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"The eXtensible Text Framework (XTF) is a powerful open source platform for providing access to digital content. Developed and maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL), XTF functions as the primary access technology for the CDL's digital collections and other digital projects worldwide."[1]


XTF allows end users to:

  • Search using Boolean commands, truncation/wildcard operators, and exact phrases.
  • Perform structure-aware searching (e.g., search only this chapter) and view search terms in context.
  • Browse hierarchical facets.
  • Create RSS feeds from searches.
  • Choose from several default languages for the interface: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian.

XTF offers the following benefits to developers:

  • Easy to deploy: Drops right in to a Java application server such as Tomcat; has been tested on SunOS, Linux, and Windows.
  • Easy to configure: Can create indexes on any XML element or attribute; entire presentation layer is customizable via XSLT.
  • Robust: Optimized to perform well on large documents (e.g., a single text that exceeds 10MB of encoded text); scales to perform well on collections of millions of documents; provides full Unicode support.
  • Major “out-of-the-box” features: user interface with search/browse and document views, spell checker, bookbags, similar item suggestions, RSS feeds, book reader for Internet Archive/Hathi Trust books, support for major filetypes, interface globalization and more.
  • Extensible:
    • Works well with a variety of authentication systems (e.g., IP address lists, LDAP, Shibboleth).
    • Provides an interface for external data lookups to support thesaurus-based term expansion, recommender systems, etc.
    • Can power other digital library services (e.g., OAI-PMH data provider that allows others to harvest metadata, SRU interface that exposes searches to federated search engines).
    • Modular components can be deployed as separate pieces of a third-party system (e.g., the module that displays snippets of matching text).[2]

User commentary

Please sign all comments. By default XTF requires that each div have a head; otherwise, that div doesn't get displayed. (Kshawkin 00:19, 11 November 2012 (EST))

System requirements

Source code and licensing

XTF is covered by the following licenses:

  • Mozilla Public License 1.0 (MPL)
  • BSD License
  • Apache Software License[3]

Support for TEI

Supports P5.


Java and XSLT



Tech support


User community


Sample implementations

There's a list on the XTF website. Note in particular the following instances using XTF to render TEI:

  • Women Writer's Project
  • various projects at Indiana University -- Note that Indiana University staff hacked XTF so that it would display both page images and encoded text for the same item. (Kshawkin 00:22, 11 November 2012 (EST))
  • Mark Twain Project

Current version number and date of release

3.1 (2012-08-06)

History of versions


How to download or buy


Additional notes


  1. http://xtf.cdlib.org/
  2. http://xtf.cdlib.org/
  3. http://xtf.cdlib.org/
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