4.  Discovering "Inherited" Formatting Options

In the final formatting of doc2.xml, note that the paragraph tags appear on separate lines preceding and following the paragraph content. This occurs despite the fact that the configuration file specifies no break values in the para section, because if you omit formatting options for an element, it "inherits" the default properties. In the case of the <para> element, the relevant unspecified properties are the entry-break and exit-break values. For block elements, both have a value of 1 by default (that is, one newline), which causes a line break after the opening tag and before the closing tag.

If you want to see all the formatting options xmlformat will use, run it with the --show-config option. For example:

% xmlformat --show-config
*DEFAULT
  format = block
  entry-break = 1
  element-break = 1
  exit-break = 1
  subindent = 1
  normalize = no
  wrap-length = 0

*DOCUMENT
  format = block
  entry-break = 0
  element-break = 1
  exit-break = 1
  subindent = 0
  normalize = no
  wrap-length = 0

example
  format = block
  entry-break = 2
  element-break = 2
  exit-break = 2
  subindent = 0
  normalize = no
  wrap-length = 0

para
  format = block
  entry-break = 1
  element-break = 1
  exit-break = 1
  subindent = 1
  normalize = yes
  wrap-length = 60

replaceable
  format = inline

screen
  format = verbatim

No configuration file is specified on the command line, so xmlformat reads the default configuration file, xmlformat.conf. Then it displays the resulting configuration options. You can see that the para section has inherited break values from the *DEFAULT section.