[uf-discuss] geo and named locations

John Allsopp john at westciv.com
Sun Jul 23 22:09:52 PDT 2006


> 1. Mark up your content as semantically as possible.  Certainly if  
> you relax
> this, you can decide to only use geo and not markup the names of  
> locations
> etc.  But the reasons why are even bothering with microformats is  
> that a lot
> of us have walked the path of semantic XHTML, then semantic class  
> names, in
> the pursuit of marking up our content as semantically as possible,  
> without
> compromising the content and presentation.

I do indeed believe in making content up as semantically as possible.  
I guess my concern here is whether the use of hCard is appropriate,  
given the "contact information" aspect of the specification (and its  
association with vCard)

> 2. Minimum reinvention.  There is no need to (and it is in fact a  
> bad idea
> to) invent a new format for named locations, when hCard solves that  
> problem
> perfectly well.

I suppose my concern is that hCard is specifically associated with  
vCard, and also restates its purpose as being for "contact  
information" - and not all uses of place names or geo locations are  
going to be that. For example, the summit of Everest, or the  
splashdown location of Apollo 11.

> Thus there is no other logical conclusion other than to use hCard  
> to markup
> named locations.

Except the semantics of hCard is not for capturing locations  
generally, but in the specific circumstance of contacting people

> That being said, if you have a concrete alternative to propose, you  
> may have
> thought of something better.

No, not at all. On the one hand, I do agree totally that we have a  
specification for location, hCard, and it makes sense to reuse that.  
But as mentioned above, there is a tension between the idea of  
contact information, and the idea of location ore generally. But I  
think your proposal to generalize hCard is an excellent one, just not  
one I would have had the courage to make :-)

> In essence, hCard works well as a semantic construct to represent any
> instance of a person or organization or for that named locations.   
> Some of
> this has certainly evolved through usage and experience since I first
> drafted hCard, and perhaps it is time to revise the hCard to  
> reflect this
> expanded semantic usage, in order to reduce pedantic worrying. ;)

Precisely :-) It would somewhat decouple hCard from the semantics of  
vCard, but that would be evolutionary, so in keeping with uf principles

So your proposal might be to loosen or remove the association between  
hCard and contact information specifically, and have something along  
the lines of

"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."

(just taking a fist stab at that)

Thanks as always Tantek,


John Allsopp

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