hCard history and extensions (was Re: [uf-discuss] Date of Death in hCard)

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Tue Jul 3 01:25:11 PDT 2007

In message <C2AF331E.915F7%tantek at cs.stanford.edu>, Tantek Çelik
<tantek at cs.stanford.edu> writes

>  <p class="vcard vevent">
>>  <span class="fn summary">Charles Darwin</span> was
>>  born on <abbr title="1809-02-12" class="dtstart bday">February 12,
>> 1809</abbr>
>>  and died on <abbr title="1882-04-19" class="dtend">April 19,1882</
>> abbr>.
>> </p>
>Otherwise, this is an excellent idea Jeremy.

It's far less optimal than the proposed addition to hCard, for a number
of reasons:

   *    It encodes the lifetime as single event, rather than as separate
        birth and death events.

   *    It is far less suited to use in templated data (based on my
        experience of adding hCard in Wikipedia, but the principles are
        transferable), as one needs to know that there is a DoB or DoD
        to include, before adding the "vevent" class; thereby making it
        harder if not impossible to implement

   *    It requires more classes.

   *    What if we know the DoD, but not the DoB (a common occurrence,
        in the years before mandatory birth registration, and thus in
        genealogy and historical biography; see:
         <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beethoven>), for example.

   *    It makes nesting more complex, if the hCard is within an
        hCalendar, say for an event celebrating Darwin's 150th birthday.

   *    It has a disparity in the way DoB and DoD are recorded; one has
        two classes (one specific to DoB); the other only one class.
        Publishers therefore have to learn and remember two different

   *    It requires the "dtend" to be encoded as a day later than the
        actual death (it's wrong in the above example). If Charles and
        Tantek missed that, what chance do novice authors have?

Do we really think this method is going to be easier for lay publishers
to adopt, than a simple DoD field in hCard?

Andy Mabbett

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