[whatwg] Microdata feedback

Philip Jägenstedt philipj at opera.com
Wed Jan 20 15:54:51 PST 2010

On Mon, 18 Jan 2010 16:24:46 +0100, Jeremy Keith <jeremy at adactio.com>  

> Hixie wrote:
>>> Finally on vCard, the final part of the extraction algorithm goes to
>>> great trouble to guess what is the family name and what is the given
>>> name. This guess will be broken for transliterated east Asian names
>>> (CJKV that I know of, maybe others too). Just saying. Also, why is it
>>> important to explicitly add N:;;;; for organizations?
>> This is intended to be compatible with Microformats vCard, which has
>> these weird rules. If you think we should remove them, please at least
>> first speak to Tantek and see why he thinks.
> The fn optimisation pattern isn't intended to catch 100% of cases, just  
> the situation "Firstname Lastname" or "Firstname Middlename Lastname".  
> So if you just use fn (formatted name) and don't use n (name), the name  
> will be extracted/guessed using the optimisation pattern.
> In cases where the pattern doesn't work (e.g. "Anne van Kesteren", or  
> east Asian names) you can still explicitly specify the family name and  
> given name, over-riding the fn optimisation pattern. If you do this, you  
> need to explicitly state this is the name (n) as well as the formatted  
> name (fn).

This is going to break badly whenever a template uses vCard microdata and  
its author either doesn't know the family name and given name (because the  
data was never collected) or doesn't even consider that the vcard  
conversion does this funny guesswork. If a social network site or similar  
does this, then Anne van Kesteren and Zhang Min (fictional name) will have  
their names messed up with no way of fixing it. At least I haven't seen a  
site which asks users to both fill in their full name and each component,  
which is what you need to get this right.

> Similarly, for organisations, you don't have to explicitly set n (name)  
> if you apply both fn (formatted name) and org (organisation name) to a  
> string. This time, the optimisation pattern assumes that the fn is the  
> name of the organisation.
> Technically, the n property is *always* required but if you use either  
> of those two optimisation patterns, the n is inferred from fn.

If this is just a technical problem with some software requiring N to be  
present, would it be OK to just output an empty N like for organizations?

Philip Jägenstedt
Core Developer
Opera Software

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