[expertfinder-dev] Fwd: evolving foaf

paola.dimaio at gmail.com paola.dimaio at gmail.com
Thu Feb 1 11:53:53 UTC 2007

(thanks Alex)

Greetings all

I am thinking of developing foaf to fit the emergency requirements as
shortly discussed in the expertfinder workshop, and talking to people
on and off lists about this idea.

I plan to study the suitability of foaf for our requirements, what
would be the best way to recommend some changes to foaf, or the best
way to implement
a modified version of it?

I mean, its the only people schema that we know of to date, and I dont
think we should create another people schema , but occasionally reservations
come up with the current schema. See the mail below that someone sent
me . I would prefer to see foaf grow than having to create an new spec

let me know what you think, and let me know how you think I  should go about it

paola di maio

  A glance at the current FOAF spec reveals some problems:

1) Name properties are western-centric.  Not clear they would work for
traditional hispanic names and certainly not for arabic names.  I'm
sure there are other culture-specific naming systems that would
experience similar problems.  Secondly, the FOAF spec says you can
encode the language of the name in an attribute.  What if you need
access to that information?  Are not languages objects like any other
that require first class treatment?  In short, naming is a hairy

2) FOAF has a bunch of properties relating Agent/Person to addresses
of various kinds directly without respect to time.  Two problems here
-- these "addresses" are not addresses of anything but services that
anyone with the proper account name and password can access.  There is
nothing at all essential about their link to persons.  Secondly, I
know for a fact that some user names I used to use for some services
have been recycled after my use of them has lapsed.  FOAF ignores all
these details.

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