Label definition

Label definition in detail

You want to know about it in detail? No problem. Here you can download the latest version of the label definition and specification for age.xml


We have already had a lot of consultations and a number of years of experience with age-de.xml in Germany. But perhaps while using and installing age.xml labels you will have even better ideas - feel free to contribute by dropping us an e-mail or using the contact form.

In most cases you won’t need to bother with all the details in the definition. Read our “How to”. Or even easier: use our free Label Generator.


Information about age ratings for Parental Control Systems - that's it

The one and only task for age.xml is to technically tell Parental Control Systems (PCS) age rating information regarding the website. With this information, PCS can make the decision to show or block content for a minor sitting in front of the screen. That’s it. No more, no less. But it’s very helpful to protect kids on the internet while maintaining free access to the contents for adults.


Basic structure of age.xml

The main blocks of age.xml are:


What's in the blocks?

  • ageblock-basic:  Information about the label, version, issuer, date and custom tags
  • ageblock-country: Definition of country specific labels (if necessary)
  • ageblock-labeltype: age.xml offers different ways of single page age rating. This block defines what ways are used.
  • ageblock-labeltype-definition: Details about used labeltypes used.

The country specific age-xx.xml (e.g. age-de.xml, age-at.xml, age-fr.xml, age-nl.xml etc.) has exactly the same specifications as age.xml, but is missing the ageblock-country.


Two main functions of age.xml

One website always contains always only one age.xml file (at the root of public htdocs). This age.xml can have two main functions:

  • The age rating itself is already defined in the age.xml, so nothing else is needed. This is in case the entire website has one age rating. Small websites or bigger ones with a clear URL-structure are also already able to define all necessary age ratings in the age.xml itself (up to 50 kb file size).
  • age.xml is mainly a configuration file. This is when each single page of the website may have an individual age rating. In this case age.xml defines how the single page rating is technically done (e.g. via HTTPHEADER oder HTML meta tag) and provides basic settings like a default age to the Parental Control System.


Why simple XML?

Experience with similar age-de.xml has shown that many webmasters (often without much knowledge of coding, which is fine) are using and installing age label files for their websites. They may be bloggers or content providers of private or small websites. For them, having a clear old-fashioned XML file that is human-readable makes things much easier and prevents mistakes.

If you are an experienced coder: sure you could use a more ambitious format. But of course you can also read this one :-)

By the way: for the same reason, we decided to build our own “simple standard” rather than using existing but complicated ones like RDF or POWDER. The most important thing is that almost everybody providing content on the internet can use it without diving deep into technology.