[rdfweb-dev] Time's running out?

Dan Brickley danbri at w3.org
Tue Aug 12 10:27:47 UTC 2003

I think people (including FOAF contributors) are more complex than that. 
You present two stereotyped (and male, oddly) 'stakeholders'; many of 
the people on this list and in the weblogging community fit neither 
stereotype, being in it neither for pure technology development nor to 
sell people-description software. Many of us are working to support 
online communities, collaboration etc without necessarily being 
business-networking software and consultancy vendors.

With a few tweaks, extensions and add-on vocabularies, it should be possible 
to meet the addressbook-interchange concerns of the business networking
crowd. We could even define an XML schema that captured such a profile
of FOAF, giving more of a 'file format' feel, but still parse-able as RDF.

But it's unlikely that such a profile would directly meet all the needs of 
the meeting'n'dating crowd (Friendster, SixDegrees-RIP etc)., the
webloggers, activists (eg. IndyMedia), photo annotators and other 
content and tool developers. But it would have a lot in common, since
people are people. FOAF was designed specifically to have an
architecture (RDF) which provides for the representation of such 
commonalities, while allowing for community- and application- specific

The 'social networking developer' that you characterise is an important 
part of the picture, but to claim that our world consists solely of 
such software developers and RDF nerds is stretching it a bit, or
rather, is conflating 'social networking' with 'business oriented
addressbook interchange', itself a worthy goal. 

On the addressbook front, the next hurdle for us is to clean up our 
representation of names. Morten has a proposal for resolving this. We are trying
to be both I18N-friendly as well as have a format that allows
import/export into various existing tools. Your comments and perspective re 
requirements on this would be most welcome. Morten has copied his
proposal into the FOAF wiki at http://rdfweb.org/topic/NamesInFoaf where
it can be freely annotated, or else use the mailing list if you prefer.

Would you have time to summarise the requirements for FOAF naming from the 
perspective of business networking tool developers? (European, American, 
worldwide...). That would be a very useful contribution...



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