DBLP was started in 1993 as a pure HTML application. Later essential parts were converted to XML, but the input "language" remains to be in HTML style. The idea is to enter tables of contents (TOCs) in a format, which is very close to their appearance on the DBLP TOC web pages.
The TOC of a journal issue is the smallest unit of information we usually enter. For a first example compare
A TOC entry, that is the bibliographic description of paper, always has the same format:
For conference proceedings the input format is very similar. Our input file example shows the main difference: HTML <h2>-elements (and <h4>, <h4>, ...) may be used organize large tables of contents. For DBLP users tables of contents are simply more readable if the papers are grouped by sessions etc. as in our example.... Last update Mon May 20 22:18:26 2013 CET by the DBLP Team — Data released under the ODC-BY 1.0 license — See also our legal information page