1. Introduction

The XML Bookmark Exchange Language, or XBEL, is an interchange format for the hierarchical bookmark data used by current Internet browsers. It is defined as an application of the Extensible Markup Language, or XML [BPSM98].

This section descibes the origin of the effort which created the XML Bookmark Exchange Language (XBEL), identifies the contributors, and provides information on the availability of the public text of the DTD and additional documentation on the applications which support XBEL.

1.1 Origins

The XML Bookmark Exchange Language is a product of the Python XML Special Interest Group (XML-SIG), sponsored by the Python Software Activity (PSA). The initial intent of the XBEL effort was to create a demonstration of XML facilities available to Python programmers which would also be useful.

1.2 Contributors

The initial idea for XBEL was contributed by Mark Hammond. Mark sent his idea to the Python XML-SIG mailing list. This was closely followed by discussions and additional ideas by many of the list participants. The following people contributed to the design of the DTD and the related software (listed in alphabetical order by last name):

Fred L. Drake, Jr. (
Documentation. Design input on DTD and the storage of metadata. Implemented direct support for XBEL in Grail.

Stefane Fermigier (
Modified implementation of software for Internet Explorer Favorites conversion using his original Python DOM implementation.

Lars Marius Garshol (
Extended the concept to cover all Internet browsers bookmarks and came up with the name and acronym. Implemented support for Navigator and Opera bookmark formats.

Geir Ove Gronmo (
General input on XML and the desired level of complexity.

Marc van Grootel (
Design input on the DTD, storage of metadata, and comments on the use of XBEL with architectural forms.

Mark Hammond (
Original concept and DTD for an archival storage format for Internet Explorer ``Favorites.''

Jack Jansen (
General input on potential advanced applications.

Andrew M. Kuchling (
Implemented conversion software between XBEL and Lynx bookmarks.

Fredrik Lundh (
Initial software implementation for Internet Explorer.

Sean McGrath (
General input on XML and document type definitions.

Greg Stein (
General input on XML Namespaces and moderator of complexity.

Walter R. Underwood (
General input on the use of XML character entites instead of adding general entities, and discussion on date/time values in XML.

1.3 Availability

Information on XBEL, including the public text and this document, is available on the PSA Web site at [Dra]. Please refer to this Web resource for information on new versions, DTD variants, and supporting software.

The public text for XBEL will be made available through a SOCAT catalog at available at: This catalog may be used by including a DELEGATE entry in a catalog already used by XML processing software. The DELEGATE entry should be:


1.4 Formal Identification

The XBEL DTD documented in this report has the Formal Public Identifier:

+//IDN XML Bookmark Exchange Language 1.0//EN//XML

Valid instances of this document type may use the following document type declaration:

<!DOCTYPE xbel
  PUBLIC "+//IDN XML Bookmark Exchange Language 1.0//EN//XML"