[microformats-discuss] Referencing hCards

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Sat Jul 16 15:27:28 PDT 2005

On Jul 16, 2005, at 1:32 PM, brian suda wrote:

> One idea for referencing remote hCards was to use the rel="hcard"  
> attribute.

There's a couple of difficulties with this.

First of all, rel="" defines the relationship between the two  
resources, not the format of the target.

Second, page A can't assert anything about the format of page B in  
any reliable manner.

Third, for you use-case, below, I don't think its necessary. I think  
we already have the building blocks we need.

> With the X2V program and the id='' attribute it is possible to  
> reference
> a single hCard within an HTML page with many hCards.
> <div class="vcard" id="brian_suda">
> ...
> </div>
> by passing http://example.com/hcard.html#brian_suda to X2V i would  
> get a
> single vCard result instead of all the vCards that would be encoded  
> into
> that page.

This definitely sounds like an interesting idea for X2V to support.

> This could also lead to the following link on
> http://another.site.example.com/:
> <a href="http://example.com/hcard.html#brian_suda" rel="me hcard">my
> hCard</a>
> This gives a link to an HTML page, but it is an anchor directly to the
> hCard. The idea being, that X2V could then also search for any
> rel="hcard" attributes and spider those links as well. Then you could
> build a disconnected network of hCard nodes.

If we're building a network, why not just use XFN?

> One vCard attribute rarely used is AGENT. This is a person that  
> acts on
> the other person's behalf.
> <div class="vcard" id="brian_suda">
> <a href='http://agents.site.example.com/#agent1' class="agent"
> rel="hcard">contact my agent</a>
> </div>

/me goes to get himself an agent, just so he can use this feature

> Now X2V could travers that link to get the rest of the agent hcard.  
> This
> allows the agent to keep their information up-to-date on their site
> without me constantly making changes to my own site. Instead i  
> reference
> their hcard via an href anchor link.
> Another example would be a single HTML page with links to all my
> friends' hcard pages. If i add the rel="hcard" attribute to each link,
> then point X2V to my own page. X2V would spider all of the external
> links and fetch the hcards building a vcard for each one. Then i no
> longer need to keep friends data current. It is a distributed
> addressbook via REST, microformats, and HTML.

> Does this make sense? Any thoughts?

Yes, it makes sense, but I don't think the rel="hcard" is necessary  
in any of it. First of all, its unreliable (which was the point I was  
trying to make above) and secondly, a spider could just hit all of  
your friends links to find hcards.


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