hCard resolved issues

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resolved issues

hCard 1.0 issues that are resolved but may have outstanding To Do items.

As issues are resolved, they will be moved from the Issues list to this section.

As actions are taken according to the resolutions noted in the issues, they are moved to hCard closed issues.

resolved 2005

Note: As the resolutions are enacted and the issues are closed, it may be worth moving this year of issues to its own page.

  • 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.
        • To Do: add "user agent conformance section" similar to or better than conformance criteria documented in microdata vCard vocabulary.
        • See hCard parsing for how hCards must be parsed.
        • To Do: add more deatils to hCard parsing on how to handle errors in invalid hCards, unexpected content, or missing content.
        • To Do: clarify in hCard parsing that is based upon the parse tree (e.g. DOM) of the source document. Provide general parsing details but defer to specific parsing rules of document source (e.g. defer to HTML5 for how to parse an HTML5 document (HTML serialization or XHTML serialization) and produce a DOM tree, which hcard-parsing then uses to extract hCards).
        • To Do: add a section to hCard 1.0 or a separate normative page (subsection page) that provides additional vCard-format-specific details for converting hCards to vCards (.vcf).

resolved 2006

Note: As the resolutions are enacted and the issues are closed, it may be worth moving this year of issues to its own page.

  • 2006-11-15 raised by Lachy in #whatwg (an IRC channel on freenode about The WHATWG).
    1. I think the whole hCard specification needs to be restructured.
      • ACCEPTED. I (the editor, Tantek) have been rewriting the spec accordingly since 2007 June.
    2. It's incredibly difficult to work out what each class name means and how to use them properly.
      • ACCEPTED. Thorough itemized list of class names have been added. Definitions are in the hCard Profile and how to use (some of) them properly are in hCard authoring tips, but should also briefly be in the spec. - Tantek
  • 2006-11-15 raised by hsivonen in #whatwg.
    1. Without knowing iCalendar or vCard, it is totally non-obvious to see what hCards or hCalendars would be conforming. The normative part is extremely short and doesn't seem to establish clear enough a mapping between the microformats and the RFCs.
      • ACCEPTED. This (and Lachy's 2nd feedback point above) should be addressed by clarifying the mapping with better use of the hCard profile which does clearly map the class names to vCard properties and the sections of the vCard specification that defines them, as well as by adding to the itemized list of properties in the spec at least brief definitions that then link to the expanded definitions in the profile. - Tantek
  • 2006-11-15 raised by Hixie in #whatwg (and agreed by Lachy and hsivonen).
    1. The hCard spec basically reads as a brainstorm, not a normative spec.
      • ACCEPTED. As editor I will seek to make the hCard spec as normatively written as at least common W3C recommendations, and hopefully to the level of the HTML5 specification. -Tantek
  • 2006-11-17 raised by Lachlan Hunt (I second all of these feedback items. Andy Mabbett 07:15, 17 Nov 2006 (PST))
    1. Semantic XHTML Design Princples: This section should go. Guidelines for how to write a microformats specification do not belong in the spec itself.
      • ACCEPTED. I've expanded on the specifics of this section AND moved it to a separate page accordingly hcard-design-methodology.
    2. Format - More Semantic Equivalents: Explanations of how to use each property correctly should be given with each and every property, not just list a few at the top before the properties have even been defined.
      • ACCEPTED. Each property has now been listed explicitly. Brief explanations of each property will be added. -Tantek
    3. Singlular vs. Plural: It is unclear what is meant by singular vs. plural properties. Ordinarily, a plural is word that refers to multiple objects, but in this spec, it's being used to designate a property that can be used more than once. It doesn't make sense because the property itself isn't a plural. Besides, this section should go. The number of times a property can be used should be listed with each individual property description.
      • ACCEPTED PARTIAL. The definition of singular and plural in this context will be expanded to clarify. Listing the number of times a property can be used with the individual property description will be considered, but may be rejected per editor discretion of keeping the spec shorter and simpler. -Tantek
    4. Plural Properties Singularized: What the...? After attempting to read that paragraph several times, I still can't comprehend what on earth it's trying to say.
    5. Human vs. Machine Readable: This title only makes some sense for the use of the abbr element. Everything in this section should be moved to a Conformance Requirements section, which explains how to extract values from the markup. It should also use RFC2119 terminology that describes exactly what a UA has to do. Presently, it's written too informatively, rather than normatively (particularly for the abbr element).
      • ACCEPTED PARTIAL. Note that the title also makes sense for the use of URL properties in attributes like href and src. A conformance requirements section is a reasonable request, but it may reference the Human vs. Machine Readable section rather than included it for better document flow. Agreed on use of RFC2119 terminology. -Tantek
    6. Property List: This section is almost useless, it's effectively written like an index of properties but doesn't link to or help define, in any way whatsoever, what the actual meaning of a property is, nor how to use it. For every single property, all of the following information should be listed
      • Property name
      • Expansion (e.g. it's not clear from this section what fn stands for. First Name? Family Name? Full Name? Flight Number?)
      • Definition. (e.g. either copy the definition directly from vCard or provide a short summary, and also a link to the relevant vCard section. Saying just "See section #.#.# of RFC 2426.", as done in the profile, is not so easy to do.)
      • Usage
        • Contexts in which this property may be used
        • Content model (e.g. list of sub properties, expected elements, text, or whatever)
        • Syntax of the value (i.e. plain text, number, URI, etc.)
        • Elements this property may be used on
      • How to interpret the value (may link to relevant section in Conformance Requirements)
      • ACCEPTED PARTIAL. Much of this is good feedback on how to improve the property listing. Per some of the above resolutions, editor's discretion will be used to keep the property listing as short and simple as possible for better readability/accessibility. - Tantek
  • 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
      • ACCEPTED DOCUMENTATION. To Do. -Tantek
  • 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.
      • ACCEPTED FAQ, PROPOSAL. This technique for communicating gender should be documented in the FAQ, along with the limitations noted in this issue, as well as a pointer to the gender proposal in progress. The gender proposal should also point to this existing technique, and note its limitations as additional justification for the proposal. -Tantek
  • 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.
      • ACCEPTED. This is a good suggested clarification. Tantek To Do: update hCard accordingly.
  • 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).
      • Apparently intentional, but possibly requiring further extension. Andy Mabbett
      • REJECTED. As there are precise parsing rules for determining whether an hCard is an organization, or whether an hCard is a location, semantic precision is preserved from the publisher who decides to publish a person, organization, or location, thru to the parser, which determines the semantic specificness of whether the hCard is a person, organization, or place. -Tantek
      • REOPENED - the latter is a recent proposal, on a brainstorming page, and no more. There is insufficient evidence of use in the wild to be sure whether or not it meets all common publishing bahaviour. Andy Mabbett 05:32, 15 Dec 2007 (PST)
      • ACCEPTED PARTIAL. The organizations vs. people portion remains REJECTED. However, as indicated, the named location proposal needs to be tested with more examples. -Tantek
      • Consider also an hCard for a City, "Birmingham, England": Birmingham may be the "fn" and the "locality", but it's not an "extended-address". Perhaps the rule should be that the hCard is for a place if the "fn" is on any address component (e.g "fn locality" or "fn street-address")? See discussion at [1] et seq. Andy Mabbett 16:15, 30 Dec 2007 (PST)
        • If so, the "implied-n-optimisation" rule will need to be modified, to exclude cases where the fn is on the same attribute as an adr-child (which should probably not happen anyway). Andy Mabbett 13:59, 2 Jan 2008 (PST)

resolved 2007

Note: As the resolutions are enacted and the issues are closed, it may be worth moving this year of issues to its own page.

  • 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. Example:
<p>
<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>
</span></p>
      • ACCEPTED FAQ.
Try
<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>
</p>
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)


  • 2007-01-26 raised by JamesCraig.
    1. RFC2426 'type' values cannot be localized/internationalized in hCard. In the example below, there is no solution to mark the Spanish version with a type of 'home' since the RFC2426 values are defined in English. abbr-design-pattern would suggest using abbr, but 'Casa' is not an abbreviated form of 'home', therefore the currently recommended version (below) is not valid.
<span class="tel" xml:lang="es">
  <abbr class="type" title="home">Casa</abbr> (<span class="type">pref</span>erido):
  <span class="value">+1.415.555.1212</span>
</span>
      • REJECTED. TOO LITTLE INFORMATION. Please provide the precise URL to the specific statement on the accessify forum discussion that asserts that using abbr is not valid. Please also provide a precise URL to a *real world* (as opposed to an artificially constructed test case) example in the wild of an non-English hCard which attempts to specify RFC2426 type information on a "tel" property and fails to do so.
      • REOPENED and clarified (Also removed Accessify reference pulled from [original raising]).
        1. Though erroneously first raised on the accessibility page, this is not an accessibility issue. It is an HTML semantics issue for internationalization. abbr[title] should be an expanded form of abbr contents, in the same language.
        2. There are real-world non-English examples in the current Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) developer seed. This code example illustrates the point sufficiently.
        3. Please leave the clarification as-is even if you feel you must RE-REJECT (add-on, don't revert). My original points were lost when they were taken out of context and moved here. -JamesCraig
    1. To avoid Internationalization issues, microformats should keep its hands off content (this also affects hReview 0.4 (in progress)). abbr design pattern doesn't seem the right solution here. Someone from France suggested elsewhere to use the class value telwork, etc. but again it's a dubious solution (remember that a tel can have a type of voice and work at the same time). I suggest considering:
<span class="tel home pref" xml:lang="es">
  Casa (preferido):
  <span class="value">+1.415.555.1212</span>
</span>

It could be argued that somehow this solution violates the microformats principle of visible data. Maybe it does, but Internationalization should come first because otherwise microformats violates the first rule: solve a specific problem (and the last: "enable and encourage decentralized and distributed development, content, services: explicitly encourage the original 'spirit of the Web'"). -Xavier Badosa

      • ACCEPTED SOLVED. The use of abbr and title attribute to provide an alternate language representation rather than an abbreviation expansion falls outside the semantics of abbr. The Value Class Pattern has been devised as a solution to this problem, to avoid the semantic mis-use of abbr for this instance.


  • 2007-01-30 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. Many sites, not least Wikipedia, publish co-ordinates as degrees-minutes-seconds (e.g. [2]). Should Geo be extended to allow for this, with parsers making the conversion to digital values?
      • ACCEPTED BRAINSTORMING. My first instinct is that if a precise grammar can be defined for the human friendlier d-m-s syntax, and if that precise grammar reflects the 80% of existing real world cases (e.g. Wikipedia as cited), then it should be considered for addition to the Geo property and thus hCard. This may help reduce the number of instances of needing to duplicate the d-m-s value as a decimal value for machines. -Tantek
  • 2007-02-02 raised by Derrick Pallas
    1. adr says that all of it's properties are singular; however, "street-address" is listed as zero-or-more.
      • ACCEPTED. This appears to have been fixed in the adr specification. "street-address" is no longer listed as zero-or-more.
  • 2007-02-25 raised elsewhere by User:JamesCraig
    1. internationalization Note: country-code may be missing. Usually a postal-code prefix such as "FIN-00630 Helsinki" or "L-4750 Petange" (Luxembourg).
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. This seems like just an FYI/FAQ rather than any real issue. Often country names can be inferred from postal-codes. Also perhaps the country-name can be marked up as an abbr subset of the postal-code in cases like the "FIN" example given. -Tantek
  • 2007-03-19 raised by Christina Hope
    1. Does Microsoft Outlook 2003 allow the use of the "role" property? I have added it to all of my hCards and it is not appearing. Am I doing something wrong?
        • URL? (if no URL to a demonstrative example is provided within a year of this issue being raised, it will be closed as REJECTED INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION.)
        • REJECTED INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION. Perhaps a note can be added to vcard-implementations with mention of this issue, in case others come across it and can then document it more thoroughly.
  • 2007-03-26 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. Parsers (Operator, Tails) currently expect adr to have one or more children. It is not clear from the spec that that's mandatory; nor is it always possible for an address field in a templated (or CMS) web site to be defined with such granularity. See hcard-brainstorming#ADR with no children for discussion.
      • ACCEPTED. Tantek To Do: Add more precision to how to handle adr sub-properties (or lack thereof) to adr and hCard 1.0. In particular, an "adr" without any sub-properties simply provides no information.
  • 2007-03-28 raised by James Craig
    1. Internationalization (i18n) issue for implied optimization of FN. Many languages (for example, Japanese) often list FN as "family-name given-name" instead of the assumed "given-name family-name" in English and other Western languages. There should be a affordance to indicate the order or a note in the spec indicating that the two-word FN is a shorthand for Western languages and any languages not fitting this format should explicitly define "family-name" and "given-name" every time.
      • ACCEPTED. Tantek To Do: add internationalization section in hCard spec, and note in the spec indicating that the two-word FN is a shorthand for Western languages and any languages not fitting this format should explicitly define "family-name" and "given-name" every time. In particular, the fn implied n optimization should be limited to fn properties which themselves are on elements that are on a whitelist of Western languages that typically publish with "given-name family-name" order, such as "en" (add others as confirmed by i18n experts). fn elements of other languages should not imply this optimization. When the optimization is not implied, then the n property is left as is - if it were otherwise empty, it is left empty.
  • 2007-03-31 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. The WGS84 scehma used as a default by geo will not remain valid forever. Fortunately, the proposed geo extension, originally intended for lunar/ Martian coordinates, also provides a facility for the specification of other, Earth-bound schema, which will alleviate this problem. Andy Mabbett 13:00, 31 Mar 2007 (PDT)
  • 2007-04-09 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. Why is Geo still a draft, when it's included in the already-published hCard spec?
      • ACCEPTED. Geo has been vetted long enough by the community to be raised to the same level as hCard. Tantek To Do: send an email to microformats-new proposing this.
  • 2007-04-19 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. How should we handle Old Style and New Style dates (i.e. Julian calendar vs. Gregorian), in DoB? For instance, Boris Pasternak, born "10 February [O.S. January 29] 1890". Should the hCard spec. specify New Style, using the abbr design pattern (or its successor) if necessary: <abbr title="1890-02-10">29 January 1890</abbr>?
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. The author of the content should specify *at least* an ISO compatible Gregorian date (i.e. using the Proleptic Gregorian Calendar as necessary), e.g. as the Boris Pasternak example does, and mark *that* date up with the bday property: "<abbr title="1890-02-10">10 February</abbr> [O.S. January 29] 1890" Since the likelihood of error/drift/misunderstanding is greatly increased by two different representations of date with different numbers with one of them being less visible (e.g. in the title attribute), pattern like the suggested <abbr title="1890-02-10">29 January 1890</abbr> MUST be avoided by authors.
  • 2007-04-21 raised by Mark Nottingham.
    1. Pages often list many addresses in the same locality, but hCard (and adr) are currently structured so that you have to repeat the entire global context for each address. For example,

<h2>Pizza Shops in Burlingame, California</h2> <ul> <li>Round Table - 231 Burlingame Avenue</li> <li>Village Host - 303 Broadway</li> <li>Pizza Hut - 43423 El Camino Real</li> </ul>

As specified, there'd be a lot of repeated information here.

However, if adr allowed use of locality, region, postcode and country as ancestors of the more specific address tags, it would save a lot of bits -- and help adoption of these microformats in this kind of case (which is quite common).

  • 2007-04-24 raised by singpolyma
    1. What is the 'Label' property for
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. Per earlier resolutions, more explanation will be added to the hCard specification, and this question should be added to the hCard FAQ.
  • 2007-04-27 raised by Sjoerd Mullender
    1. There is a proposal for a geo URI scheme [3]. It would be nice if that scheme and the geo hCard type could somehow be combined. It seems to me that if you want to use both and also have a human-readable version, you need three copies of the latitude/longitude:
      <p>Location: <a href="geo:52.356389,4.952222"><span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="52.356389">52°21'23.00" N</abbr> <abbr class="longitude" title="4.952222">4°57'08.00" E</abbr></span></a></p>
      • ACCEPTED BRAINSTORMING. This is a very interesting proposal, and clearly it is desirable to minimize the number of copies of the latitude/longitude. Thus this should be added to the geo brainstorming geo links section. -Tantek
  • 2007-08-03 raised by MikeKaply.
    1. Issue 1: When using the value design pattern, should the data be extracted completely (including HTML tags) or just text content? In general, the value pattern seems to imply taking the data exactly.
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. For value excerpting, the parsing is handled as it would be for the property, but just on the element with class name "value" rather than the element with the class name of the property itself. Thus in general just the text content but see hCard parsing specific combinations of property and/or element for special cases. It is only the include-pattern which incorporates the HTML subtree (including tags) in its entirety.
  • 2007-11-04 raised by RalfEngels.
    1. Issue 1: The section Organization Contact Info is exeedingly vague. It says "I must not set the N property" and later on it says that I could set it to an empty value. Which of both is true? Must not or empty?
      • ACCEPTED. Tantek To Do: clarify the spec on this point. Not setting it and setting it to empty have the same effect. Improve the wording.
    2. Issue 2: Same section. It does not cover e.g. Mr Fischer (N=Fischer) from the Fischer AG (ORG=Fischer). Could you re-formulate it stating that if the N attribute is missing the hcard is regarded as the card of a company.
      • REJECTED. If the "n" property is missing, then remaining fn+org or implied fn rules still apply.
    3. Issue 3: Grouping as specified by rfc2425 and supported by vcard cannot be expressed. Grouping allows you to express the relation between different values.
      • REJECTED. hCard only maps the properties and values from vCard, not all features. Grouping in particular is excluded.
    4. Issue 4: Implied n optimization: the typical case list specifies a (space) in the first and last line. In the middle lines it specifies a (comma). I guess this should mean (comma)(space) instead. In addition it contradicts with the previous text where you state that the separating character is a (whitespace)
      • ACCEPTED. Tantek To Do: clarify the spec on this point. space and whitespace are the same in this context.
    5. Issue 5: Concatenation of texts is not consistent in the examples. Example file 21 contatinates telephone fields with spaces. Example 16 concatenates multiple name sub-properties by a comma. Example 34 even concatinates multiple note fields.

resolved 2008

Note: As the resolutions are enacted and the issues are closed, it may be worth moving this year of issues to its own page.

  • 2008-01-01 raised by Andy Mabbett in microformats-discuss/2008-January/011182.html
    1. The "n" optimization rules (nickname, fn) should not apply where the fn is on part of adr or label: e.g <span class="fn locality">New York</span>; <span class="fn label">Asia</span>, since, in these examples, "Asia" is not a nickname, "New" is not a given-name and "York" is not a family-name. (see also hcard-brainstorming#Named_locations)
      • ACCEPTED BRAINSTORMING. This both makes sense from the point of view of avoiding a shorthand optimization to represent a person in a case where clearly the markup represents a place, and for allowing one possible way to use hCard for named locations.
  • 2008-01-09 2008- moved from vCard suggestions
    1. We can't have a generic type name cause we have to localize in French. so, for us, hCard work phone number is: <div class="tel"><span class="type">Travail</span> : <span class="value">0321596224</span></div>. How will a bot recognize that type ? We cannot specify every types in every languages in the specification. That's why i think something like this would be better: Travail : <span class="telwork">0321596224</span> Please, use class and id attributes ONLY for microformats specifications ! XML #cdata and #data are localized ! Thanks !
      • ACCEPTED ISSUE, REJECTED PROPOSAL. The localization issue is recognized and now addressed by the Value Class Pattern. The proposal for "telwork" is unnecessary, will contribute to vocabulary expansion for every other property that has a work subtype for example, illustrates a vocabulary anti-pattern, and is thus undesirable.
  • 2008-01-13 raised by Christopher Allen at OpenIDDevCamp (collected by Tantek).
    1. What is the best practice for publishing your TZ in your hCard? As publishing just a fixed offset will likely result in 1 hour off error half the year for more people, given that the rest of the hCard is likely to be static.
  • 2008-02-02 raised by Andy Mabbett
    1. The "n" optimization rules (nickname, fn) should not apply where the fn is also the role or title: e.g <span class="fn role">Webmaster</span>; <span class="fn title">Duty Manager</span>, since, in these examples, "Webmaster" is not a nickname, "Duty" is not a given-name and "Manager" is not a family-name.
      • ACCEPTED BRAINSTORMING. This makes sense from the point of view of avoiding a shorthand optimization to represent a specific person's nickname or given/family names in a case where clearly the markup represents a generic person. In both examples given, it may be better to define the n property as having an implied empty value, while the fn has the explicitly marked up value.
  • 2008-02-06 raised by Guillaume Lebleu
    1. It seems to me that FN has been reused beyond its original vCard scope of person names, to cover any name. This led to the fn/title debate, but it seems some implementors are confused between following the vCard semantics (FN only for person names) or the hCard ones (FN for any name). See http://cinematreasures.org/theater/365/, which uses an empty FN, resulting in their vCard not being detected by Operator, only the address.
      • REJECTED MISCONCEPTION, MARKUP ERROR. ACCEPTED FAQs. 1. The scope that vCard provides is that of "person" or "organization", combined with that with the FN meaning of "formatted name" results in the meaning of "formatted name of a person or organization" (e.g. "person name" as stated). FN by itself does not have the scope of person or organization. The page given, http://cinematreasures.org/theater/365/, erroneously uses an empty fn, when they should be marking up the following markup: <a href="/theater/365/">Hornbeck & Penthouse Theatre</a> with fn org url uid for property hCard semantics: <a class="fn org url uid" href="/theater/365/">Hornbeck & Penthouse Theatre</a>. This example should be added to hCard Examples in the wild, along with this noted correction in markup.
  • 2008-02-07Andy Mabbett
    1. The "fn" optimization rule should not apply where the full fn is also the nickname: e.g <span class="fn nickname">Plastic Bertram</span>, since a given-name+family-name pair is not usually a nickname. (But how to deal with pseudonyms such as "Maurice Micklewhite (known professionally as Michael Caine)"?)
      • ACCEPTED BRAINSTORMING AND FAQ. This makes sense from the point of view of avoiding a shorthand optimization to represent a person's given/family names in a case where clearly the markup represents their nickname. The given pseudonym could perhaps be marked up as: <span class="vcard"><span class="n"><span class="given-name">Maurice</span> <span class="family-name">Micklewhite</span></span> (known professionally as <span class="fn">Michael Caine</span>)</span>"?)</span>, however, without additional context of where that example is used, it's not clear that that's the best markup possible for the text.
  • 2008-02-07 raised by Andy Mabbett in microformats-discuss/2008-February/011552.html
    1. Is "n" optional or mandatory? The spec says yes (with exceptions) the cheat-sheet says no. Parsers and common practice seem to indicate not.
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. The "n" property is required, but that requirement may be met by satisfying one of the n property optimizations/shorthands. Thus parsers and common practice, by implementing those optimization/shorthands are still indicating the "n" property requirement.
  • 2008-02-08 raised by Guillaume Lebleu
    1. The required FN makes it difficult to use hCard in HTML Tables without resorting to hiding information (as in http://www.bo.ingv.it/contents/INGV-Bologna/Staff.html) or using the include-pattern. Perhaps FN should not be required if some N are present. Originally raised in [4]
      • ACCEPTED BRAINSTORMING. Because of this and other mentions of challenges of using hCard (and other microformats) in semantic HTML Tables, as well as the observation that fewer levels of hierarchy makes microformats easier to understand, a proposal is being considered to promote subproperties of a singular property to being properties themselves, e.g. the n subproperties (given-name, family-name, etc.), and in the case of non-singular properties with subproperties (e.g. adr), allowing the use of such subproperties (e.g. street-address, locality, region, etc.) with a single default/implied adr property container instance for the hCard.


  • 2008-06-01 raised by Kornel
    1. I need clarification how should "more semantic equivalents" be interpreted inside values (when they don't have relevant class name, but are inside another parsed element)
      • <span class="email"><a href="mailto:href">nodetext</a></span> – is it "href", "nodetext" or an error? What if there are multiple links inside?
        • Parsed as "nodetext" TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • <span class="fn"><abbr title="title">nodetext</abbr></span> – is it "title" or "nodetext"?
        • Parsed as "nodetext" TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • <span class="fn"><img alt="alt">nodetext</span> – is it "alt", "nodetext" or both?
        • Per hCard parsing, since the "fn" property is a text/string property, in this example it should be parsed as "nodetext" Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC).
        • A matter of debate recently. Some parsers as "nodetext", others as "altnodetext". TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
          • What parsers produce "altnodetext"? Please add them to hCard Implementations and per hCard parsing note that those parsers are buggy since the fn property should be parsed as "nodetext" in this example. Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
      • <span class="fn"><abbr title="title"><span class="value">nodetext</span></abbr></span> – "title", "nodetext" or both?
        • Parsed as "nodetext" TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • <span class="url"><img src="src" alt="alt">nodetext</span> – "src", "alt", "nodetext" or "altnodetext"?
        • Per hCard parsing in this example it should be parsed as "nodetext" Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC).
        • A matter of debate recently. Some parsers as "nodetext", others as "altnodetext". TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
          • What parsers produce "altnodetext"? Please add them to hCard Implementations and per hCard parsing note that those parsers are buggy it should be parsed as "nodetext" in this example. Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
      • <div class="category"><a rel="tag bookmark" href="href">nodetext</a></div> – is it a tag? What if there are multiple links inside?
        • Not sure how other parsers treat this, but Cognition will create two categories based on this. One because of the [rel-tag], based on the final component of the URL; and the second category because of class=category, based on the node text. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
        • As Toby indicates, that example would likely generate two "category" values for the hCard, "href" (or the last segment of the href, if "href" was not intended as a literal), and "nodetext". I say "likely" because if those two happened to be the same, only one category value would be generated.
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. Lots of questions here that are answered by hCard parsing but could also be listed in hcard-parsing-faq for hopefully easier discovery. In addition, each example presented would make a good test case.
    2. Does agent property have to be an hCard?
      • Is <span class="agent">Joe Sixpack</span> allowed?
        • Yes. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • Is <span class="agent"><span class="vcard">…</span></span> ok?
        • Cognition doesn't specifically support this format - they'll be parsed as two separate hCards. The "outer" hCard will have an "agent" property containing the unparsed node text for the inner hCard, as if you'd used a plain string for the agent as per the previous example. If you want to provide an hCard for the agent, and have it parsed as such, Cognition requires that you use: <div class="agent vcard">…</div>. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
        • As Toby says, it is "ok" in that it is valid, but the agent relationship is not established by that example. Toby's change to the example to use class="agent vcard" fixes it to have the intended effect. Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
      • What about <a class="agent" href="card.vcf">…</a>?
        • I don't think many hCard parsers also parse vCard. If they support vCard it's probably as an output format rather than input. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
        • No. The example given will be parsed as "…" for the agent. Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
    3. Is value of <abbr> without title empty or should it be interpreted like <span>?
      • I think consensus is that the node text should be used. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • More than consensus, per the hCard parsing spec: "<abbr title>: use the value of the 'title' attribute. If there is no 'title' attribute then use the contents of the element." Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. Lots of questions here that are answered by hCard parsing but could also be listed in hcard-parsing-faq for hopefully easier discovery. In addition, each example presented would make a good test case.
    4. Does <acronym> work like <abbr>?
      • Not as per spec, but some parsers do treat it like <abbr>. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
        • Which parsers? Please list them and note their extra support of <acronym> on the hCard Implementations page.
      • ACCEPTED FAQ and BRAINSTORMING. <acronym> is not currently handled in any special way per hCard parsing. If you (or anyone) thinks that <acronym> should be handled like <abbr>, please add it as a proposal to hCard Brainstorming. Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
    5. Is this allowed: <div class="photo">http://example.com/photo.jpg</div>?
      • It is allowed and will parse the URL as the photo property per step 3 of hCard parsing properties and values. Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
      • Yes, though it may cause problems for some naive parsers, and is probably less useful for humans viewing the page. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
        • Which "naive" parsers? Please list them on hCard Implementations and note what problems they supposedly have with this example.
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. Lots of questions here that are answered by hCard parsing but could also be listed in hcard-parsing-faq for hopefully easier discovery. In addition, each example presented would make a good test case.
    6. Is it allowed to use http:// URLs in email? or mailto: in url?
      • Non-SMTP e-mail addresses can be used - the presence of a e-mail "type" of "x400" confirms this - so e-mail addresses which don't start with "mailto:" and do not contain an @-sign are theoretically possible. But given the prevalence of SMTP for mail delivery on the modern Internet, I don't see why this would be useful. For "url" it is often useful to encode non-HTTP URIs, such as FTP addresses or URIs for use with various instant messaging protocols, but given the existence of the "email" property, I don't see that it makes sense to encode "mailto" URIs. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • Yes both are allowed but there is insufficient detail in the example(s) given to understand what utility they would have. Tantek 23:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. Lots of questions here that are answered by hCard parsing but could also be listed in hcard-parsing-faq for hopefully easier discovery. In addition, each example presented would make a good test case.
    7. Is it allowed/required to use mailto: when e-mail is in non-<a>, e.g. <span class="email">mailto:joe@example.com</span>
      • Yes, but for copy-and-pasteability I'd recommend leaving out the "mailto:" prefix. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • ACCEPTED FAQ and BRAINSTORMING. Yes it is allowed per step 3 of hCard parsing properties and values. However the "mailto:" prefix is currently only removed when specifying the email property on a or area elements per hCard parsing - email property. Thus this should both be clarified in hCard authoring tips, that is, Toby's suggestion to leave otu the "mailto:" prefix in user visible text of the email property, and be clarified in hCard parsing, that is, that a "mailto:" prefix should be removed from the email property regardless of what HTML element is used for the email property.
    8. If value of a property is empty (<span class="email"></span>) should it be interpreted as unknown value? ignored completely like it didn't exist? an error?
    9. Can hCard contain nested hCard anywhere? or only outside any property or only inside agent?
      • Yes, though naive parsers may have problems. TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. Yes a nested hCard is allowed anywhere inside an hCard, however, note that any property inside the nested hCard will not be seen as part of the container hCard per hCard parsing - nested hCards. A nested hCard on the agent property provides structured details on an agent of the containing hCard, and a nested hCard on the org property provides structured details on an org of the containing hCard.
    10. Can organisation-name (note spelling) be interpreted by parsers?
    11. Is type class ignored in values anywhere? It is ignored in <div class="tel"><span class="type">Work</span> 555</div>, but is it in <div class="fn"><span class="type">Work</span> Joe</div>?
      • It doesn't have any special meaning within "fn", so should not be ignored. That is, the person's name would be parsed as "Work Joe". TobyInk 08:30, 1 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. Indeed, any markup that is not specified to do anything should be ignored by parsers - this is a "MUST IGNORE" aspect of the forwards/backwards compatibility design of microformats. Lots of questions here that are answered by hCard parsing but could also be listed in hcard-parsing-faq for hopefully easier discovery. In addition, each example presented would make a good test case.
  • 2008-06-15 raised by Kornel
    1. vCard RFC 2426 allows TYPE for LABEL, however hCard cheatsheet does not list any subproperties for label. Is this intentional? Is label's type allowed in hCard?
      • I raised this very issue on the mailing list about a month ago, but received no responses. Given that hCard claims to be a "a 1:1 representation of vCard (RFC2426) properties and values in semantic HTML or XHTML" (direct quote from spec), I think it's reasonable to infer that these types *are* allowed, but simply undocumented so far. I'll be including support for them in the next alpha of Cognition. TobyInk 23:59, 15 Jun 2008 (PDT)
      • ACCEPTED. Indeed this is an unintentional omission from the hCard 1.0 specification. In the hCard list of properties, the entry for "label" should be changed to "label (type, value)" and the section on adr tel email types should be renamed to "adr email label tel types" and a list item should be added as follows: "* label type: INTL, POSTAL, PARCEL, WORK, dom, home, pref".
  • 2008-06-16 raised by Kornel
    1. In the rfc2426 the KEY property defaults to binary. hCard profile suggests to use <abbr> for the key. Shouldn't it recommend data: URI with application/pgp-keys type or HTTP URL to a PGP/GPG key file? Key in <abbr> can't be copied/saved without dedicated hCard parser. And I'm not sure if line-breaks (removed by attribute whitespace normalisation) aren't neccessary for parsing key file.
  • 2008-12-11 raised by mephtu
  • I am concerned that hCard usage will foster widespread abuse of personal datamining by scrapers/spammers, as a standard markup of personal information formalizes the structure of such information which until now has been loosely encoded as formatting markup (e.g. HTML).
    • The nice thing about microformats is that you are not required to publish everything. If you are not comfortable publishing your email, address, phone or other information, then you don't have to. If you are already publishing it on the web, then by adding microformats you are disambiguating a plain string of text and a string as meaning your name. Brian 08:56, 12 Dec 2008 (UTC)
      • That is true, but it does more tightly associate e-mail addresses with other information. Spammers could use this to tie an e-mail address to other personal/contact details and make their messages less spammy in an attempt to fool filters. For example, some filters will raise the spam score of a message if the "To" field contains just an e-mail address, and not the recipient's name - hCard provides spammers with a fairly reliable way of finding out that name. I don't think this is a huge concern, but it is a slight concern which shouldn't be entirely dismissed. TobyInk 16:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. There is already a general microformats FAQ on SPAM and this should be either added to that or perhaps specifically to hCard FAQ.
  • 2008-12-16 raised by TobyInk
    1. n is listed as a required property. Sometimes this is implicit from the fn, and that's fine. However, when <span class="fn">Foo</span> is found, "Foo" is implicitly a nickname, so the hCard still has no n property — does such an hCard still need an explicit n added?
      • ACCEPTED FAQ. The conclusion that "the hCard still has no n property" is incorrect. The hCard has an "n" property, it is just empty. This should be noted explicitly in hCard parsing or perhaps hcard-parsing-faq.

resolved 2009

resolved issue 2009-218 raised by Singpolyma

  • Format for key. What format should be used for key? I suggest the following:
    <a class="key" type="application/pgp-keys" href="https://path.to/key">My PGP Key</a>
    With MIME type obviously changed based on type of key.
    • RESOLVED ACCEPTED FAQ EXAMPLES. This seems reasonable to me, and we should update hCard examples and hCard FAQ accordingly. Thanks for the suggestion. Tantek 02:57, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

resolved issue 2009-09-10 raised by TomMorris

  • Parsing UTF-8 'special' space characters in telephone fields. I recently designed a page that used an hCard with a span containing the tel value. To space the phone number appropriately, I used the U+8201 (THIN SPACE) character &#8201;. Operator's hCard parser coughed up on this and refused to read both the contents of the tel span but also an a element containing the email property that was contained in the parent p element. I cannot find a clear definition of what is acceptable content for the tel property. There seems to be two ways of resolving this: (1) instruct authors of microformat parsing libraries to normalise the Unicode characters U+8194 (EN SPACE), U+8195 (EM SPACE), U+8196 (THREE-PER-EM SPACE), U+8197 (FOUR-PER-EM SPACE), U+8198 (SIX-PER-EM SPACE), U+8199 (FIGURE SPACE), U+8200 (PUNCTUATION SPACE), U+8201 (THIN SPACE), U+8202 (HAIR SPACE), U+8203 (ZERO WIDTH SPACE) and other similar characters (including the HTML entities &ensp;, &emsp;, &thinsp; and &nbsp;) so that, for the purpose of parsing the microformat they are treated as a standard space (U+0020) or (2) instructing microformat authors to not use any other space character than U+0020 (and to use the CSS word-spacing property for manipulating tel properties). Which of these is best? Anyone want to survey the current implementations to see how they currently parse telephone numbers with unexpected characters in them? Part of the problem may be that there doesn't seem to be any clear specification of what a valid telephone number is, so far as I can see—which is just from reading RFC 2426 §3.3, which says that it should simply be the telephone format defined in X.500 (RFC 1274), but there is no explicit definition in X.500 except to say it is "telephoneNumberSyntax", which is defined in RFC 1778 §2.16 as simply being a printable string. Perhaps I've gone off down a blind alley! (Do we need a page for character encoding/Unicode issues?)
    • ACCEPTED FAQ, parsing. microformats depend on the character parsing of the language they are in. In this case, let's for example see what HTML4 and HTML5 say, and advise accordingly in hCard FAQ and hCard parsing. Tantek 08:56, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

resolved 2010

resolved issue 2010-02-03 raised by Philip Jägenstedt

see also