[uf-discuss] Proposal: Mandatory connection of a XFN to a "source" hCard and a "target" hCard

Scott Reynen scott at randomchaos.com
Wed Mar 19 06:05:37 PST 2008

On Mar 19, 2008, at 6:36 AM, Costello, Roger L. wrote:

> 1. If XFN is used on a web page then that web page MUST contain an
> hCard of the person that represents the source of the relationship.

> 2. There MUST be a mechanism that connects the XFN to the hCard that
> represents the source individual.  Or, there MUST be a mechanism on  
> the
> hCard that connects it to the XFN.
> 3. The target of the XFN-bearing hyperlink MUST contain an hCard that
> represents the target individual.  And there MUST be some mechanism
> that connects the XFN to that target individual's hCard.
> Exception: if the XFN is "me" then the hCard MAY not be repeated in
> both the web page of the source and the web page of the target.

I think this could all be simplified into a single rule.  rel="me"  
with an hCard at either end is a legitimate mechanism to connect all  
XFN relationships on both pages to the single hCard.  I see no reason  
to create a rule that the hCard must be on the same page (#1), only to  
immediately create an exception to that rule.  Putting the hCard on  
the same page is one way to connect it to the XFN relationships, but I  
see no reason to prefer it over the alternatives for accomplishing the  
same goal, e.g. linking to an hCard on another page with rel="me".  If  
anything, I think the latter method should be preferred, following the  
DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) principle.  So that would leave us with #2  
and #3, which are just discussing both ends of XFN relationships.  So  
I'd boil this all down into one simple rule:

1. All people in an XFNetwork MUST be identified via hCard somewhere  
within the network.

My MetaFilter contacts page, for example, needn't represent me via  
hCard, but could instead point back to my MetaFilter profile with  
rel="me", which could in turn point to the hCard on my personal  
website with rel="me."  As long as my personal website hCard is within  
the XFNetwork (even though it may be multiple steps away), I shouldn't  
need additional (likely redundant) hCards for myself.


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