[uf-new] An argument against 'fn' in hAudio (was: Second attempt at hAudio proposal)

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Tue May 8 08:36:54 PDT 2007

Manu Sporny wrote:
> - The use of 'fn' instead of 'work-title'.

It has been proposed that 'fn' or 'n' be used instead of 'work-title',
or 'title'. What follows is an argument against using 'fn' and 'n' for


- It is important that we choose the generic names that span all
microformats carefully.
- Our goal is to lower the cognitive load of website designers using
Microformats by re-using terms that are semantically equivalent.

Argument: fn is far too heavyweight for hAudio

fn is short for 'full-name' and is grounded in the VCARD/hCard format.
The sub-properties of 'fn' and 'n' are: family-name, given-name,
additional-name, honorific-prefix, honorific-suffix [1]. These are all
related to 'proper names' - none of them have any meaning when applied
to hAudio.

The optimization rules for interpreting 'fn' are quite complex [2], for

"If 'FN' and 'ORG' are not the same (see previous section), and the
value of the 'FN' property is exactly two words (separated by
whitespace), and there is no explicit 'N' property, then the 'N'
property is inferred from the 'FN' property. For 'FN's with either one
word see below, and for three or more, the author MUST explicitly markup
the 'N', except for the organization contact info case, see above
(http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard#Organization_Contact_Info) for that."

None of this applies to hAudio - and we don't want Microformat
implementors confusing how to use 'fn' in hAudio and how to use 'fn' in

It would be nice to use 'title' instead of 'work-title', but hCard has
usurped the term to mean "job title, functional position or function of
the object the vCard represents" [3]. This was a bad decision in
hindsight as the definition of "title" should be far more generic.
'job-title' or 'function' should probably have been used in hCard instead.

Unless a solid argument is presented for using 'fn' instead of
'work-title', the proposal will stay with 'work-title'.

-- manu

[1] http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard#Property_List
[2] http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard#Implied_.22n.22_Optimization
[3] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2426.txt

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