If you were to create a company directory (one corporate entity per URL) from scratch and wanted to use structured data, would you use hCard or RDFa (v:organization)?

hCard is a flat data format, so isn't easily extensible, but on the plus side it seems well understood by Google. On the other hand, Google gives only a few examples of different v:organization properties on their organizations markup page: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=146861 Though W3C provides mapping between the two: http://www.w3.org/Submission/vcard-rdf/

So for a web directory resource, should I use hCard, RDFa, both, or something else?

asked 09 May '11, 17:12

Aaron%20Bradley's gravatar image

Aaron Bradley
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...just don't expect unbiased answers here. :)

(09 May '11, 18:41) Signified ♦ Signified's gravatar image

I would choose RDFa. Consider the adoption of RDFa by the mega-corps via Google Rich Snippets, Yahoo Search Monkey and Facebook Open Graph Protocol. RDFa's adoption is really evident in this blog ( http://tripletalk.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/rdfa-deployment-across-the-web/ )

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answered 09 May '11, 17:27

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harschware ♦
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RDFa is far better if achievable. However since I think its better we are honest, a couple of points for consideration:

1, Quote RDFa primer:

"To date, because XHTML is extensible while HTML is not, RDFa has only been specified for XHTML 1.1. Web publishers are welcome to use RDFa markup inside HTML4: the design of RDFa anticipates this use case, and most RDFa parsers will recognize RDFa attributes in any version of HTML. The authors know of no deployed Web browser that will fail to present an HTML document as intended after adding RDFa markup to the document. However, publishers should be aware that RDFa will not validate in HTML4 at this time. RDFa attributes validate in XHTML, using the XHTML1.1+RDFa DTD."

They are working to get it into HTML5 so hopefully you won't have to break one standard to achieve another.

2, If you are concerned solely about Google's instruction/implementation/scewed view of the web, then you'll probably note that they are only concerned about literal values. They also consider RDFa as annotation for fragments of HTML, not as a way of publishing RDF. Their guidelines therefore state that RDFa should not be embedded in hidden HTML. Sometimes this might be difficult or not possible meaning that you may skimp on publishing full, complete or better quality data, which defeats the point of using a superior solution to microformats. In such circumstance one solution would be to use both. i.e hCard in visible fragments of HTML, RDFa in hidden fragements.

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answered 09 May '11, 18:58

William%20Greenly's gravatar image

William Greenly
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edited 12 May '11, 10:40

harschware's gravatar image

harschware ♦
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(+1) Did you mean the other way around when you say "i.e hCard in visible fragments of HTML, RDFa in hidden fragements." ?

(09 May '11, 19:32) harschware ♦ harschware's gravatar image
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No - thats the way round I meant. The point is to use RDFa to its fullest without restricting the implementation by constraints imposed by Google. Sometimes it is not possible to implement on visible fragments because the content doesn't exist, or the HTML doesn't lend itself to annotation.

(10 May '11, 05:16) William Greenly William%20Greenly's gravatar image
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question asked: 09 May '11, 17:12

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last updated: 12 May '11, 13:21