[uf-discuss] Introduction, and announcing XFN and HCard import into Videntity.org

Dan Libby danda at videntity.org
Tue Feb 6 11:56:46 PST 2007

Hello All,

I've been doing a bit of work with the HCard and XFN formats recently, so I 
figured I should join this list and keep up-to-date with the happenings and 
best practices, and to let you know what I've been using these formats for.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that my site, Videntity.org, is the 
first to support portable profiles via both *import* and export of HCard, 
XFN, and FOAF formats. The HCard data provides personal profile info, and the 
XFN data provides a contact list. This is all tied together with an OpenID 

I am proud of the new import feature in particular, as it allows one to 
synchronize and unify various online identities together, into one account. 
All imported data can be reviewed and optionally excluded.  If other sites 
begin adding similar import capabilities, then it can become a 2-way sync.

I'd like to invite you all to check out this feature.  I have a write-up 
including a list of the tools used here:


I appreciate any comments, suggestions or bug reports you might have, and I'm 
also happy to share implementation details and code snippets with anyone else 
that might be interested in implementing an import feature.

Finally, having gone down this path, I think that these formats can be a bit 
difficult to parse given the varied nature of (often very broken) web pages 
in the wild. I found that using HTML Tidy was necessary before I could even 
begin to parse most documents.  This has likely already been discusssed, but 
I think that some standard parsing classes in various languages could help 
pave the way for other implementors.  If such exists for PHP, I would 
appreciate a pointer.  If not, perhaps I can refactor my code so that it is 
generic enough to be useful for others.


Dan Libby

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