[uf-discuss] hCard and Life Dates?

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Wed Apr 19 07:36:40 PDT 2006

On 4/19/06, Ryan Cannon <ryan at ryancannon.com> wrote:

> Besides, doesn't dtstart and dtend seem a little, well, cold?

And 'dday' isn't? ;)

It seems like the use of birthdays in vcards is telling in this
example... after all, you want to know a birthday in order to
celebrate it -- i.e. send someone a card. It's typically not stored in
your address book to gauge time passed (though determining age can be

In the example given, I believe that we're looking at a use of
hcalendar -- not hcard. We want to know the length of time and the
specific period that someone lived -- especially in the context of
other lifetimes. Storing the date of someone's death in a vcard seems
a bit peculiar... though I suppose useful if you're doing automated
processing -- like sending out tax notices. In that case, 'dday' would
be appropriate, since it would be used as a criterium test for whether
someone meets the criteria for receiving such a notice (namely, that
they're still alive).

So, to summarize. In this case, I think hcalendar in the context of
the hcard makes sense (perhaps a combination of both). In other cases
(as in, "Einstein, deceased: 1955, Franklin, deceased: 1790"), you'd
want to use 'dday' and leave out the hcal stuff. These are simply my
opinions, but I thought I'd throw them out anyway.


> On 18 Apr 2006, at 5:34 PM, timothy.gambell at aya.yale.edu wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > How do I say "Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955)"
> > using hCard? Specifically, what is the best way of expressing a
> > person's life dates?
> >
> > "bday" seems like an obvious choice for date of birth. Would adding a
> > term like "dday" be appropriate for date of death?
> >
> > Or would it be better to use "dtstart" and "dtend" from hCalendar?
> > This feels more elegant, except that "bday" is a more semantically
> > precise than "dtstart".
> >
> > Or maybe some hybrid? perhaps class="bday dtstart" for birthday and
> > class="dtend" for death date?
> >
> > Tim.
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