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

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Sat Jun 30 10:10:41 PDT 2007

I think Jeremy is absolutely right.  Genealogy data can already be semantically marked up with existing 
microformats.  Don't forget to include the Citation microformat for genealogical sources.   

Also, it is important to keep the one-to-one mapping of the VCARD standard to hCard.  VCARD already 
offers extensions; see http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2426#section-3.8  If you want to include a field for 
"Date of death" then  VCARD allows something like

FN:Charles Darwiin

"DEAT" is the GEDCOM tag for date of death.

This would  make the microformat look like

 <p class="vcard vevent">
    <span class="fn summary">Charles Darwin</span> was
    born on <abbr title="1809-02-12" class="dtstart bday">February 12,  
    and died on <abbr title="1882-04-19" class="dtend x-deat">April 19,1882</abbr>.

Of course, the problem for microformat parsers is to determine which  x-* class maps to what microformat.

One of the purposes of a genealogy microformat would be to import genealogy data from a Web page into a 
genealogy application, perhaps by creating an intermediate GEDCOM interchange file.  This makes it 
necessary to accomodate approximate dates or ambiguous dates, eg:

 <p class="vcard vevent hgenealogy">
    <span class="fn summary">Grandma Jones</span> was
    born on <abbr title="ABT 1800" class="dtstart bday">about 1800</abbr>
    and died <abbr title="AFT 1885-01-01" class="dtend x-deat">after 1 January 1885</abbr>.

The additional class of "hgenealogy" could help parsers deal with dates which are invalid in iCalendar, 
but perfectly acceptable (and necessary) in GEDCOM.  I just made up that syntax now; I'm not proposing a 
formal Genealogy microformat here.


This is what Jeremy Keith <microformats-discuss at microformats.org> said
about "Re: hCard history and extensions (was Re: [uf-dis" on 30 Jun 2007 at 15:11

> I don't believe that hCard needs to be extended to accommodate a  
> "date of death" field. I think that we already have a microformat to  
> deal with this use case; it just doesn't happen to be hCard.
> The dtend field in hCalendar seems like the perfect fit for this.  
> Microformats are intended to be embeddable within one another: an  
> hCalendar within an hCard (or visa-versa, depending on how you look  
> at it) allows for all the desired information to be marked up:
> <p class="hcard 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>
> Because there is a way of marking up this information using existing  
> microformats, I see no reason to extend hCard.
> It's a similar situation with genealogy. I don't think there's any  
> need for a genealogy microformat because the required information can  
> already be marked up using a combination of hCard, hCalendar and XFN:  
> people+dates+relationships.
> Bye,
> Jeremy
> -- 
> Jeremy Keith
> a d a c t i o
> http://adactio.com/
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