These pages describe the data files used to define animations. It will show you how the animations are written but not how to use the program. For information on running Taminations, see How to Use Taminations.

All of the data for Taminations is stored in XML files. For every HTML file with a call definition, there is a corresponding XML file with animations. There are also XML files listing formations, moves, and calls.

These are the topics covered on the following pages

  • Moves are the XML elements that control the dancers.
  • Attributes of moves modify dancer's location, speed, and hands.
  • Movements are how moves are defined with Bezier curves.
  • Formations are another XML element that control where the dancers start.

A Brief Introduction to XML

XML is a way to write data that both humans and computers can read. It has a simple, well-defined format.

The basic component of XML is called an element. An element starts with a less-than sign, followed by the name of the element. The element can end with a slash and a greater-than sign. Here is a "earth" element.


An element can have child elements. In this case the start and end of the element are written separately. The start of the element ends with just a greater-than sign, and the end of the element is a less-than sign, a slash, the element name, and a greater-than sign. Here is an element with two child elements:


Elements can also have attributes. Each attribute has a name and a value. These are written between the attribute name and the greater-than sign as name="value". Attributes are used to describe properties of the element. Here is an element with two attributes.

<country name="Canada" population="35158300"/>

Every XML document has one root element, which contains all other elements as children. For animation XML documents, this is the <tamination> element. In our simple example, it is the <earth> element. Here is a larger example of our fictitious XML document.

  <surface type="land">
    <continent name="North America">
      <country name="Canada" population="35158300"/>
      <country name="United States" population="317373000"/>
      <country name="Mexico" population="118395054"/>
    <continent name="South America"/>
    <continent name="Europe"/>
    <continent name="Africa"/>
    <continent name="Asia"/>
    <island name="Greenland"/>
    <island name="Honshu"/>
  <surface type="water">
    <ocean name="Atlantic"/>
    <ocean name="Pacific"/>
    <ocean name="Indian"/>
    <sea name="Mediterranean"/>