[uf-discuss] XFN limitation

Bob bob_ngu at yahoo.com
Tue May 13 21:00:04 PDT 2008


I have been working on a consuming app for XFN. I want to display human readable URL information for rel=me, rel="met ...", etc. While it seems like most of the XFN producers include human readable information along with rel URLs, unfortunately it isn't part of XFN and hence an XFN parser won't read it. Take for example, http://kevinmarks.com/. 

Kevin's rel=me URLs, note: some HTML characters like "<", ">"changed to "[", "]" to prevent HTML stripping in Yahoo mail
[a  href="http://epeus.blogspot.com/"; rel="me"]Blog[/a]
[a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmarks/"; rel="me"]Photos[/a]
[a href="http://www.twitter.com/kevinmarks/"; rel="me"]Twitter[/a]

Kevin's rel="met..." URLs
[a class="fn url" href="http://factoryjoe.com"; rel="met colleague friend"]Chris Messina[/a]
[a class="fn url" href="http://tantek.com";  rel="met colleague friend"]Tantek Çelik[/a]
As a consuming app, I prefer not to display the entire URL because it can get long and unruly. However, I would like to get at the human readable values usually available next to "rel=me" and "rel="met ..." URLs, but there isn't an XFN standard for that. I feel that this is an XFN limitation, is it possible to to extend XFN to allow this information to be available? Like maybe add a rel attribute to a span or div element around the human readable text? I don't expect this to be a problem for  FOAF though, however I am seeing examples in the wild that uses both XFN and FOAF, so my app should happily consume both but I am having some trouble with making the information consistent across both standards. Any help or insight is appreciated. 
Bob Ngu
My Startup JiggyMe
My Blog on Data Portability

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