Skip to main content


A-Z glossary of PageSeeder concepts


The glossary contains a useful list of concepts and definitions used by PageSeeder.

Created on , last edited on


Account activation
Account activation is an important security feature. It ensures the email address is valid and verifies who controls it.
Account lockout
A user account is locked automatically by PageSeeder after multiple consecutive failed sign-in attempts. While their account is locked, users cannot sign in. They must wait for the account lockout time to expire or contact an administrator to unlock their account.
Activity – group
Provides a list of the activities, sortable by the activity of members, including the following:
A particular role with elevated permission to configure a PageSeeder server.
Ambiguous xref
See References check.
Ant task
Apache Ant tasks perform actions in a publish script.
Is a default folder in every group and it is also a verb that describes a feature of the system. The folder is created by the system when the group is created. How the feature works is easier to understand with some background.
A free, open-source project that supports the creation of MathML equations using a simple, plain text syntax and a standard web browser.
The group member who is currently assigned a task or workflow.
The person who submitted a comment, version, note or edit to PageSeeder. In the user interface, PageSeeder displays a human-readable name to identify the author.
Authorization code
The authorization is a one-time use code that is issued by PageSeeder as part of a Single-Sign-On process or OAuth authorization code flow.
When editing a document, there is an auto-save feature that stores the current draft version of the fragment every few seconds after you stop typing.


Requires backing up both the file system and the database. The following folder can be excluded as it contains only temporary files:
Bastille is a Java library which extends Berlioz to better integrate with PageSeeder and provide common functionalities for websites.
Batch (or “bulk”) processing
There are two ways to batch process PageSeeder documents through the user interface. One is using the search results and the other is to configure a publish task to run at the folder level using the Task config.
Berlioz is an open source Java library, written by the PageSeeder team to provide a simple developer framework that uses URI template notation to allocate services and XSLT for serving XML to the web as HTML. Although Berlioz can be used to serve any type of XML, it comes with native support for processing PageSeeder Markup Language (PSML) and includes the following infrastructure:
Block label
In PSML, a block label associates semantics to a block of text.
Block xref
A type of cross-reference that references content that is to appear as a standalone element. The different ways a block xref can be processed are the following:
Open source library that simplifies the task of accessing the PageSeeder service API from Java or Kotlin applications. Bridge allows applications to support the following:
the standard file object for the Ant API. For further information, see Using Ant.


There are multiple levels at which PageSeeder utilizes caching to improve performance. This entry is specifically oriented to HTTP caching.
Client ID
A unique identifier for an OAuth client.
A fundamental capability of PageSeeder, comments are a class of XLink that can be attached to different locations in the data or system. Because commenting is so integral to PageSeeder’s architecture, understanding how they work can help to explain the broader concepts.
Comment formatting
Comments posted by email or through the user interface are stored in plain text. However, to leverage the formatting capabilities of modern browsers, comments can include basic formatting through the use of the popular language, Markdown.
Comment ID
There is a unique system-wide generated identifier for every PageSeeder comment.
Component document
Do not have to be a specific document type,  "component" reflects the role of the documents that are bound together by a references document to create a publication.
Content labels
Content labels are a class of label used to describe information inside PageSeeder documents. The two types of content labels: block label and inline label are analogous to the idea of paragraph and character styles in publishing or word processing systems, or to the HTML elements of <div> and <span>.
Context path
A location value used by several PageSeeder functions, mostly to do with importing or exporting data.
see Duplicate.
Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) is an HTTP-header based mechanism that allows a server to indicate any origins (domain, scheme, or port) other than its own from which a browser should permit loading resources.
Cross-reference (xref)
Also known as an xref. 
Cross-reference (xref) label
A label attached to an xref.


Daily digest
Daily digest is a method of notification, allowing the member to keep up to date with the latest comments and discussion related to a group by receiving a single email once daily.
Date and time
Correctly understanding where the date and time are sourced and applied is important for getting the most out of PageSeeder. The orderly processing of edits or comments is critical to efficient collaboration, but it isn’t always straightforward with globally distributed group members.
Date picker
Common interface components such as a date picker can be added to PSML documents using a <properties-fragment>.
Default document types
PageSeeder comes preconfigured with two document types:
Default group setup
These are the settings used to initialize a group. They include the folder structure (documents, image, attachments and more) and files like the homepage.
In general, PageSeeder does not encourage ‘deleting’. Even when it isn’t obvious by appearance, the PageSeeder XLink architecture means that most information objects are created by processing links to users, content and context.
Developer license
The developer license for PageSeeder allows developers to create unlimited projects, groups and members as long as they access PageSeeder through localhost or *.localhost only. This license is configured by setting the product key to ‘dev’ and website address to ‘localhost’ or ‘[x].localhost’.
Developer tools
A collection of tools and options included when the developer view is enabled.
Developer view
To keep the user interface straightforward for end users, PageSeeder provides a developer view (previously referred to as “Developer mode”), which when enabled, turns on additional features, tools and information specifically aimed at developers.
A thread consisting of one or more comments.
DITA is an XML standard for documentation and processing from OASIS. It shares some of the same architectural concepts as PageSeeder.
PageSeeder terminology defines a document as anything that has a URI ID and is not a URL. This includes the following:
Document history
Document history refers to the list of events that affected a PageSeeder document.
Document id (or DocID)
The PageSeeder server allows any document – XML or binary – to be assigned a server-wide, unique, permanent identifier. This value is commonly referred to as the DocID and it has the same use case for both developers and end-users. That is, the DocID is an alternative method to folder path and filename for locating a document, like a primary key.
Document info
One of the Metadata containers for a PSML document (the other is fragmentinfo). See the metadata element reference for further detail.
Document label
Labels can be added to a PageSeeder document by the following:
Document metadata
A set of properties that can be attached to a document based on its document type or media type.
Document status
is a way of associating a group member with a document, a task and a date. The primary objective of the document status is to formalize lifecycle stages such as creation, review and release. Using the collaboration and reporting tools of PageSeeder, the document status can eliminate much of the overheads and inaccuracies associated with managing document lifecycles using spreadsheets and email.
Document template
A pre-configured structure and semantics defined as part of a document type.
Document title
Refers to a property of a document. All PageSeeder documents, regardless of their media type or content, have a Document title.
Document type
In PageSeeder, a document type can be compared to a ‘template’ in Word or FrameMaker. Document types are used to customize aspects of the content such as:
Document view
Refers to the display of a PSML (PageSeeder Markup Language) document.
See Microsoft Word DOCX format and Open XML.
In the document context, the download option allows any document to be saved locally in its native format.
PageSeeder auto-saves content that you type in the app as a draft, every few seconds after you stop typing.
Computer science has long discussed the issue of redundancy vs dependency and from time-to-time, it is a topic that arises in PageSeeder modeling.


Edit note
An edit note is a particular type of XLink (a note) attached to a specific change in a fragment (an edit).
Edit note label
Edit note labels are attached to a note made on a document edit.
Edit sheet
As the name implies, this is a hybrid of a spreadsheet and a conventional editor.  The Edit sheet makes it straightforward for users to open an entire folder of documents or binary objects and edit their metadata, properties, folder or filename. In the case of PSML documents, the Edit Sheet also exposes fragment properties or inline labels for editing.
Editing – batch
PageSeeder provides the infrastructure necessary to support batch or bulk editing. Effectively, this process can be thought of as re-uploading PSML files. Therefore, batch editing can support use cases such as:
Like download and publish, export is simply a meaningful name for publish scripts that use PageSeeder’s batch API . By default, PageSeeder comes with publish scripts that export to the following formats:


Faceted navigation
Faceted navigation is a methodology for organizing information to optimize navigation by values in the data.
File size
Size in bytes of PageSeeder documents.
File system
PageSeeder relies on the file system to store documents and binary files. For information about files managed by PageSeeder, see folders and files.
Whether it is a normal binary file, such as ZIP file, or an Office document or a PageSeeder document, any file viewed in PageSeeder has both a filename and document title. However, because these files are physically stored on the file system of the host server, they mustn't have names that violate the naming rules of the host operating system.
also known as FO Config
As a term, ‘folder’ can be used in multiple contexts including the following:
Folder view
Also known as Documents Browse (or ‘Document explorer’ in version 5)
Folders and files
Files and folders in PageSeeder can be used in multiple contexts. For general explanations, see the glossary entries for document or folder.
For further information about the creation and editing of electronic forms or fielded data in PageSeeder, see PSML document template, PSML properties editor or the tutorial on How to configure a custom properties editor.
Documents in PageSeeder are composed of fragments.
Fragment identifier
A unique identifier for a fragment within a document. The fragment ID provides developers with a more precise mechanism for updating documents that have been created outside PageSeeder.
Fragment label
A label which applies to a fragment.
Fragment template
part of the document template.


A generator is a server-side component written in Java which produces an XML response from a content request. Berlioz libraries provide a number of built-in generators for common use cases.
Global template
The Global template (previously known as custom folder) is a custom project template that applies to all projects on the server. It is specified by the globalTemplate optional global property.
A key PageSeeder concept, the group restricts access to content, such as documents and comments to a member.
group config – advanced options
These settings can be found in Advanced Options on the Group configuration page located under Group administration. For more information about the API, see Service: edit-group.
Group configuration
Group config includes the group name, description, welcome message, advanced options and group properties. They are available when the group is first created or can be accessed at any time by a manager of the group.
Group folder
Is an object that acts as a container for uris in a group. All documents and folders belong to at least one group folder. Each group folder contains its own tree of documents and folders. 
Group owner
Is a value used to cluster, or differentiate, groups. Typically the name of an individual or organization, the “owner” is visible through the List groups page under the Admin menu. The owner value is set through the Advanced options tab of the group configuration option under the Admin menu. See the following screens.
Group properties
Accessed by selecting ‘Group configuration’, under the Administration tab on the group dashboard, these are values that control various aspects of group behavior such as whether returned email messages are forwarded to a nominated address. While these same values can be set at the project level, the rules of inheritance and overrides can prove confusing for new users.


In PageSeeder, a host is one of the attributes of group folder and URI. It must be a valid hostname as defined by RFC 3986.
A key component in PageSeeder, HTML is used to provide an editing interface for PSML documents.
HTTP servlet
An HTTP servlet is a server-side component that receives and responds to requests from clients to perform a particular task or retrieve data over HTTP.


ID token
An ID token contains claims that carry information about the user. Information in ID tokens lets PageSeeder verify that a user is who they claim to be.
May refer to:
Image shell
An implementation technique that uses a document as a wrapper for one or more images, plus any associated metadata such as credits and captions. During editing, the image shell is referenced using a normal cross-reference. However, when the document is published, the contents can be processed differently depending on the output format.
Index XML
The index XML is the XML format used by the PageSeeder Index Engine as a source.
Inline label
Designed to associate custom styles or semantics to running pieces of content inside a text block (paragraph). Inline labels play the equivalent role for PageSeeder as “character” or “inline” styles play in traditional publishing or word processing systems.
A two-step process to add someone to a group after confirmation by sending an invitation email.


Java is the language used to write much of the core of the PageSeeder application and the generators for any Berlioz application.
Java API
see Bridge.
A servlet engine and HTTP server where most Berlioz apps are deployed.


Labels are a convenient mechanism for adding semantics to PageSeeder artifacts. They are divided in two broad categories:
PageSeeder is available under more than one license. What follows is the non-legal explanation of the different options.
In PageSeeder terminology, ‘list’ is interpreted as the generic description for ordered (<nlist>) or unordered (<list>) items (<item>) in a document, not as the programming term for a type of data structure.
Loading zone
The loading zone is a temporary location in the file system where files are stored before being uploaded into PageSeeder.
PageSeeder provides several types of logs for developers and administrators to assess the health of their system and diagnose problems.


A particular role with permission to configure a PageSeeder group.
A simple, lightweight text-based language for formatting documents.
MathML is intended to facilitate the use and re-use of mathematical and scientific content on the Web. It is supported for display and storage in PageSeeder.
Media icon
To identify the media type of a document quickly, PageSeeder uses a consistent set of icons.
Media type
PageSeeder uses the media type of a document as a trigger to invoke document processors that have specific capabilities to process data formats such as XML or PDF.
The groups that a user is a member of, determine the content they can see. The role attached to each specific group membership, determines the functionality the user has. Membership and role for any group is unrelated to what it might be on any other group.
Member – add/remove
Previous or pending members of a group are visible when a user with a role of manager or higher views the member list.
member – registration
The process of joining a member to a group.
The breadth of objects and processes incorporated into PageSeeder mean some terms require qualification. ‘Document’, ‘properties’ and metadata are all such terms.
Microsoft Excel
Is supported by PageSeeder in several different ways. The most common being the following:
Microsoft Word DOCX format
Support for converting PSML documents to DOCX and DOCX to PSML is a standard feature of PageSeeder. Available when viewing a document, there is a standard conversion that processes any PSML document without modification.
Moderated group
A group with property that assigns the role of moderator to a member. PageSeeder then directs different transactions to the nominated individual for approval. Transactions that can be moderated are: anyone applying to join the group, comments being posted to members, and whether a document is allowed to advance a value of status or workflow.
A manager who can accept or reject memberships and comments.


Name-value pair
A common data structure in computing, they are natively supported in PageSeeder. For further information, see property and PSML properties editor.
When certain events occur on the PageSeeder server, email notifications are sent to members. Who is notified and when depends on the options of the event and the notification settings for the member in a particular group.
Numbered headings
A numbered heading is a <heading> element in PSML which is preceded by an automatically generated number when published.
Numbered paragraphs
A significant amount of development effort has been invested to ensure that even the most complex numbering schemes can be supported in PageSeeder. In many cases, this is achievable with less effort than using Microsoft Word or similar applications and produces superior results. However, the issue of numbering can span the entire document lifecycle, which makes it hard to cover in a single article.


OAuth client
An external app using the PageSeeder API via OAuth.
Object labels
With no predetermined semantics, a label can be used for any purpose. The most fundamental difference for PageSeeder is whether the label is attached to an object, or part of the content. Native objects that support labels include document, fragment, comment, task,  version or xref.
Object model
One of PageSeeder’s main design strengths is how quick and straightforward it can be to import, edit and publish complex XML documents. The reason for this is PageSeeder’s object model (see document) and how it is used to represent XML data in an easily editable, generic form.
Open XML
See Microsoft Word DOCX format.
An aspect of the service provider license that supports branding of the PageSeeder interface and messages, such as lost password and group invitations.
An option or setting which allows content to be replaced during an upload operation.


PageSeeder Ant API
A common requirement for PageSeeder is to process numerous files through multiple stages. To support this, a version of the PageSeeder API can be called from a batch processing environment, Apache ANT. This is the basis of PageSeeder Publish.
PageSeeder design objectives
The PageSeeder approach to XML publishing workflows is different from that of conventional applications. PageSeeder was conceived and implemented as a web-based platform, not adapted from a desktop app. The orientation of the product has always been around collaboration and the constraints that are necessary to effectively and productively coordinate groups of users.
PageSeeder file system
Directly interacting with the host file system is not advised! Use the API or user interface to move files in or out of PageSeeder.
PageSeeder server
Is a somewhat ambiguous term. It can be the conceptual term for the overall PageSeeder solution or it can refer to the main software component of the system (and counterpart to the Publish engine).
Paragraph style
A widely-understood concept that is part of most unstructured document editing and publishing apps. A style groups a collection of format settings under an arbitrary name so a user can apply the identical settings elsewhere.
Passwords are required for all users to authenticate or access private groups.
PDF documents
PageSeeder stores, indexes, searches and displays PDF documents. It can also create PDF format from PSML documents using PDF export config usage. 
Personal group
A personal group is a reserved PageSeeder group used as a private space for PageSeeder members to receive messages and store personal documents.
An inline Publication property that can be dynamically created, populated and resolved by writers with no need to modify the document template.
Personal preferences are stored in PageSeeder against the user’s account. They are accessible from the Account preferences page 
Defines the level of urgency or importance of a task or workflow.
Fundamentally, a PageSeeder project provides the following two functions:
Project and group names
Only use lowercase alpha characters, numbers (top level project name can’t start with a number), underscore (_), or tilde (~) in your project or group names. 
Project template
The project template is a set of files that configure the behavior of groups within a project.
Another PageSeeder term with multiple contexts, like ‘document’ and ‘metadata’. 
PSML – PageSeeder Markup Language
PSML (PageSeeder Markup Language) is an XML markup language designed to represent a broad range of documents. It is natively supported by the components of the PageSeeder platform with no need for additional configuration. This includes the editor, publishing processes, validator, index/search engine and more.
is a specialized PSML fragment editor to add to, delete or reorganize a list of xrefs (cross-references).  The second fragment of a references document is configured to invoke the psxreflist editor. Adding it must be done through the PSML document template, there is no way to call it through the standard end-user interface.
The conventional meaning for ‘public’ refers to an external, often anonymous, community. In PageSeeder, ‘public’ means anyone NOT in the same group. 
Public API support
Indicates the level of support of an HTTP servlet that is part of the public API for a particular usage.
A PageSeeder concept that was redefined with the release of version 5.96xx.
Publication config
Among other properties, this controls the way a “Publication” is numbered. Available through the Document config screen.
Publication ID
A server-wide, unique value represented by a document property. Any document with a value in this field is displayed in the list of Group Publications.
A concept of batch processing in PageSeeder. Publish can mean exporting PageSeeder XML into non-PageSeeder formats such as PDF, DOCX or arbitrary XML formats. It can also mean importing Microsoft Word or Excel into PageSeeder XML.
Publish action
<action> elements are specified in the publish config. They include:
Publish engine
A key component of the PageSeeder solution, the Publish Engine handles all import, export, publish and some process operations by executing customizable Ant scripts. It is included as part of each PageSeeder server, but one PageSeeder server can use the Publish Engine on a different PageSeeder server so CPU-intensive tasks, such as document composition or transformation, can be distributed.
Publish engine API
see PageSeeder Ant API.
Publish script
An Apache Ant build file (build.xml) that calls the Ant API through Ant tasks so they can be processed by the Publish engine.
Publish task
An alternate, ambiguous and non-preferred term that refers to an Ant task.
See Publish engine.


Question (search)
The conceptual foundation of the search service is the idea of “question field” and “question”. Examples of question fields are “document title” and “author”. A questions would be one or more word that appear in either or both question fields. After processing the question, the search service will return a list of results in the specified format (documents, comments, URLs)  where the content of a question field fully or partially matched the content of the question.


Read only – section or document
Prevents a document or section from being edited through the standard PageSeeder user interface. This is especially useful for content that is being maintained externally but integrated with PageSeeder content for publishing. An example of this class of content are comments that are maintained in source code.
References check
Is a feature that processes all xrefs originating from the document open when it is invoked.
References document type
The “references” document type is the default way to assemble multiple PSML documents into a publication.
Reverse cross-reference
For a bi-directional link, the reverse cross-reference (or reverse xref) is the component that exists on the link target and refers to the link source. By default, PageSeeder xrefs are bidirectional. This means that, by processing a document, it is possible to know what other documents link to them.
The role determines the permissions of a member in a PageSeeder group.


Scheduled jobs
A Publish script can be scheduled to run at set times using the scheduler.
Is an ISO standard with powerful validation capabilities and configurable error messages. Further information about the standard is available via the Schematron Wikipedia page. See XSD files.
Built on the Apache Lucene technology, PageSeeder offers end users and developers several interfaces to find and retrieve content using the search capability.
Search facets
Typically a property value or a label, facets work best when they are consistently applied to most of the documents in a collection. For example, if most documents include a property of  "city", the value of that property can be used to navigate or categorize documents in the collection.
Defined in each PSML document as containers for related fragments, sections are used to divide a document into fixed parts that remain in place throughout the lifecycle of the document.
Section ID
An ID for a section. The section ID must be unique within the document and is constrained by a pattern or by enumerated values.
Section title
A section title is stored outside the editable area of a section. It is displayed but cannot be removed or altered using the standard editing interface. This can be a useful way of building documents that are composed of specifically defined, or ordered, sections.
Server message
A server message is a global message that an administrator can enter in the administrator dashboard for display on all pages on the server. It is generally used to notify ALL users currently logged into that particular PageSeeder server of an imminent server wide event, such as an upgrade or restart.
Shared document
A document viewable by more than one group.
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Single sign-on lets users sign in with a single ID to an external identity provider to authenticate with PageSeeder. The credentials are maintained by the external identity provider.
Site prefix
Is the prefix assigned to PageSeeder URLs. The value of the site prefix is stored in the global properties.
Is a value that can be given to a task or a document workflow to represent their current state. The status values, and roles that can use them, are configurable in the group properties.
Subgroups allow all the members of one group to be added to another group (the supergroup) with one action.
Is a project below another project or subproject.
Is any group with a Subgroup as a member.  There are no special characteristics of a supergroup, except that knowing which individuals can access the group requires processing the membership of the subgroup.


Table of Contents (ToC)
<toc> is a placeholder element for the generation of a Table of contents.
A task is an action to be undertaken and is defined by its status. An active task is a task which has an active status. In the user interface. PageSeeder uses the task icon for tasks.
Task status
is the status of the last comment in a task.
Template folder
The template folder is a container for most of PageSeeder's customizable code.
A random string generated by PageSeeder and used for authentication or authorization depending on the type of token used.
A transclusion is type of cross reference that is resolved directly, so that the referenced content (a document or part of a document) is included into the source document.


Universal format
The universal format refers to a collection of PageSeeder files when outside PageSeeder. It consists of a file organization and uses PSML as a representation for PageSeeder documents and their metadata.
URI is used as a generic term for documents, folders and URLs which are specific types of URIs. They all have a unique URI ID and share many common features.
URI ID / uriid
Is PageSeeder’s internal identifier as opposed to the document ID, which is designed to be an external identifier.
URI pattern
A URI pattern (or URL pattern) is simple URL-like notation to match URLs. They are used by the PageSeeder services and Berlioz to identify the user interface to render or service to invoke from a URL.
Also known as an external URI.
It is an optional public identifier for a user account in PageSeeder, and is only required when the user account does not have an email address.


See Schematron or validating documents.
A version is a “named” snapshot of a single document. A name can be any of the following:


Refers to the folder structure below the Web application server.
A mechanism that lets PageSeeder notify a client app with an HTTP callback when a specified event occurs.
Weborganic folder
The weborganic folder is where PageSeeder stores the application-level styles, scripts and images to be served over the web. Where a project has been customized, the equivalent material is stored in style folders under the template folder.
Weekly digest
Weekly digest is a method of notification, allowing the member to keep up to date with the latest comments and discussion related to a group by receiving a single email once weekly.
An XLink object that expresses the stages in a document’s lifecycle – reducing coordination overheads in a collaborative writing environment. In the user interface, workflows use the workflow icon.


XHTML sanitization
When comment content is submitted with contenttype=application/xhtml+xml the content is sanitized for security and consistency so that it only contains the following elements or attributes. Named entities such as &nbsp; are also converted to numerical entities or Unicode characters so the content can be processed easily as XML.
XLinks are a key component in the PageSeeder architecture. Sometimes their role is obvious (cross references), and sometimes it is less obvious (a new document).
XSD files
There are a number of schema files that are useful for validating different aspects of PageSeeder. Both the files and documentation are available through Schemas.