[uf-discuss] Chris Messina's hcard

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Thu Apr 20 12:54:33 PDT 2006

On 4/20/06 9:06 AM, "Chris Messina" <chris.messina at gmail.com> wrote:

> Alright, I've added 'n' next to 'fn' since I broke up my name. Whether
> it's really necessarily (and useful) or just something that the
> previous spec called for is still up for interpretation...

Perhaps I should add this to the FAQ (or add some clarification to the


The simple rules:

FN is required in hCard same as vCard.

N is required in hCard same as vCard, and in hCard, you have to explicitly
markup "given-name", "family-name", and all the other componenets of N.

The shortcuts:

There is an "implied N optimization" which allows you to *imply* an N
property if your FN has precisely two words which represent your given-name
and family-name.  See the spec for details.

There is an "implied NICKNAME optimization" which allows you to *imply* a
NICKNAME *and* an N property if your FN has precisely *one* word which
represents your nickname (AKA handle, user login, etc.).  See the spec for

Thus if you are following the simple rules, you MUST have both FN and N
explicitly markedup in your hCard.

If however you are following one of the shortcuts, and omitting an explicit
N, then any use of the N component class names (e.g. given-name, family-name
etc. has no effect and is ignored).

Thus in Chris Messina's original example:

<a class="url fn" rel="me" href="http://factoryjoe.com/blog">
 <span class="given-name">Chris</span>
 <span class="family-name">Messina</span></a>

There is no "N" markup, so the given-name and family-name are ignored.

Instead, the N (and given-name, and family-name) are all implied from the
two word FN.

Does that help clarify this?


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