XML::Grammar::Screenplay - CPAN distribution implementing an XML grammar for screenplays.


version 0.30.0


See XML::Grammar::Screenplay::FromProto, XML::Grammar::Screenplay::ToDocBook and XML::Grammar::Screenplay::ToHTML.


XML::Grammar::Screenplay is a Perl module for:

1. Converting a well-formed plain text format to a specialized XML format.
2. Converting the XML to DocBook/XML or directly to HTML for rendering.

The best way to use it non-programatically is using XML::Grammar::Screenplay::App::FromProto, XML::Grammar::Screenplay::App::ToDocBook and XML::Grammar::Screenplay::App::ToHTML, which are modules implementing command line applications for their processing.

The rest of this page will document the syntax of the custom textual format.



Scenes are placed in XML-like tags of <section> ... </section> or abbreviated as <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 scene tag must have an id attribute (for anchors, etc.) and could have an optional title attribute. If the title is not specified, it will default to the ID.

Scenes may be nested. There cannot be any sayings or descriptions (see below) except inside scenes.


Text is any of:

1. Plaintext

Regular text

2. XML-like tags.

Supported tags are <b> for bold text, <i> for italics, <a href="..."> for hyperlinks, and an empty <br /> tag for line-breaks.

3. Entities

The text format supports SGML-like entities such as &amp;, &lt;, &quot; and all other entities that are supported by HTML::Entities.

4. Text between [ ... ]

Text between square brackets ([ ... ]) is reserved for descriptions or inline descriptions (see below).


The first paragraph when a character talks starts with the name of the character followed by a colon (:) and the rest of the text. Like this:

    David: Goliath, I'm going to kill you! You'll see -
    I will.

If a character says more than one paragraph, the next paragraph should start with any number of "+"-signs followed by a colon:

    David: Goliath, I'm going to kill you! You'll see -
    I will.

    ++++: I will sling you and bing you till infinity!


Descriptions that are not part of saying start with a [ at the first character of a line and extend till the next ]. They can span several paragraphs.

There are also internal descriptions to the saying which are placed inside the paragraph of the saying and describe what happens while the character talks.


Comprehensive Example

    <s id="top">

    <s id="david_and_goliath">

    [David and <a href="">Goliath</a> are
    standing by each other.]

    David: I will kill you.

    Goliath: no way, you little idiot!

    David: yes way!

    ++++: In the name of <a href="http://real-allah.tld/">Allah, the
    <b>merciful</b>, real merciful</a>, I will show you
    the [sarcastically] power of my sling.

    ++: I shall sling you and bing you till infinity.

    [David takes his sling.]

    Goliath: I'm still <a href="http://wait.tld/">waiting</a>.

    David: so you are.

    [David puts a stone in his sling and shoots Goliath. He hits.]

    David: as is written in the wikipedia [See <a href="http://wiki.tld/">the
    Wiki site</a> for more information], you are now dead, having been shot with
    my sling.



More Examples

Other examples can be found in the t/data directory, and here:



The following websites have more information about this module, and may be of help to you. As always, in addition to those websites please use your favorite search engine to discover more resources.

Bugs / Feature Requests

Please report any bugs or feature requests by email to bug-xml-grammar-fiction at, or through the web interface at You will be automatically notified of any progress on the request by the system.

Source Code

The code is open to the world, and available for you to hack on. Please feel free to browse it and play with it, or whatever. If you want to contribute patches, please send me a diff or prod me to pull from your repository :)

  git clone git://


Shlomi Fish <>


Please report any bugs or feature requests on the bugtracker website

When submitting a bug or request, please include a test-file or a patch to an existing test-file that illustrates the bug or desired feature.


This software is Copyright (c) 2007 by Shlomi Fish.

This is free software, licensed under:

  The MIT (X11) License