Christian Heilmann

So address tags are rubbish for microformat hCards?

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 at 6:27 pm

Did I mention that you learn something new every day? I just answered a question on CSS discuss about styling BR elements in andADDRESS element (don’t ask) and got all microformaty by offering spans inside the address with all kind of [link:http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard,hCard] goodness as the solution.

I thought I was in the know as even Tantek used them in his [link:http://tantek.com/presentations/2005/03/elementsofxhtml/,elements of XHTML] presentations. However, [link:http://intranation.com,Bradley Wright,friend colleague] turned around with a smile on his face and told me that ADDRESS is bad choice for a hCard, as when you look at the [link:http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/,specs of HTML 4.01], you find in the [link:http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/struct/global.html#h-7.5.6,ADDRESS section]:

The ADDRESS element may be used by authors to supply contact information for a document or a major part of a document such as a form. This element often appears at the beginning or end of a document.

Which means it is semantically there to provide a contact option for this document, and not for a physical locationnot for a physical location of a product the web site advertises or an address of someone the article talks about. Brad, of course had this from another person that has too much time to read the specs: [link:http://cackhanded.net/,Mark Norman Francis,friend colleague met muse] as they had argued about that earlier because of an hCard integration in a company property.

So, is this the end of ADDRESS? Seeing that it is an inline elementthat it doesn’t allow for nested paragraphs in HTML 4.01 strict, I always considered it a bad choice for marking up an address anyways.

Update

We were too late with this discussion, actually. [link:http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2005-June/000013.html,Tantek explained the logic of it in 2005 on the microformats list] and it is also [link:http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard-faq#Should_I_use_ADDRESS_for_hCards,part of the hCard FAQ].

Dear me, bad research on my behalf.

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