List of user interface markup languages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The following is a list of user interface markup languages categorized

By vendor or platform[edit]



See also Open Source XML UI Toolkits in Java







EMML is a declarative Mashup Domain Specific Language (DSL) aimed at creating enterprise mashups. The EMML language provides a rich set of high-level mashup-domain vocabulary to consume and mash variety of Web data-sources in interesting ways. EMML provides a uniform syntax to invoke heterogeneous service styles: REST, WSDL, RSS/ATOM, RDBMS, and POJO. EMML also provides ability to mix and match diverse data-formats : XML, JSON, JDBC, JavaObjects, and primitive types.


Hierarchical Model View Controller User Interface Language (HMVCUL) is an XML markup user interface language which supports the creation and chaining of atomic MVC triad components used in constructing HMVC GUI applications. The associated runtime provides methods which enable configuration of properties, data binding and events of each of the MVC triad elements (widget, controller, model). The runtime accomplishes this by mapping XML elements defined in an HMVCUL file to objects inside the framework, attributes to properties or to events. Chaining is accomplished by following the tree structure described inside the HMVCUL file.


I3ML is a proprietary thin client Application Delivery mechanism developed by CoKinetic Systems Corp, with client support provided by a browser plugin that will render windows-like applications over an HTTP infrastructure with minimal bandwidth needs.

OpenLaszlo (LZX)[edit]

OpenLaszlo is a runtime environment that comprises a runtime environment and an interface definition language (Laszlo XML - LZX). LZX is a declarative user interface language which defines the widgets, application layout and scripting elements (using JavaScript) to create your application. LZX is runtime agnostic with the currently supported runtime being within Macromedia/Adobe Flash. An experimental runtime called Laszlo "Legals" that will allow OpenLaszlo (LZX) applications run in multiple runtime environments, such as DHTML/AJAX.


Scalable Vector Graphics is a markup language for graphics proposed by the W3C that can support rich graphics for web and mobile applications. While SVG is not a user interface language, it includes support for vector/raster graphics, animation, interaction with the DOM and CSS, embedded media, events and scriptability. When these features are used in combination, rich user interfaces are possible.

SVG can also be super-imposed upon another XML-compatible user interface markup language, such as XUL and XForms, as the graphics-rich portion of a user interface.


Thinlet is a LGPL licensed lightweight GUI toolkit that comes as a single Java class, based entirely on the AWT. It handles user interaction, and calls business logic. The graphic presentation that is described in an XML file is kept separate from the application methods written in Java.


UIML is the earliest pioneer in user interface markup languages. It is an open standard where implementation is not restricted to a single vendor. However, it doesn't attract much attention.


Vexi is a web application user interface platform. Vexi is engineered to be "HTML for applications" where defining rich application user interfaces is simpler than laying out a web page. Applications are defined in a combination of XML and ECMAscript (aka JavaScript). Communication is done over HTTP (e.g. XMLRPC, SOAP, REST, etc.). Vexi is designed for the creation of extensible visual components and comes with a mature and fully featured widget library.


WasabiXML is an XML markup language that is used to define the graphical interface in Wasabi powered applications. It is most commonly used with Winamp for making Winamp skins. WasabiXML had been developed by Nullsoft for Winamp, but it is also usable with other applications with the Wasabi SDK.

The root element in WasabiXML is <WasabiXML> (for Winamp skins, it is also <WinampAbstractionLayer>). The <skininfo> element shows the information for a skin. The graphical interface is held by the <container> element and the basic viewable GUI element is <layout>. Following is an example for a simple GUI with a button element:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<WinampAbstractionLayer version="1.2">
    <comment>Ooo Lala</comment>
    <author>Some Person</author>
  <include file="xml/color-sys.xml"/> <!-- Include a file -->
  <container id="normal">
    <layout id="normal" desktopalpha="true">
        x="0" y="0"

WasabiXML supports many GUI elements including:

  • <button>
  • <text>
  • <vis>
  • <eqvis>
  • <layer>
  • <animatedlayer>
  • <groupdef> used in conjunction with <group>

<groupdef> allows the developer to define a group of GUI objects which can be re-used anywhere in the skin. Wasabi also supports XUI's which are nothing but <groups> powered by a MAKI script allowing developers to create GUI components (widgets) of their own adding to modularity.

WasabiXML has an XML namespace 'Wasabi::' which defines common GUI's without having the need to declare their image paths.


eXtensible Application Language is the Markup language of Nexaweb's Enterprise Web 2.0 Suite. Developers can use this language to define applications that will run as a Java Client or an Ajax Client.


XAML is a markup system that underlies user interface components of Microsoft's .NET framework 3.0 and above. Its scope is more ambitious than that of most user interface markup languages, since program logic and styles are also embedded in the XAML document. Functionally, it can be seen as a combination of XUL, SVG, CSS, and JavaScript into a single XML schema.

Some people are critical of this design, as many standards (such as those already listed) exist for doing these things. However, it is expected to be developed with a visual tool where developers do not even need to understand the underlying markups.


The primary interface language of Mozilla Foundation products is XUL. XUL documents are rendered by the Gecko engine, which also renders XHTML and SVG documents. It cooperates with many existing standards and technologies, including CSS, JavaScript, DTD and RDF, which makes it relatively easy to learn for people with background of web programming and design.


Other markup languages incorporated into existing frameworks are:

Some of these are compiled into binary forms.

In avionics, the ARINC 661 standard prescribes a binary format to define user interfaces in glass cockpits.


  1. ^ (See also HTA/HTC [1] HTC Reference, which are older similar technologies promoted by Microsoft for use primarily with Internet Explorer.)

See also[edit]