[uf-discuss] hCard to represent simple entities (was: Tentativeproposal...)

Jim O'Donnell jim at eatyourgreens.org.uk
Sat Jan 5 06:22:39 PST 2008

On 4 Jan 2008, at 18:29, Andy Mabbett wrote:

>> On the names thing, I suppose I could be tagging something with  
>> the name
>> "John Smith", in which case I'd use rel-tag, or making "John Smith"
>> available to be downloaded as a vcard, in which case I'd use  
>> hcard. The
>> semantics of "John Smith" haven't changed between those two  
>> examples. What
>> I want to do with the phrase "John Smith" has, so the exact  
>> microformat I'd
>> use depends on what I want to do with the names in the end, more  
>> than their
>> semantics.
> But that's dependent on what *you"* want to do. If you use more  
> consistent mark-up, then your users, and parsers, can deal with  
> them as they see fit.
Sorry, I should have been clearer. What I want to do, in terms of  
marking up content, is determined by how people are going to use the  
web site. If people want more intelligent searches - 'show me  
manuscripts written by Captain Cook' - then rel-tag seems like the  
natural tool for marking up names. On the other hand, if people want  
more intelligent social networking - 'take me to Andy Mabbett's blog'  
- then marking up names wth hCard seems like the way forward. I don't  
see a use case for getting the contact details of Captain Cook.

hCard does a specific job very, very well - it enhances social  
networking. I'm struggling to see, though, how it generalises to  
marking up the names of all people, living and dead.

> For instance, adding a tag doesn't tell a future search engine that  
> your text is about a person.

I think the answer to this is the rel-tag microformat coupled with  
sensible URLs to give much more intelligent tags. Imagine if the  
Maritime Museum archives used tags like:
<a rel="tag" href="/search/person/Emma_Hamilton">William Hamilton's  
<a rel="tag" href="/search/vessel/HMS_Victory">the Victory</a>
<a rel="tag" href="/search/person/Captain_James_Cook">Captain Cook</a>

There's enough info in the HTML there to allow for some quite  
intelligent searching. Classes distinguishing between the different  
types of tag could be added to the links too.


Jim O'Donnell
jim at eatyourgreens.org.uk

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list