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A Pretty Printing XML Generator for Common Lisp
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net-xml-generator - A Pretty Printing XML Generator for Common Lisp

Table of contents

  • Description
  • Author
  • Author comments
  • Documentation
  • Platforms
  • Dependencies
  • Installation
  • Configuration
  • Licence
  • Notes
  • Examples
  • Franz Inc. Open Source Info


This module consists of a single source file

It provides a modified readtable that allows normal Lisp source code to contain possibly-nested marked subforms that emit an XML element. The tree that is Lisp source code integrates transparently with the tree that is the intended XML, and the entire panoply of Lisp operators (iteration, special forms, function calls) can be mixed with XML generation. The Lisp code that emits XML has a structure paralleling the XML.

The Common Lisp pretty printer is optionally used to indent the emitted XML for human readability. See the file xml-generator-blurb.html distributed along with this module for a gentle introduction, and which shows how that html file was itself generated using the module.


Steven Haflich, Franz Inc.

Author comments


All Allegro Common Lisp versions. It mostly should work on other implementations, but uses the ACL named-readtable facility (which could trivially be added to any other implementation) and more importantly may depend on subtle details of the pretty printer.


Allegro Common Lisp

The Allegro Common Lisp excl:named-readtable facility.


Start your lisp and compile and load which is part of this project:

(load (compile-file "/path/to/your/")

To test,

(load "/path/to/your/")
(generate-this-page :out-path "./xml-generator-blurb-copy.html" )

and that named file will be generated which should be an exact copy of xml-generator-blurb.html


No configuration is necessary, but see the documentation in the source file how to use the customized readtable in your Lisp code.


The full documentation is contained in block comments in the source file itself.


The net-xml-generator source code is licensed under the terms of the Lisp Lesser GNU Public License, known as the LLGPL. The LLGPL consists of a preamble and the LGPL. Where these conflict, the preamble takes precedence. This project is referenced in the preamble as the LIBRARY.


An earlier version of this code was first released as part of the Ray Tracing example in the Franz Inc Dynamic Learning Center.

Examples and Information

The is an odd, self-referential example of Lisp code using the generator.

Franz Open Source Info

This project's homepage is There is an informal community support and development mailing list for these open source projects. We encourage you to take advantage by subscribing to the list. Once you're subscribed, email to with your questions, comments, suggestions, and patches.

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