[uf-dev] impact of new vCard on hCard

Toby A Inkster mail at tobyinkster.co.uk
Wed Jun 25 14:09:20 PDT 2008

Guillaume Lebleu wrote:

> I noticed that the latest vCard draft specification [1] requires the
> content of the TEL property to be of type URI with tel scheme.
> Operator supports this and hCard allows it, but if I understand
> correctly, that would mean that an hCard compliant with this new spec
> would require the phone number to always be represented with an  
> HTML anchor:
> <a class="tel" href="tel:+14154075856">+1 (415) 407 5856</a>
> Thoughts? should I add this to hCard issues on the wiki?

I'm not sure why this would be an issue.

Firstly, hCard normatively references version *3.0* of vCard. The  
draft spec is for vCard 4.0.

Secondly, just because hCard re-uses vCard's terms and ideas, it does  
not follow that hCard re-uses vCard's syntax. For example, address  
components in vCard need to be separated by semicolons -- but they do  
not need to be separated by semicolons in hCard. As another example,  
the "N" property in vCard is always presented in family name, given  
name, additional name, honorific prefix, honorific suffix order, but  
the sub-properties of "n" in hCard may be given in any order. A  
change in vCard syntax does not need to carry over to hCard, as they  
already have entirely different syntaxes.

Some of the more interesting implications of a new version of vCard  
is the new properties available. For example, people using hCard for  
geneology purposes may have been frustrated that although hCard  
offers "bday" for marking up a date of birth, it does not offer a  
corresponding property for date of death. Now that vCard has added a  
DDAY property for marking up a contact's date of death, it is fairly  
safe to say, that if ever hCard does include a property for marking  
up dates of death, then it will almost certainly be called "dday".  
Geneologists can start replacing their own custom class="date-of- 
death", class="died", etc markup with class="dday".

Since April, Cognition has included additional support for the  
following vCard 4.0 properties:

	- kind (e.g. "individual", "org", etc)
	- gender
	- birth (place of birth)
	- dday
	- death (place of death)
	- impp (like "url", but for instant messaging)
	- lang (preferred spoken/written languages)

This support is documented here:

I see that as of today, they've also added "related" and "member".  
The former will be especially interesting to fans of XFN. I'll look  
into implementing them in Cognition too.

Toby A Inkster
<mailto:mail at tobyinkster.co.uk>

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