (UTC)

What is it?

Atox is a framework for automated markup. With it one can quite easily
write custom scripts for converting plain text into XML in any way one
wishes. Atox is normally used as a command-line script, using a simple
XML language to specify the desired transformation from text to
markup, but it is also possible to build custom parsers using the Atox
library. The name (short for ASCII-to-XML) is inspired by such UNIX
tools and system functions as atops and atoi.

What can it do?

With Atox you can write quite general parser that create XML from
plain text files, using a special-purpose format language somewhat
reminiscent of XSLT. You can also include XSLT fragments in your
format description, to use transformations in concert with the Atox
markup process.

The examples in the distribution demonstrate how you can use Atox to:

  - Mark up a (relatively simple) technical document (the Atox

  - Mark up code blocks only through indentation;

  - Nest lists through indentation
  - Discern between different indentation "shapes" (e.g. a block quote
    versus a description list item);

  - Transform simple LaTeX into XML;

  - Add XML "syntax highlighting" to Python code;

  - Mark up screenplays or stageplays, largely based on indentation;

  - Mark up simple fictional prose;

  - Mark up simple tables.

What's new in 0.5?

These are the changes I've made:

  - Fixed some bugs.

  - Added support for XSLT fragments in Atox format files.

  - Added support for non-greedy repetition.

  - Added several new options to the configuration system. Split input
    and output encoding and made UTF-8 the default output encoding.

Where can I get it?

Atox is hosted at SourceForge ( and the current
release (0.5) is available for download via its project page

The Small Print

Atox is released under the MIT license. It comes with no warranty of
any kind. Also, even though the current version works well, and the
project is currently (as per early 2004) being actively developed,
there is no guarantee of continued support. What you see is what you

Magnus Lie Hetland              "Wake up!"  - Rage Against The Machine              "Shut up!"  - Linkin Park