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Page Templates Syntax

This document is a reference to the elements of the Page Template XML format. Refer to the Introduction to Page Templates.

A page template describes a particular way or set of ways of organizing data from some sources on a page. It has the following structure:

<page id="[id]"> <!-- The top-level section of this page -->

…where each [page-element] is one of:

A nested section (screen area)
<source name="[source-name]"> [renderer]* [parameter]* </source>
A data source which should be placed in this section
<renderer name="[renderer-name]"> [parameter]* </renderer>
The renderer to use for the source or section containing this
<choice> [map] or [page-element]/[alternative]* </choice>
A choice between alternative page elements resolved at runtime
<placeholder id="[id]"/>
an element to be replaced by a map item at runtime
<include idref="[page-id]">/>
Include the page elements contained in another page

where the nested elements above are:

<parameter name="[name]">[value]</parameter>
A parameter of the owning element. Renderer parameters are sent as-is to the frontend in the result. Source parameters are sent to the source by setting the query parametersource.[sourceName].[name].
<alternative> [page-element]* </alternative>
multiple page elements constituting one choice alternative
<map to="placeholder-id1 placeholder-id2 …"> [page-element]/[item]* </alternative>
a mapping of some page elements to placeholders
<item> [page-element]* </item>
multiple page elements which should all map to one placeholder

All tags may also include a description attribute to document the use of the tag. Tags and attributes are described in detail in the following.


An id has the format:

id        ::= name(:major(.minor(.micro(.qualifier)?)?)?)?
name      ::= identifier
major     ::= integer
minor     ::= integer
micro     ::= integer
qualifier ::= identifier

Any omitted numeric version component missing is taken to mean 0, while a missing qualifier is taken to mean the empty string.


The root tag of a page template. Defines a page, is also its root section. Attributes and subtags are the same as for section, with the exception that the id attribute is mandatory for a page.


A representation of an area of screen real-estate. At runtime a section will contain content from various sources. The final renderer will render the section with its data items and/or subsections in an area of screen real-estate determined by its containing tag.

Attribute Description Default
id A unique identifier of this section used for referring. No id
layout An identifier. Permissible values are row, column and any additional layouts supported by the renderer i of the returned page. column
region An identifier. The permissible values, and whether this is mandatory is determined by the particular layout identifier of the containing section (row and column does not specify any region identifiers). None
source A space-separated set of sources permissible within this. This is a shorthand for defining sources as subtags. The total source list of this section consists of both the sources listed here and as subtags. All sources are permissible if none are specified.
max The maximum number of items permissible within this section (including any subsections). Regardless of the blending method used, the most relevant items are kept. Unrestricted
min The minimum number of items desired within this. Unrestricted
order The method of ordering to use on the items displayed in this container. This may be any sorting specification over the fields of the hits, plus the source name and relevance score, for example [source] -[relevance] category to group by source, sort each group primarily by decreasing relevance and secondarily by the "category" field. The [source] identifier will sort sources by the order in which they are listed in the template in use.


A data source whose data should be placed in the containing section.

Attribute Description Default
name The name of this source. Mandatory
url The url of this source. If this is set, the data of this source is not fetched, but instead the source tag (with url) will appear in the returned page such that the frontend may fetch it. This is provided primarily as a migration path, as such data can not be inspected and processed to optimize the returned page. No url: Fetch this configured source from the container.


A renderer to use to render a section of a data item (hit) of a particular type.

Attribute Description Default
name The name of this renderer. Mandatory
for The name of a hit type or a source this is the renderer for. If in a section: This is the renderer for the whole section.
If in a source: This is the default renderer for hits from this source.


A choice between multiple alternative (lists of) page elements. A resolver chooses between the possible alternatives for each request at runtime. The alternative tag is used to enclose an alternative. If an alternative consists of just one page element tag, the enclosing alternative tag may be skipped.

Attribute Description Default
method the name of the method for making the choice. Must be supported by the optimizer in use. Any method

Contained tags


Tag Description Default
[page-element] An alternative consisting of a single page element. 0-n
alternative An alternative consisting of multiple page elements. 0-n
Tag Description Default
map Specify all alternatives as a single mapping function. 0-1


Specify all the alternatives of a choice as a mapping function of elements to placeholders. A map is a convenience shorthand of writing many alternatives in the case where a collection of elements should be mapped to a set of placeholders with the constraint that each placeholder should get a unique element. This is useful e.g. in the case where a set of sources are to be mapped to a set of sections.

Attribute Description Default
to A space-separated list of the placeholder id's the map values should be mapped to. There cannot be more placeholder id's than there are values in this map (but fewer is ok).
Contained Tags Description Default
[page-element] A map item consisting of a single page element to map to a placeholder. 0-n

An item containing multiple page elements to be mapped to a single placeholder.



Includes the page elements contained directly in the page element in the given page template (the page tag itself is not included). Inclusion works exactly as if the include tag was literally replaced by the content of the included page.

Attribute Description Default
idref The id specification of the page to include. Portions of the version may be left unspecified to get the latest matching version. (Mandatory)