Difference between revisions of "hcard-issues"

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== Issues ==
== Issues ==
* {{OpenIssue}} 2007-02-25 [http://microformats.org/wiki?title=adr&diff=next&oldid=13732 raised elsewhere] by [[User:JamesCraig]]
*#internationalisation Note: <code>country-code</code> may be missing. Usually a postal-code prefix such as "FIN-00630 Helsinki" or "L-4750 Petange" (Luxembourg).
* {{OpenIssue}} 2007-02-02 raised by [[User::DerrickPallas|Derrick Pallas]]
* {{OpenIssue}} 2007-02-02 raised by [[User::DerrickPallas|Derrick Pallas]]
*# [[adr]] says that all of it's properties are singular; however, "street-address" is listed as zero-or-more.
*# [[adr]] says that all of it's properties are singular; however, "street-address" is listed as zero-or-more.

Revision as of 09:21, 25 February 2007

hCard issues

These are externally raised issues about hCard with broadly varying degrees of merit. Thus some issues are REJECTED for a number of obvious reasons (but still documented here in case they are re-raised), and others contain longer discussions. Some issues may be ACCEPTED and perhaps cause changes or improved explanations in the spec.

IMPORTANT: Please read the hCard FAQ before giving any feedback or raising any issues as your feedback/issues may already be resolved/answered.

Submitted issues may (and probably will) be edited and rewritten for better terseness, clarity, calmness, rationality, and as neutral a point of view as possible. Write your issues well. — Tantek

Please add new issues to the top of the list.

For matters relating to the vCard specification itself, see vCard errata and vCard suggestions.

See also related hCalendar issues.


  • open issue! 2007-02-25 raised elsewhere by User:JamesCraig
    1. internationalisation Note: country-code may be missing. Usually a postal-code prefix such as "FIN-00630 Helsinki" or "L-4750 Petange" (Luxembourg).
  • open issue! 2007-02-02 raised by [[User::DerrickPallas|Derrick Pallas]]
    1. adr says that all of it's properties are singular; however, "street-address" is listed as zero-or-more.
  • open issue! 2007-01-30 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. Many sites, not least Wikipedia, publish co-ordinates as degrees-minutes-seconds (e.g. [1]). Should Geo be extended to allow for this, with parsers making the conversion to digital values?
  • 2007-01-26 raised by James Craig on accessibility page.
    1. Localization of RFC2426 'type' values. RFC2426 type values for adr, email, and tel were intended as machine-readable values. Used as real HTML content in the following example only works in English. The accessify forum discussion described on the accessibility page has asserted that reducing this problem to an abbr is not a valid, accessible solution.

<span class="tel" xml:lang="en">

 <span class="type">Home</span> (<span class="type">pref</span>erred):
 <span class="value">+1.415.555.1212</span>


Use the the class attribute for qname prefixed type values (and others such as dtstart values), AKA meta classes.

<span xml:lang="en">

 Home (preferred): <span class="tel type:home type:pref">+1.415.555.1212</span>

</span> <span xml:lang="es">

 Casa (preferido): <span class="tel type:home type:pref">+1.415.555.1212</span>


  • open issue! 2007-01-22 raised by Christina Hope.
    1. What is the easiest way to display an hCard all on one line with spacing. Currently I am using this - but I know that there has to be an easier/ simpler way to do it.
      Examples: (1)

<span class="vcard"> <span class="fn">Christina Hope</span>& nbsp;& nbsp;& nbsp; <span class="department">Information Technology</span>& nbsp;& nbsp;& nbsp; <span class="role">Website Coordinator</span>& nbsp;& nbsp;& nbsp; <span display="none" class="region"></span> <span class="tel"> x3408</span> & nbsp;& nbsp;& nbsp; <span class="email"><a href="mailto:chope@example.com">chope@example.com</a></span>


<p class="vcard">

<span class="fn">Christina Hope</span> <span class="department">Information Technology</span> <span class="role">Website Coordinator</span> <abbr class="tel" title="+44123 456 7890 x 3408"> x3408</abbr> <a class="email" href="mailto:chope@example.com">chope@example.com</a>


Note: apply classes to existing elements; use abbr to give the phone number in full, in international format. Also, use CSS, not non- breaking spaces, for spacing.
Andy Mabbett 08:34, 22 Jan 2007 (PST)
  • open issue! 2006-12-15 raised (on 2006-12-14, on the mailing list) by Joe Andrieu.
    1. (Paraphrased) By including organisations and places, as well as people, hCards have lost semantic specificity (see cited mailing list post for details).
  • 2006-12-15 raised by WizardIsHungry
    1. [Moved from a user talk page] Hey, why is hiding semi-useful information using CSS bad? The Geo and Address stuff wouldn't be enough to contact me, but I would like there so bookmarklets, crawlers, greasemonkey etc can manipulate it. Is there a policy on using CSS hiding of fields? Thanks :)
      • I guess we can't rely that anything that consumes hCards is normalizing it to a particular format instead of just taking all the xml inside the hcard classed block and sticking it somewhere. If it does just store it as a string, then generating html from it will yield the same hidden fields. Perhaps hiding fields by applying a stylesheet to the relevant hcard styles is ok, but not hiding them using in-line CSS styling. Feedback? --Jon Williams 10:28, 22 Dec 2006 (PST)
      • Furthermore, hcard-example1-steps shows using inline CSS to hide fields. What gives? I still think this is an open issue; particularly the distinction between external stylesheet hiding and inline rules though. --Jon Williams 13:33, 5 Jan 2007 (PST)
      • Should this be on Microformat Issues? --Jon Williams 13:37, 5 Jan 2007 (PST)
        • The example you cite is the first of several steps, which refine and improve the first step's suboptimal hCard.
          • The question is: why is this considered suboptimal if it is ok to hide the entire card?'
            • REJECTED CLOSED TOO THEORETICAL. It is not OK to hide the entire card. Without further concrete examples with real world URLs on the web, this issue is closed.
              • Here are a number of examples of hiding the entire card, taken from hCard Examples in the wild: [2] [3] [4] [5] -- Could someone link to where this was discussed and decided in the past, as it seems like this is being governed by fiat. Even if you don't care to have consensus, but could you at least justify this? This stonewalling is rather rude. --Jon Williams 13:24, 9 Jan 2007 (PST)
      • hcard-brainstorming#CSS_Styles explicitly permits this. I'm going with what they say.
  • open issue! 2006-12-07 raised by RyanKing.
    1. hCard org-fn matching should use organization-name, if given.
    2. originally raised on uf-discuss by David Janes.
  • open issue! 2006-11-24 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. A suggested work-around for the lack of a gender property is to represent gender implicitly in the honorific-prefix field, e.g. Mr. for male, and Ms. for female. This approach does has the limitation that "Mr." and "Ms." (or "Miss"/ "Mrs.") conflicts with a higher-ranking, gender-neutral honorific, such as "Dr." or "Rev." for the person, as it is unusual (and sometimes, outside the USA, invalid) to refer to someone as "Mr. Dr." or "Mrs. Rev." for example. Note also that some cultures or religions regard such titles as offensive, or at least disdain them.
  • 2006-11-23 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. The specification should be "stand alone", and not normally require reference to the vCard specification.
      • A: ACCEPTED PARTIAL. Agreed that hCard should be usable by typical web authors without having to dig through the vCard specification. Precise implementation of parsing etc. hCard properties however will likely require programmers to reference the specifics/grammars in the vCard specification which we will NOT replicate in the hCard specification in order to avoid inevitable introduction of errors due to duplication. And that being said, informative explanations may be a good idea, while the vCard property/value definitions are kept as normative.
        • Yes; my meaning was with reference to hCard publishing, not parsing-into-vCards. Andy Mabbett
    2. The specification should state that "telephone numbers SHOULD adhere to ITU-T Recommendation E.123" (or perhaps "MUST").
      • ACCEPTED PARTIAL. This makes sense as an informative reference and a MAY, but since vCard makes no such SHOULD statement for TEL values, neither should/will hCard. In addition, as a Wikipedia URL that is subject to drastic change, we cannot make that a normative reference.
        • I take your point about Wikipedia - here's a more definitive ITU-E.123 URL; but it's for a chargeable document. Using "SHOULD" or "MUST" in hCard will not affect compatibility with or conversion to vCard. Andy Mabbett
  • 2006-11-16 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. The "type" for "tel" lacks a "textphone" option (for the devices used by, e.g., people who are deaf or have speech difficulties. Example: Birmingham City Council (303 1119).
      • A: REJECTED. This is a vCard issue, as the "type" taxonomy for "tel" is determined by vCard. We are not presently extending hCard beyond the properties and values in vCard.
        • I'm not clear how you can "reject" a provably factual statement. What's the process of suggesting an update to vCard? Andy Mabbett
          • A: ACCEPTED PARTIAL RESOLVED. Unfortunately it is not clear what the process is for updating vCard. However, we can at least capture suggestions for improvement to vCard from this community which may be helpful once the process for updating vCard is understood. I've created vCard suggestions for this purpose and added this suggestion. - Tantek
  • open issue! 2006-10-21 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. There should be some way to say that the URL of an hCard or hCalendar event is the URL of the page itself, without having to include a redundant, and accessibility-damaging link to that page, on the page itself.
  • 2005-06-21 raised by Hixie
    1. Issue H-1: This specification is lacking a user agent conformance section. There's basically nothing that says how hCards must be parsed, how to handle errors, and so forth. Is it defined in terms of the DOM? Is it defined in terms of a serialisation? How do you handle unexpected content or missing content?
      • A: ACCEPTED RESOLVED. See hCard parsing for how hCards must be parsed. For errors/unexpected content/missing content, please provide specific examples.
  • 2005-06-30 raised by Jack L. Wolfgang II. Please feel free to move these to the FAQs if they are better suited there.
    1. Handling middle names and suffixes: How does one handle middle initials/names in the hCard format and suffixes that are not honorific suffixes (e.g. Jr., Sr., II, III, etc. as opposed to Ph.D., Esq., M.D., etc.)?
      • A: ACCEPTED FAQ. By Brian Suda (2005-11-08 updated by Tantek; 2006-11-16 updated by Andy Mabbett) hCard is based of the RFC2426 spec. I you want to use a middle initial it can be expanded using the abbr element. <abbr title="[MiddleName]" class="additional-name">M</abbr>. Honorific Suffixes in the RFC include Jr., Esq. and other inherited suffixes, so I would just use <abbr class="honorific-suffix" title="Junior">Jr.</abbr> etc.
    2. Handling different types of addresses: How does one handle the TYPE (e.g. postal, work, etc.) specification for addresses as specified in RFC 2426 Section 3.2.1?
      • A: ACCEPTED FAQ. By Brian Suda (2005-11-08 updated by Tantek) If you want to add a type to certain elements, including address and telephone it may be done in the following manner:
<span class="adr">
<span class="type">work</span>:
<span class="tel">
<span class="type">work</span>:
<span class="value">123.456.7890</span>

the TYPE needs to be a sub-element of the property (adr, tel, etc) NOTE: EMAIL does NOT have many TYPE attributes, only INTERNET and X400

  • open issue! 2006-04-10 raised by Scott Reynen.
    1. When someone looks at the hCard pages, one sees no collection of real-world publishing of contact data nor discussion of the properties implied by such examples, I think it's far too easy to infer that microformats come from other formats more than actual behavior. There's nothing on the The microformats process nor the hcard pages explaining this discrepancy. I would argue that there should be an explanation, probably in both places.
  • 2006-04-06 raised by Evan.
    1. What is the relationship between the CATEGORY property and rel="tag"? Can you add a tag to an hCard? How can you add a tag to a particular hcard on a page without tagging the other cards on a page?
      • ACCEPTED. Categories can optionally be represented as tags. The classname 'category' should always be used, but rel="tag" can optionally be used (in addition to the category classname). In the case that a rel-tag tag is used, the tag (as defined by rel="tag") is used for the category. Examples: (1) <span class="category">food</span> and (2) <a class="category" rel="tag" href="http://example.com/food">Food!</a>. --RyanKing 15:16, 13 Jun 2006 (PDT)
  • open issue! 2006-03-07 raised by Tantek.
    1. Issue 1: In 99% of the cases I am finding the need to explicitly do "n" markup, the person has a three word fn which is in the form "given-name additional-name(or initial) family-name". Should we make three word fn's into another shorthand notation to make this easier for authors?
  • 2006-02-23 raised by Jesse Skinner and Ben Buchanan.
    1. Are multiple URLs allowed? The Property List suggests not, whereas email and tel have multiple type/value pairs. However, the parsing page suggests multiple URLs are OK. Either way, it seems clear that a type cannot be associated with a URL. So how exactly does hCard deal with multiple URLs?
      • RESOLVED FAQ: Multiple URLs are allowed. Some consuming agents (Apple's AddressBook.app among them) don't have an interface for producing multiple URLs, but they are still valid in vCard and therefore hCard. --RyanKing 17:58, 12 Jun 2006 (PDT)
  • 2006-02-19 raised by Miika Mäkinen.
    1. Couldn't the types for tel numbers be specified in a class? Now, for a phone number one needs to add the type as "visible" text, which is not always preferred. For example, type "Work", many times more suitable label could be "Office" or similar and sometimes you might not want to display any type information at all.
      • REJECTED TRIED ALREADY. Using class names for the "type" of a tel or adr was attempted, and failed in many situations. In addition, the "type" information is actual data, not just a property name, and thus deserves to be in the visible markup. Note that you can use abbreviations, e.g. <abbr class="type" title="work">W:</abbr> in order to present the type in a way that may better fit in with the rest of your presentation.
  • 2006-02-13 raised by Eron Wright
    1. Few systems contemplate the altitude component of a coordinate, yet it exists. Altitude becomes important when working with 3D mapping software such as Google Earth. Indeed, the geocoding service that Google Earth uses returns a three-dimensional coordinate. I suggest that hCard provide explicit support for altitude.
      • REJECTED POSTPONED. Not in vCard. There is no "altitude" component in vCard (RFC 2426), and thus (certainly for now) there won't be any in hCard. If a new version of vCard were to come out with altitude, then we would add it to hCard. At some point we may also consider adding explicit extensions beyond vCard, but if we were to do so, we would capture them first on the hCard Brainstorming page.
  • 2006-02-03 raised by Brian
    1. We can use the Geo microformat in hAtom 0.1 to represent GeoRSS element
  • open issue! 2006-01-28 raised by Tantek on #microformats
    1. Is hCard is really appropriate for a named phone bridge, or do we need something else for a named phone numbers that are neither people nor organizations (the current two precise semantics that can be defined by hCard). For example see the "Zakim" hCard on http://www.w3.org/2005/12/allgroupoverview.html
  • 2006-01-21 raised by Ben Boyle.
    1. Have run into issues trying to use definition lists with hCard, specifically around nesting requirements for tel where the DT element takes a class "type" (e.g. Telephone, Facsimile) and the DD element marks the value. It is invalid to place any other elements within a DL that wrap around the DT/DD pairs so there is no available element to assign the class "tel" to. XHTML2 proposes a DI element that will resolve this issue. I am hoping for an interim solution for those that wish to use definition lists, perhaps that "any class that would be placed on the DI parent (in XHTML2) must instead be placed on the first DT element". I realise this will cause headaches for those implementing hCard parsers. I'd also like to note this may affect other (current or future) microformats and relates to the general hassle of definition lists in current (X)HTML recommendations. For your consideration - thanks!
      • REJECTED WORKAROUND AVAILABLE. Either don't use definition lists in this manner (because the description of a definition should go completely in the DD element, and thus you should be able to put the class on that), or use separate DLs in the cases where you would otherwise have needed a DI element.
  • 2005-12-08 raised by Kenny Heaton.
    1. The specification gives no way to to declare a telephone extension, as in (800) 234-5678 ext. 101
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. What is the best way to declare a telephone extension in a "tel" property? (also seems like it would be a vCard FAQ).
  • 2005-10-30 raised by Julian Reschke.
    1. Several implementations (Which ones? Please provide links.) seem to assume that any class attribute that contains the substring "vcard" indeed signals the presence of vcard information. Not so: there are examples (What examples? Please provide links.) of where a token in the class attribute indeed only starts with "vcard", in which it should be ignored. Implementations using XPath (such as XSLT or Greasemonkey scripts) should be advised to do a contains(concat(@class,' '),'vcard ').
  • 2005-08-12 raised by Jack L. Wolfgang II. Use of mailto transport functionality for the E-Mail address field.
    1. As stated in the hCard Brainstorming document, mailto is abused by spammers. As a result, many organizations have moved to form-based contacts as opposed to mailtos. According to RFC 2426, Section 3.3.2, "A non-standard value can also be specified." Does this refer to a non-standard e-mail address value or type value?
      • A: ACCEPTED FAQ. Type value.
  • 2005-07-23 raised by DanConnolly
    1. Are class names case sensitive or not? hCard 1.0 says "If names in the source schema are case-insensitive, then use an all lowercase equivalent."
      • A: ACCEPTED FAQ. Class names are case sensitive per the HTML4 specification. Hence hCard explicitly specifies the case of class name to use for source schema names that are case-insensitive.
    2. ...but I find example data with class="Given-Name"
      • A: ACCEPTED RESOLVED. That is from an older preliminary version of the hCard spec which used mixed case class names. Such class names are no longer valid hCard. Please note which examples (URLs) are using the older class names and hopefully we can get them fixed.
        • A: By Brian Suda I have fixed all the references in the hCard Brainstorming page to reflect the lower-case style, this is a hold-over from the original design, X2V has been updated.
    3. ..and code that supports it [data with class="Given-Name"].
      • A: ACCEPTED RESOLVED. Any code supporting the older class name(s) is for backward compatibility only, and should be phased out. Any new hCard code SHOULD NOT support such mixed case class names.
        • rfc2629xslt.html uses Street-Address, Family-Name, etc.
        • X2V Version 0.5.1 2005-07-08 supports Family-Name etc.
          • A: By Brian Suda I agree that the upper-case class names can be removed from the code, this was a hold-over and will be trimmed.
    4. The ul/ol stuff for multiple values of a property seems to be in the X2V code and in hCard Brainstorming but not in the hCard 1.0 spec.
      • A. ACCEPTED RESOLVED. This needs to be added to the spec. 2005-11-08 Update: the way multiple values has been updated to work much better and not require ul/ol.
    5. the hCard Profile says country-name but X2V and lots of the data I've seen says country
      • A. ACCEPTED RESOLVED. RFC 2426 clearly says "country name" in both the prose and the grammar, thus "country-name" is the correct class name to use. If X2V uses just "country", it needs to be fixed to use "country-name", and any such examples as well. Please note which examples (URLs) are using the class name "country" and hopefully we can get them fixed.
        • A: By Brian Suda I have fixed all the references in the hCard Brainstorming page to reflect the proper country-name, X2V will support this in the next iteration when i fix several bugs at once.
  • 2005-07-22 raised by DanConnolly
    1. ...in my cellphone/sidekick address book, I have a number of entries for companies. I wrote asHCard.xsl to convert the data from RDF to hCard, but I don't know what to do with entries for companies, since FN is mandatory in hCard.
      • A: ACCEPTED FAQ. This should be an FAQ. "How do I write an hCard for a company?" The vCard specification is silent on this point (entries for companies). Thus there are two options as far as the hCard standard is concerned:
        1. Set "fn" and "org" to the same value. E.g. <span class="fn org">W3C</span> (recommended)
        2. Set "org" as usual, and set "fn" explicitly to empty. E.g. <span class="fn"></span><span class="org">W3C</span> or
          • Simply have no "fn", and on the parsing side, if there is no "fn" present, but there is an "org" property, then duplicate the "org" value as "fn"
      • The last two options are effectively the same and are both not explicit and easily confusable with a "missing data" condition. Thus option 1 is preferred. For converting applications (hCard to vCard), they may consider using proprietary extensions to make the distinction explicit in generated vCards, based on either case 1 or 2 above. E.g. Apple's Address Book application supports the property: X-ABShowAs:COMPANY
      • We are looking for descriptions of how other vCard supporting applications treat "company" vCards differently from "person" vCards. Please provide descriptions here:
        • Address Book / MacOSX.3:
          • Export (e.g. drag & drop to desktop, view in text editor)
            • Sets "FN" and "ORG" to the name of the company
            • Sets proprietary X-ABShowAs:COMPANY
          • Import (e.g. edit in text editor, drag & drop from desktop)
            • By setting "FN" and "ORG' to the same name (e.g. Banana Computers Inc.)
            • And removing any proprietary properties (e.g. X-ABShowAs)
            • Address Book user interface showed new vCard as a "company" contact rather an a person
        • Address Book MacOSX.4:
          • same results as above -RyanKing
        • The Danger Hiptop (aka T-Mobile Sidekick) address book:
          • Export (e.g. email to a mailing list)
            • Sets "FN" to the empty string and puts the company name in "ORG".
          • Import - could not find a way to import a .vcf, by email, IM, or other means into the Sidekick.
        • Contacts / Outlook 2003 Windows
          • Export (e.g. Highlight contact, File, Save As, vcard)
            • Sets "N" and "ORG to the name of the company
            • Sets "FN" to value in "File as:"
        • Add another vCard app here.

Canonical/Authoritative Hcard

  • open issue! 2006-01-23 raised by David Janes (?).
  • Issue 1: Specifying Authoritative or Canonical or Official Hcard
    • Use of rel="me" only specifies an alternate version, not necessarily the canonical version
    • Suggestion: use rel="me self". Adopt "self" semantics from Atom which means "the", or controversially "alternate, equivalent" version
    • Suggestion: use rel="via". Per RFC 4287, via "signifies that the IRI in the value of the href attribute identifies a resource that is the source of the information provided in the containing element." from Ryan Cannon.
    • Other suggestions? "authoritative", "canonical"?
    • Problems with this suggestion?
    • How does this relate to authentication/trust issues? Is this a different problem with a different scope?
      • (microformats-discuss list) Joe Andrieu: The concept behind an "authoritative" hCard rather than "definitive" or "canonical" one was that "authoritative" would explicitly be a claim by the author of the hCard regarding its authority in describing the subject of the hCard, i.e., use this hCard as the one true source of this individual's contact information.
      • To summarize: authentication/trust is a separate topic.
    • What exactly is the scope of the problem to solve here?
      • (IRC) (10:47:44) sreynen: for example, all of the examples I've seen involve a single person publishing multiple hCards of himself
      • (IRC) (10:48:13) sreynen: yet many people are talking about 3rd parties publishing hCards and pointing back to the subject's own hCard
    • rel="me" must be symmetrical, per the XFN spec. What exactly does this mean for this use?
    • "me" (and, depending on usage, "self") are not appropriate for content referring to third- parties. Andy Mabbett

TODO: please add appropriate context and history of this issue from the mailing list. Sign your name to your comments.


Please use this format (copy and paste this to the end of the list to add your issues):

  • open issue! YYYY-MM-DD raised by YOURNAME.
    1. Issue 1: Here is the first issue I have.
    2. Issue 2: Here is the second issue I have.

Note: large blocks of italic text are inaccessible to many readers, including people with types of visual impairment, dyslexia, etc. [6], [7]. [8], [9], [10]

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.