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This page is for documenting Q&A about XFN in addition to the official XFN FAQ. It is likely that items here will be incorporated there. Or perhaps GMPG may choose to redirect the FAQ here - this is to be determined. For now, if you have a new question to ask about XFN, please consider first asking your question on the microformats-discuss mailing list.

Please first read the official XFN FAQ.

value clarifications

Why is muse in the romantic category

According to the XFN spec, rel="muse" is a link to someone who inspires you, and is listed as being a "romantic" relationship. Does it is always implied as a romantic relationship, since one could certainly find someone else inspiring without being romantically involved/interested?

How do I markup my relationship to companies I used to work for

How do I markup my relationship to companies I used to work for?

How do I markup people that I used to work with

How do I markup people that I used to work with?

How do I markup location info like my office

Is there anything in there for locative info, like 'my office,' etc.? 1
We have "rel" tags for humans. Is there an equivalent for location and place? 2

Markup location info related to your office as part of your type work address (adr) in your hCard.

Why does XFN omit negative values

Wondering why XFN definitions do not include "fool", "enemy", "jerk", "pedant", and so forth. 1

Negative relationship terms have been omitted from XFN by design. The authors think that such values would not serve a positive ends and thus made the deliberate decision to leave them out.

From "XFN Background: Positive or neutral relationships only" - more reasons and explanation provided there.

other possibilities

Why not use rev instead of a keyword to denote the reverse

Why not exploit the rev property to avoid having to use a different keyword to denote the reverse? --Jon Williams 14:41, 8 Jan 2007 (PST)

Can XFN links use protocols other than http

Can you use rel="me" for other protocols besides HTTP? such as mailto: or aim:? --Brian Suda 03:37, 2006-05-12 (PST)


How do you do autodiscovery of XFN

I am interested in the autodiscovery of microformats in html especially xfn. What would that look like?1

Does consolidating a paginated friends list scale

Note: this is an implementation FAQ.

How do services that publish hCard+XFN supporting friends lists and use the rel="me next" and rel="me prev" method for consolidating paginated friends lists scale?

The short answer is: it is pagination that actually scales and publishing complete lists that does not.

In real world practical experience, Twitter's live-on-the-web implementation right now has demonstrated not only that the pagination approach already scales, but more importantly:

"publishing all your friends on one resource" does not scale.*

Twitter employee Blaine said as much at the Social Network Portability Today meetup at the Satisfactory, due primarily to database load.

Note that because this is a backend issues, this is true regardless of the format sent to the front end client (whether HTML, random XML, or CSV). And whether you call it an "API call" or "HTTP GET request" or "page load", on the Web they are all the same thing.

Note also that this isn't uncommon. Twitter isn't the only interface (whether user or programmatic) that requires clients (whether browsers or spiders) to retrieve paginated results. Most search engine APIs for example require clients to make paginated requests.

  • Any such absolute statement ("does not scale") is obviously meant to summarize a measured result rather than be dogmatic in nature because obviously in the literal sense such an unqualified absolute statement can be disproven with carefully chosen examples. In this instance, it has been pointed out that there are services (namely LiveJournal) that can return hundreds of contacts in a single request without any difficulty. Problems have been noted by implementers (e.g. Twitter) when a friends list has more than about 1500 contacts, especially trending into the 10,000 range. With modern (as of 2007) servers and backend software stacks, returning simple datasets this size can take over a second if not cached, which is too long.

See Also


xfn-faq was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969