CMSML – XML to describe content management frameworks, systems and editors.

This version


CMSML grew out of OSCOM’s softwareML project. It is now a joint effort between OSCOM, the University of Washington iSchool CMS Evaluation Lab, and CMS Review.

The original OSCOM objective was to create a markup language to provide an XML wrapper for a standard set of descriptors for open-source CMS. The original set was a URL, the license, and a text description. This set is still used in the OSCOM CMS Matrix. The OSCOM CMS Matrix data is maintained as an XML file in an Apache Lenya CMS and edited with the Xopus WYSIWYG XML Editor (now IE only).

CMS Review developed an extensive Feature List for describing CMS, both free/open-source and proprietary. They have invited CMS developers and vendors to enter data into an online database that drives CMS “knowledge services” available on several CMS-related websites. The draft Feature List has some 125 features, with about 30 currently supported for editing.

These CMS knowledge services include a faceted CMS Directory, a unique Feature Comparator that puts two CMS side by side, and a Search facility to locate CMS with a given feature set. All these services generate XML in the CMSML format. They also generate RDF/XML, OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language), and soon XFML (eXchangeable Faceted Metadata Language).



The collaboration with University of Washington iSchool CMS Evaluation Lab consists of adding a set of nearly 200 evaluation questions to the database, and also to the CMSML markup. Eventually we will add the responses (or answers). Currently a Question is regarded as another kind of Feature.


We are drafting a specification document for CMSML. CMS Review current XML feeds validate correctly. The RDF/XML feeds also validate, as both XML and RDF.

XML and XSD schema validation service

W3C RDF/XML instance validation service

To get working examples of these documents, choose a CMS product in the List and click either the XML icon  or the RDF  icon.

Here is a version history of the CMSML Schema Document (XSD) and a sample CMSML instance file for a CMS product.

Version CMSML Schema Document CMSML instance file
0.1 generic features, sets Midgard
0.2 dynamic, CMS, Overview, etc. Midgard
0.3 each feature element unique Midgard
0.4 feature elements have restrictions
0.5 values now text and options Aegir

There are comments on this development on the OSCOM Blog.

Bob Doyle,
Gregor J. Rothfuss,

Bob Boiko,
Bob Doyle,
Derek Doyle,
Roger Fischer,
Gregor J. Rothfuss,
Michael Wechner,