One tricky thing in bib data is names, particularly if you want to be
international friendly. First/last is highly culturally-specific, and
when you deal with the more general given/family, you then need to
deal with sorting, which varies. But I believe this critical to get
So why bother worrying about it, and just standardize on vcard
They have everything we need for this use case:
3.1.2 N Type Definition
Subject: Registration of text/directory MIME type N
Type name: N
Type purpose: To specify the components of the name of the
Type encoding: 8bit
Type value: A single structured text value. Each component can have
Type special note: The structured type value corresponds, in
sequence, to the Family Name, Given Name, Additional Names,
Prefixes, and Honorific Suffixes. The text components are separated
by the SEMI-COLON character (ASCII decimal 59). Individual text
components can include multiple text values (e.g., multiple
Additional Names) separated by the COMMA character (ASCII decimal
44). This type is based on the semantics of the X.520 individual
attributes. The property MUST be present in the vCard object.
Plus sorting info:
3.6.5 SORT-STRING Type Definition
Subject: Registration of text/directory MIME type SORT-STRING
Type Name: SORT-STRING
Type purpose: To specify the family name or given name text to be
used for national-language-specific sorting of the FN and N types.
Type encoding: 8bit
Type value: A single text value.
Type special notes: The sort string is used to provide family
given name text that is to be used in locale- or national-language-
specific sorting of the formatted name and structured name types.
Without this information, sorting algorithms could incorrectly sort
this vCard within a sequence of sorted vCards. When this type is
present in a vCard, then this family name or given name value is
for sorting the vCard.
Type examples: For the case of family name sorting, the following
examples define common sort string usage with the FN and N types.
FN:Rene van der Harten N:van der Harten;Rene;J.;Sir;R.D.O.N. SORT-STRING:Harten FN:Robert Pau Shou Chang N:Pau;Shou Chang;Robert SORT-STRING:Pau FN:Osamu Koura N:Koura;Osamu SORT-STRING:Koura FN:Oscar del Pozo N:del Pozo Triscon;Oscar SORT-STRING:Pozo FN:Chistine d'Aboville N:d'Aboville;Christine SORT-STRING:Aboville
Plus a whole lot more.
Thought I’d prefer that software just have an attribute for sort-
order where perhaps family-given was default.
Also, need to distinguish organizational contributor names.