[whatwg] Removing the FN magic in the vCard microdata vocabulary (Was: Microdata feedback)

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Jan 29 01:04:39 PST 2010

On Thu, 21 Jan 2010, Philip Jägenstedt wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Jan 2010 16:24:46 +0100, Jeremy Keith <jeremy at adactio.com> 
> wrote:
> > 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?

That's a good question... As I mentioned above, the rule is here to be 
compatible with Microformats. I'd be happy to remove it, but I'd like 
confirmation from the Microformats community that it's ok for us to 
diverge in this way from their vocabulary, and to find out if they have 
any experience regarding how much of a problem generating a blank N in the 
output when it's missing would be. Tantek, Jeremy, any opinions?

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

More information about the whatwg mailing list