[rdfweb-dev] Some RDF stats

Dan Brickley danbri at w3.org
Thu Aug 7 09:41:28 UTC 2003

* Martin L Poulter <M.L.Poulter at bristol.ac.uk> [2003-08-07 10:14+0100]
> On Wed, 6 Aug 2003, Julian Bond wrote:
> > There's rather a lot of tags in the wild that don't appear in the spec! 
> > foaf:asshole, foaf:rudeThing and foaf:wakeUpSlacker look like they could 
> > come in handy.
> And foaf:gender!!!! It's a strangely abstract way of describing people
> that doesn't have a mention of gender or sex (Okay, I realise that it
> might be difficult to settle on a vocabulary because of many kinds of
> borderline case, but it's not like a declaration is compulsory, nor that
> we're going to mandate physical checks.)

Yes, we should do gender/sex. Question is which, and how to deal
respectfully with corner cases. Probably calling people corner cases
isn't a great start, oops. But yes, Something Should Be Done About
This. Let's have a bit of discussion here then I'll add something and
flag it as 'unstable' for a while to get further feedback.

The technical answer (Damian suggested this) is probably is to model the 
value space as classes, state that 'Male' and 'Female' are mutually 
disjoint, but not that they exhaustively span the possible values.

Problem is this doesn't look great in RDF syntax:
 <foaf:name>Alice A</foaf:name>


<foaf:gender rdf:resource="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/female"/>


 <rdf:type rdf:resource="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/Female"/>
which could be written (rather clinically)


Looking at this, I am inclined towards the first option, and to say that
'male' and 'female' are expected values for that property, but not 
restrict other possibilities there. We could also write inference rules
such as:

     ?x foaf:gender 'male'
     implies (or is it entails? I can never remember)
     ?x rdf:type wordnet:Male

> (Has someone stipulated their rudeThing as a way of specifying
> their gender? Does their rudeThing have a foaf:nick?)



foaf:rudeThing is another joke-with-a-point, w.r.t. censorship,
pluralism etc. I use it in the the picsng demo to show someone engaged
in the absurdist task of going through the Wordnet nouns, deciding if 
each is rude or not. If you accept that premise, you can then build
nifty SVG filters to protect you from any depictions of rude things (so
long as someone has lovingly described them in RDF). Unfortunately for
any would-be semweb censors, this also makes such images a lot easier to

> Also, though I hate to admit it, it occurs to me that if FOAF becomes
> the format in which everybody shares information about themselves it is
> going to have to express astrological category. I don't mean a star sign
> because that's very Western and not i18able. 

though seems very incomplete (and says 'MBTI' at the top). Bill, is
there a better URL we should cite from http://rdfweb.org/topic/FoafVocab ?
>						Better just to have
> attributes for date and time of birth. (I don't care about or know my
> time of birth, but lots of people out there will care about theirs).
> Hey, I can't find any mention of "age" or "birth" in the current spec!

There has never been 'age' (it is too volatile... ages keep changing). I
have long made use of foaf:dateOfBirth, but it hasn't been added. I
propose doing so, making clear it can take an ISO-8601 date/time 
per the handy profile at http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-datetime unless
someone has a better suggestion. Hmm dateOfBirth vs birthDateTime vs 
born vs suggestions please. I'm happy with something relatively basic
here, since http://internetalchemy.org/vocab/bio/0.1/20030307.html has a 
more explicit event-based model that allows place/time/etc to be
associated with birth/death/marriage/etc events.

> That would seem to be a pretty fundamental aspect of demographic
> information: how are people who discover your FOAF file going to know
> when to send a birthday present?

One issue: I'm quite happy w/ people knowing when I was born, but some
are not, either for general privacy reasons, or perhaps because there 
might be security concerns... Is date of birth one of those things like 
mother's maiden name, US nat insurance number etc that doesn't seem like 
security-related info but often gets used that way?


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