[uf-discuss] hCard and vCard

John Allsopp john at westciv.com
Wed Aug 2 22:48:36 PDT 2006


a few days back, Tantek and I discussed whether the strict  
association (particularly in regards to semantics) of vCard and hCard  
needs to be relaxed.

It seems that the consensus on this is yes - afterall, some very  
common uses of hCard, including a number referred to in the examples  
section of the hCard page at uf.org stretch the idea of "contact  
information format for people, companies, and organizations"  
considerably. For example (and I've done this myself on numerous  
occasions) "come and hear <span class="vcard"><span class="fn">Ben  
Barren</span></span> speak about..." is really not contact  
information, but this is a very commonly cited example of how one  
might use hCard (for example, for conference speakers).

Since with hCard we have a good format for marking up information  
about people, organizations and arguably places (fn + geo) as Tantek  
suggested last week it makes sense to use this, rather than have a  
different uf for these entities in different contexts (for example in  
travel guides, or in news stories). But it does mean, I think, that  
the definition of hCard needs to change, and its relationship with  
vCard be spelt out (at present "hCard is a 1:1 representation of the  
vCard standard").

I think many would argue for maintaining the 1:1 relationship between  
the fields of vCard and the properties of hCard. It's what happens to  
the semantics of vCard that is at issue.

About a week ago I proposed this change to the definition of hCard

"hCard is a simple, open, distributed format for people, places,
companies, and other organizations. Although its origins lie in
vCard, from which it takes its name, practical use has demonstrated
that a more general format may be required for encoding information
about places, people or organizations which is not specifically
contact information."

I'll add to this

"However, hCard maintains a 1:1 relationship with the fields of vCard"

Does this seem to capture current thinking and practice with hCard?

thanks for any thoughts


John Allsopp

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