[rdfweb-dev] Re: <foaf:community>?

Bill Kearney wkearney99 at h...
Sun Dec 15 17:41:34 UTC 2002

> Yes sorry I wasn't being very clear there. Obviously its not
> desirable for the user to define their relationship with the
> community. I am generating a list of the members FOAF files:

Other than to "allow" a user to be a confirming source for that membership.

There's several angles to consider.

A group wants to express it's members.
A member wants to express participation in a group.

Does the group want to "allow" the users to join?
Do the users want to "allow" a group to state their membership?

These *will* be extremely polarizing issues if they're not taken into
consideration. So while the examples extended from the 'core' foaf examples are
useful for 'controlled' groups they're don't quite address these more subtle
concerns. Not that they can't, the example don't illustrate allowances for
such. And perhaps more importantly, how to resolve ambiguities.

> All good points (and you can't beat making a point with a quote from
> Groucho Marx ;) ). I can see that a top down approach would work for
> discrete entities like a web site, company, university, etc. but once
> the community gets larger and more vague like web designers,
> Buddhists, etc. it might be more difficult to do - although it might
> also not be necessary or desirable.

This is sort of like the informality (or ambiguity) of foaf:knows. "Knows" is a
term laden with a whole range of subtleties. Do I "know of" someone? Do I
"know them"? In the biblical sense or are they just some poor shlubs I've met
on the street? Qualifying such this might help get folks to see foaf as being

For example:
<foaf:knows type="http://wordnet_or_whatever/coworkers"/>
<foaf:knows type="http://wordnet_or_whatever/ex-wife"/>

Two /tremendously/ different forms of awareness.

> I'm sure there is a good solution to this (I'm just not sure what it
> is). I'll have to give this more thought.

Input and debate about this stuff will, hopefully, lead to some more robust
examples of possible ways to express extensibility.

> OK good :) I'll keep fiddling and see what I come up with.

Yep, it's good to hear from folks that a) have data and b) want to express it in
XML and RDF. Especially when the people and the data are not just "geek

-Bill Kearney

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