[uf-discuss] "authoritative hCards", a simpler proposl

Lachlan Hardy lachlan.hardy at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 19:45:12 PST 2007

Hi, Ryan

Thanks for summarising. It was getting confusing skipping around all
those threads

I want to address your points out of order, if I may. Firstly, just to
check that I have understood your proposal correctly

> Also, the algorithm for finding the most authoritative hCard:
> 1. if no uid or uid == the uid from the previous iteration/recursion
> => you're done
> 2. if url == uid and there's an hCard at that url, recurse with the
> new hCard

To provide examples of my understanding of your proposal:

various hCards for Chris Messina (thanks for having so many hCards,
Chris!) at places such as ClaimID, blogrolls, conference sites etc
would read:

   <a class="url uid fn" href="http://factoryjoe.com/blog/hcard">Chris
or blog link to Some Conference:
   <a class="url uid fn"
or link from Some Conference:
   <a class="url uid fn" href="http://factoryjoe.com/blog/hcard">Chris

At each of these URLs it finds another hCard that leads on again, thus
identifying a series of related hCards. All of which are tied, by
virtue of the UID, to the value of the element (in this case, 'Chris

Eventually, our parser ends up at factoryjoe.com/blog/hcard and finds
an hCard containing:
   <a class="url uid fn" href="http://factoryjoe.com/blog/hcard">Chris
   <a class="url fn" href="http://factoryjoe.com/blog/hcard">Chris Messina</a>

The self-referential nature of this link indicates that it is the
'authoritative' hCard.

Have I understood you correctly, Ryan?

I'd propose that the UID is still required at the final hCard, to
explicitly confirming that *this* URL is the definitive one for the
object of this hCard.

Or is an explicit reference superfluous given the implicit
confirmation of the self-referential URL?

> My proposal is that we use UID+URL to hint that there's an hCard on
> the other end of that URL which represents the same entity. Also,
> multiple hCards with the same UID may be considered as representing
> the same entity.

To move on, I get the feeling I'm missing something here. Your
proposal seems to me to suggest that we add UID to all URLs to that
indicate the presence of a related hCard (of another hCard which has
the same subject - either person or organisation)

I'd suggest that UID is initially unnecessary. FN+URL could provide
the same understanding - eg a unique combination within a hCard,
defining the subject of the hCard and providing a pointer to further

FN+URL points to another URL which has information about the subject.
Follow those URLs until you get to one which has FN+URL+UID. The
latter is the 'authoritative' hCard

RFC2426 defines the purpose of UID as "To specify a value that
represents a globally unique identifier corresponding to the
individual or resource associated with the vCard"

To my mind that fits better...

Wreak havoc upon my suggestions at will

Lachlan Hardy

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