[rdfweb-dev] foaf:foaf

Sean B. Palmer sean at mysterylights.com
Tue Aug 12 14:21:08 UTC 2003

> I'm somewhat against it in that I don't believe in people
> having "a foaf file", I only see them, and other people
> having a load of RDF resources containing information,

Note how my "FOAF file", as you rightly scare quote it, is called
info.rdf and not foaf.rdf as so many other people have used. But the
term FOAF file is in wide circulation:-

[15:17] <sbp> .googlecount "FOAF file"
[15:17] <datum> "FOAF file": 8,730

There is a definite socially defined concept of an FOAF file--it just
doesn't have a rigid technological definition at this point. There's
not even a language with which one can define document types in RDF,
but I'm working on that:-


How do you know, when you're scuttering, that you're picking up data
that is going to be useful to your application? If RDF can contain any
information and point to any other sort of RDF information with
rdfs:seeAlso, you could be led down some pretty scary paths pretty
quickly. Do you count how many useful triples there are in a file? Is
there any point yet? Do you think there'll be a point in future?

> it also raises the bar to scutter developers, or makes
> people include content twice (rdfs:seeAlso/foaf:foaf)

It makes things easier for scutter developers, since they can be a
little more--socially, not technically--sure of what they're getting
on the other end of the arc. foaf:foaf is more specific than
rdfs:seeAlso. As for the duplication problem, you're right, and I'm
not sure what to do there. I thought that one aim of the Semantic Web
was to have built in reasoners in off-the shelf RDF products that
could automatically do such things as subProperty reasoning even
before you touch the data, but obviously we're not quite there yet, or
people aren't using the right tools, or both.


Sean B. Palmer, <http://purl.org/net/sbp/>
"phenomicity by the bucketful" - http://miscoranda.com/

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