hCard examples

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Example hCards.

Contents

Authors

Instructive Examples

Authors of Pages and Posts

Per the HTML4.01 specification, authors should be using the <address> element to indicate the "contact information for a document or a major part of a document." E.g.

<address>
 <a href="http://tantek.com/">Tantek Çelik</a>
</address>

By adding hCard to such existing semantic XHTML, you can explicitly indicate the name of the person, their URL, etc.:

<address class="vcard">
 <a class="fn url" href="http://tantek.com/">Tantek Çelik</a>
</address>

This could be displayed as:

Tantek Çelik

This works not only for whole pages, but also for "major part[s]" of pages, e.g. blog posts.

See the microformats.org blog (view the source) for a live example. The author of every blog post on the microformats.org blog is marked up as an <address class="vcard"> element like the example shown above.

References to People and Organizations

A common pattern in blog posts is to link mentions of people's names to their blogs, and/or organizations to their home pages. E.g.:

<cite>
 <a href="http://meyerweb.com/">Eric Meyer</a>
</cite> wrote a post 
(<cite>
  <a href="http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2005/12/16/tax-relief/">
   Tax Relief
  </a>
 </cite>) 
about an unintentionally humorous letter he received from the
<a href="http://irs.gov/">Internal Revenue Service</a>.

By adding hCard to such markup, you can explicitly indicate both the person and the organization by name and URL:

<cite class="vcard">
 <a class="fn url" href="http://meyerweb.com/">Eric Meyer</a>
</cite> wrote a post 
(<cite>
  <a href="http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2005/12/16/tax-relief/">
   Tax Relief
  </a>
 </cite>) 
about an unintentionally humorous letter he received from the
<span class="vcard">
 <a class="fn org url" href="http://irs.gov/">Internal Revenue Service</a>
</span>.

Note the class names "fn org url" on the hyperlink surrounding the IRS. Using the same value (or element for that matter) for "fn" and "org" indicates that the hCard describes an organization rather than a person.

This could be displayed as:

Eric Meyer wrote a post (Tax Relief) about an unintentionally 
humorous letter he received from the Internal Revenue Service.

a person who works for an organization

People often associate themselves with a company or organization that they work for. E.g.

<span class="vcard">
 <span class="fn">Jeremy Keith</span>, 
 <span class="org">Clearleft</span>
</span>

Of course in this day and age, nearly everybody has a URL both for themselves and for their company. It's easy to add a URL for the person in the above hCard example:

<span class="vcard">
 <a class="fn url" href="http://adactio.com/">Jeremy Keith</a>, 
 <span class="org">Clearleft</span>
</span>

But to add a URL to the company, there is no "org-url" property (nor should there be), instead, use modularity and a nested hCard for the company itself:

<span class="vcard">
 <a class="fn url" href="http://adactio.com/">Jeremy Keith</a>, 
 <span class="org vcard"><a class="url fn org" href="http://clearleft.com">Clearleft</a></span>
</span>

Furthermore, if this person hCard is on a page that represent them (e.g. is a representative hCard), then you can also use the experimental rel-group relationship on the hyperlink to the company to indicate that the company is a "group" that the person belongs to.

<span class="vcard">
 <a class="fn url" href="http://adactio.com/">Jeremy Keith</a>, 
 <span class="org vcard"><a class="url fn org" rel="group" href="http://clearleft.com">Clearleft</a></span>
</span>

hCard and XFN

References to People in Blog Posts

In the above example, one person (the blogger) is referring to another person (Eric Meyer). In addition to using hCard to explicitly mark up the reference as a person, the blogger can use XFN (the XHTML Friends Network) to indicate their relationship to Eric Meyer, e.g.:

<cite class="vcard">
 <a class="fn url" rel="friend colleague met" href="http://meyerweb.com/">
  Eric Meyer
 </a>
</cite> wrote a post 
(<cite>
  <a href="http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2005/12/16/tax-relief/">
   Tax Relief
  </a>
 </cite>) 
about an unintentionally humorous letter he received from the
<span class="vcard">
 <a class="fn org url" href="http://irs.gov/">Internal Revenue Service</a>
</span>.

It would be displayed the same as the previous example.

References to People in Blogrolls

Many bloggers are using XFN (often using an easy user interface like that built into WordPress) to explicitly indicate their relationships to the people in their blogrolls:

<ul>
 <li>
  <a href="http://meyerweb.com" rel="friend colleague met">Eric Meyer</a>
 </li>
 <li>
  <a href="http://photomatt.net" rel="friend colleague met">Matt Mullenweg</a>
 </li>
</ul>

By adding hCard markup to an XFN Friendly blogroll, you can explicitly indicate the name and URL of the person in addition to their relationship:

<ul>
 <li class="vcard">
  <a class="fn url" href="http://meyerweb.com" rel="friend colleague met">Eric Meyer</a>
 </li>
 <li class="vcard">
  <a class="fn url" href="http://photomatt.net" rel="friend colleague met">Matt Mullenweg</a>
 </li>
</ul>

Which could be displayed as:

This is referred to as hcard-xfn-supporting-friends-lists, and is a key building block of social-network-portability.

For more information on XFN, see the XFN home page, joining XFN, and background on XFN.

The technique is used in the WP Microformatted Blogroll plugin for WordPress.

New Types of Contact Info

Since vCard was designed, there have been numerous other services that provide individuals with addresses or other means of contact, e.g. instant messaging, voip, etc.

Does this mean that vCard (and hence hCard) must be extended to represent these?

Thanks to the flexibility of the URL property, the answer is no, no extensions are necessary. Instead, we use the proper URL for the service which identifies the service (protocol, machine, and/or path), and place the individual's address inside that.

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) ids can be represented using the aim: protocol. Many who publish their AIM ids do so with clickable URLs e.g.:

<a href="aim:goim?screenname=ShoppingBuddy">IM with the AIM ShoppingBuddy</a>

Thus for hCard, we will adopt this existing content publisher behavior, and simply capture it as another URL for the hCard:

<a class="url" href="aim:goim?screenname=ShoppingBuddy">IM with the AIM ShoppingBuddy</a>

Yahoo! Messenger

Similarly, Yahoo! Instant Messenger (YIM) ids can be represented using the ymsgr: protocol. And similarly many publish their YIM ids as clickable URLs e.g.:

<a href="ymsgr:sendIM?SomeYahooFriend">IM with SomeYahooFriend</a>

Again, for hCard, we will adopt this existing content publisher behavior, and simply capture it as another URL for the hCard:

<a class="url" href="ymsgr:sendIM?SomeYahooFriend">IM with SomeYahooFriend</a>

MSN Messenger

MSN Messenger (MSNIM) ids can be represented using the msnim: protocol. And similarly many publish their MSNIM ids as clickable URLs e.g.:

<a href="msnim:chat?contact=joebob@hotmail.com">IM with joebob@hotmail.com</a>

For hCard, we will adopt this existing content publisher behavior, and simply capture it as another URL for the hCard:

<a class="url" href="msnim:chat?contact=joebob@hotmail.com">IM with joebob@hotmail.com</a>

See related issue(s).

XMPP (Jabber)

Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) ids can be represented using the xmpp: protocol, e.g.:

<a class="url" href="xmpp:username@jabberservice.com">IM with username@jammerservice.com</a>

The protocol allows much richer URLs, see RFC4622.

There are many current clients supporting the protocol.

Skype

Accounts on the Voice-over-IP service Skype can be represented using the skype: protocol. It can be used to open a chat session or make a Skype call.

<a href="skype:echo-chinese?chat">IM with the Skype echo service (Chinese)</a>


<a href="skype:echo-chinese?call">Skype call to Skype echo service (Chinese)</a>

Thus for hCard, we could adopt this existing content publisher behavior, and simply capture it as another URL for the hCard:

<a class="url" href="skype:echo-chinese?chat">IM with the Skype echo service (Chinese)</a>
<a class="url" href="skype:echo-chinese?call">Skype call to Skype echo service (Chinese)</a>

ICQ

ICQ does not have a URL scheme. Rather ICQ links on the web use HTTP hyperlinks to download a resource of content-type application/x-icq which then the operating system opens with the user's ICQ client.

Thus we can markup those HTTP hyperlinks with the content-type set explicitly to communicate the ICQ semantic:

<a class="url"
   type="application/x-icq" 
   href="http://www.icq.com/people/cmd.php?uin=[ICQNUMBER]&action=message">
 Contact with ICQ</a>

Replacing [ICQNUMBER] with the user's actual ICQ number.

Site profiles

Bloggers often indicate their identity on content hosting services using the URL to their home page, feed or profile on those services. By labeling them as URL properties, these additional facets of identity can be published in an hCard as well.

listing your other profiles

The most common case of sites listing other profiles is a blogger listing their own other profiles, or a site enabling a user to list on his or her profile on that site, links to his or her other profiles. Since clearly the author/user is indicating that all those profiles mean the same person, it's best to mark them up with XFN's rel="me" for explicit identity consolidation, e.g. if those links were on Tantek's blog or other social network profile:

Such explicit user-driven identity consolidation is also a key building block for social-network-portability that is further explained in the context of hcard-xfn-supporting-friends-lists.

Canonical Profiles on Sites

Sites sometimes have different pages for the "home" page for a person, and that person's user profile page.

For example Flickr has:

In addition, sites often have a canonical URL for a person, and several alternate URLs.

As noted above, links to these URLs inside hCards that represent those people should have classname "url".

In addition, such link(s) in hCards to the canonical URL for a person on that site should also have the classname of "uid". This technique was proposed Ryan King at the first Social Network Portability Today lunchtime meetup.

Building on the example(s) from the previous section:

Such a "url" + "uid" property could also be used by a site as that person's OpenID URL.

This work has been developed into representative hCards. Go there for the latest on this line of thinking.

Organizations and Departments

Departments are marked up using the "organization-unit" class name inside the "org" element, with the "organization-name" specifically marked up to distinguish it from the department:

<div class="vcard">
 <div class="org fn">
  <div class="organization-name">Sprinkler Fitters U.A. Local 483</div> 
  <div class="organization-unit">Apprenticeship Training Center</div>
 </div>
</div>

The department may also be part of the address, in which case, you may want to explicitly mark it up as the "extended-address" in addition to the "organization-unit".

<div class="vcard">
 <div class="adr">
  <div class="org fn">
   <div class="organization-name">Sprinkler Fitters U.A. Local 483</div>
   <div class="organization-unit extended-address">Apprenticeship Training Center</div>
  </div>
  <div class="street-address">2531 Barrington Court</div>
  <span class="locality">Hayward</span>, 
  <abbr title="California" class="region">CA</abbr>
  <span class="postal-code">94545</span>
 </div>
</div>

Note that by nesting the org inside the address we avoided having to duplicate the department name.

Lists of Organizations

Similar to lists of people, lists of organizations (e.g. music bands) should use a list (unordered unless there is a specific reason to order it) with list items and hyperlink to the respective organization home pages.

E.g. this simple POSH:

<ul>
 <li>
  <a href="http://microformats.org/">microformats.org</a>
 </li>
 <li>
  <a href="http://technorati.com/">Technorati</a>
 </li>
 <li>
  <a href="http://www.w3.org/">World Wide Web Consortium</a>
  (W3C)
  </a>
 </li>
</ul>

can be easily enhanced with hCard:

<ul>
 <li class="vcard">
  <a class="fn org url" href="http://microformats.org/">microformats.org</a>
 </li>
 <li class="vcard">
  <a class="fn org url" href="http://technorati.com/">Technorati</a>
 </li>
 <li class="vcard">
  <a class="fn org url" href="http://www.w3.org/">World Wide Web Consortium</a>
  (<span class="nickname">W3C</span>)
  </a>
 </li>
</ul>

RFC 2426 examples in hCard

See: hcard-examples-rfc2426

Test Cases

These are hCard examples which have been found to be particularly useful in finding bugs in hCard parsers (e.g. X2V).

Problem with BDAY Information

this example:

    <!-- birthday -->
    <div class="bday">
    <dt>Birthday</dt>
    <dd>
        <abbr class="value" title="1985-10-27T00:00:00Z">October 27, 1985</abbr>
    </dd>
    </div>

ought to produce "BDAY:1985-10-27T00:00:00Z" but it produces "BDAY:Birthday October 27\, 1985" [in what? this statement appears meaningless]. interesting is that the apple addressbook is still willing to accept it in this way.

case-INSENSITIVITY of type values

this example works with X2V:

    <div class="tel">
    <dt>Phone (<span class="type">home</span>)</dt>
    <dd><span class="value">+438123418</span></dd>
    </div>

this does not, but should. but instead it becomes just TEL without a type in the vcard

    <div class="tel">
    <dt>Phone (<span class="type">Home</span>)</dt>
    <dd><span class="value">+438123418</span></dd>
    </div>

GEO parsing

The following hCard:

<div class="vcard">
  <span class="fn n">
     <a class="url" href="http://t37.net">
       <span class="given-name">Fréderic</span> 
       <span class="family-name">de Villamil</span> 
     </a>
  </span>
  <span class="nickname">neuro</span>
  <a class="email" href="mailto:neuroNOSPAM@t37.net">
     <span class="type">pref</span><span>erred email</span>
  </a>
  <span class="org">Omatis</span>
  <span class="adr">
     <abbr class="type" title="dom">France</abbr>
     <span class="type">home</span> address
     <abbr class="type" title="postal">mail</abbr> and
     <abbr class="type" title="parcel">shipments</abbr>:
     <span class="street-address">12 rue Danton</span>
     <span class="locality">Le Kremlin-Bicetre</span>
     <span class="postal-code">94270</span>
     <span class="country-name">France</span>
  </span>
  <span class="geo">
     <abbr class="latitude" title="48.816667">N 48° 81.6667</abbr>
     <abbr class="longitude" title="2.366667">E 2° 36.6667</abbr>
  </span>
</div>

Should be translated into the following vCard:

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:3.0
URL:http://t37.net
ORG:Omatis;;
NICKNAME:neuro
FN:Fréderic de Villamil
N:de Villamil;Frederic;;Mr.;
EMAIL;TYPE=INTERNET,PREF:neuroNOSPAM@t37.net
ADR;TYPE=HOME:;;12 rue danton;le Kremlin-Bicetre;;94270;France
GEO:48.816667;2.366667
END:VCARD

X2V currently (2005-12-18) fails to parse/export the GEO property at all.

Related Pages

The hCard specification is a work in progress. As additional aspects are discussed, understood, and written, they will be added. These thoughts, issues, and questions are kept in separate pages.

Translations

hCard examples was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

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