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Revision as of 02:28, 20 February 2010 by Tantek (talk | contribs) (this is new proposal - discuss on the new list for now)
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<entry-title>HTML5 profile attribute</entry-title> The HTML5 profile attribute is a simple way for authors define URLs and meanings for vocabularies used in an element and its descendants. It is based on and generalizes the HTML4 head element's profile attribute for all elements.

Tantek Çelik (affiliations above)
Manu Sporny (Bitmunk - Digital Bazaar, Inc.)

copyright and patents statements apply.


HTML5 profile attribute is a work in progress!

Please note that currently several sections are incomplete and are being actively worked on.

This document may be useful for general conceptual review at this point, but nothing more formal.

Public discussion on HTML5 profile attribute takes place on html5-profile-feedback, the #microformats irc channel on, and microformats-new mailing list.

Available languages

The English version of this document is the only normative version. For translations of this document see the #translations section.

Errata and Updates

Known errors and issues in this document are corrected in resolved and closed issues. Please check there before reporting issues.

This document is currently under development.


HTML4 introduced the profile attribute.

XMDP clarified profile attribute processing, and introduced a profile document format based on XHTML which authors could produce and link to using the HTML4 profile attribute.

microformats have XMDP profiles and recommend linking to them using the profile attribute.

HTML5 has dropped the profile attribute from the head element.

This document is an extension/addition to HTML5 which provides both a more thorough/rigorous definition of the profile attribute and generalizes it to all elements for scoped indication of vocabularies (similar to how the HTML5 microdata document extends and adds to HTML5).

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.


formal definition of the profile attribute, processing model.

The profile attribute contains a space separated ordered list of URLs to one or more profile documents.

These profile documents define and provide URLs for vocabulary terms - profile definitions.

These profile definitions apply to the element and its descendants.

For backwards compatibility with HTML4 and XHTML1:

  • profile URLs specified on the head element are considered to be at the end of the list of profile URLs of the html element, and thus apply to the entire document.



This section is informative.

hCard with scoped profile

<div profile="" class="vcard">
 <a class="url fn" href="">Tantek Çelik</a>

RDFa example

- using profile attribute with RDFa property attribute

microdata example

- a way that microdata could use definitions provided by the profile attribute without having to use full URLs in itemtype attribute values for example.

hybrid example

- using profile attribute to introduce/define/scope a vocabulary and then use in microdata, microformats, and RDFa markup simultaneously, as a demonstration that they can be used on the same data in a complementary overlapping fashion. not sure of the utility of doing this but demonstrating that they can compatibly be used in the same document or even on the same element may help both alleviate incompatibility concerns, and how to use shared vocabularies across multiple syntaxes.

HTML4 errata

This section is informative.

HTML4.01's definition of the profile attribute has several problems, which are addressed by the following.

include XMDP and Manu's HTML 4.01 errata


profile attribute for other languages

This section is informative.

The profile attribute as defined in this specification can be applied to other markup languages (including previous versions of HTML and XHTML) as follows.

informative profile attribute processing model for other languages

examples of HTML4, XHTML1, SVG, and other markup languages that have a class attribute

examples of Atom, and other markup languages that have a rel attribute



Per the public domain contribution requirement of the wiki, this specification is released into the public domain.


This specification is subject to a royalty free patent policy, e.g. per the W3C Patent Policy, and IETF RFC3667 & RFC3668.


Normative References

Informative References

This section is informative.

Related Pages


Read the HTML5 profile attribute document in additional languages:

  • none yet