[uf-discuss] hCard and vCard

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Thu Aug 3 10:22:29 PDT 2006

On 8/3/06 5:07 AM, "Ben Buchanan" <wzqtptl02 at sneakemail.com> wrote:

>> 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).
> Hmm, well the resulting vCard wouldn't actually be especially useful
> :)
> If it at least associated the person with a URL it would create a
> useful chunk of information. But I guess it does change it from "bit
> of text" to "someone's name" so.... yeah. But it is awfully borderline
> :)

It is only minimally useful, in that it is still identifying that "Ben
Barren" is semantically a *person*.  Now what applications may do with that
semantic we don't necessarily know.  I could easily imagine however that a
smart browser could notice any reference to a *person* on a page and provide
an optional linkage to that person in my local address book for example.

We don't know all the applications that this will enable.

They key here is to capture and represent the additional higher fidelity
semantics.  Once you do so, there are numerous uses that can be made, like
the above, or for example for better accessibility.

All the same reasons you mark up your headings with <h1> etc. tags.

>> I think many would argue for maintaining the 1:1 relationship between
>> the fields of vCard and the properties of hCard.

Yes, that is not changing.

>> It's what happens to
>> the semantics of vCard that is at issue.
> So basically the uf wouldn't change, we'd just change the description
> to allow usages other than strictly "a person's contact details"?
> Seems fine.


We actually discussed this a week ago or so, and I was working on an
iteration but lost track of it when my computer had to be hard rebooted. :/

>> "However, hCard maintains a 1:1 relationship with the fields of vCard"
>> Does this seem to capture current thinking and practice with hCard?
> I wouldn't really want to see hCard extended beyond the fields of
> vCard, even though vCard has some crappy limitations.

Agreed.  We are not adding new properties to hCard beyond what is in vCard.

> The 1:1 means
> hCards can feed data to the surprisingly large number of devices (and
> software) that can use vCards... which was a major selling point
> getting into our corporate directory :)

Precisely!  That compatibility is important.

> But, I think it's fair enough to say that entities and places can have
> a vCard - it doesn't just have to be a person.

That's right.

See the updated opening paragraph and let me know what you think:




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