[rdfweb-dev] advocating use of rdf:ID / rdf:about attributes on foaf:Person tags

David Madore david.madore at ens.fr
Sun Aug 17 03:04:26 UTC 2003

On Sat, Aug 16, 2003 at 09:37:14PM +0100, Victor Lindesay wrote:
> Just my thoughts exactly David, as I posted on the Ecademy FOAF club
> recently.
> http://www.ecademy.com/module.php?mod=club&op=forum&c=240&t=20350

I agree with everything you say there except that you suggest tacking
the fragment identifier on the rdfs:seeAlso URI whereas it seems to me
that the genuine RDF solution consists of using the full URI reference
(RDF file URI plus fragment identifier) as value to the rdf:about
attribute of the foaf:Person tag describing the known person.  (I
think the use of rdfs:seeAlso in FOAF should be deprecated and
maintained for compatibility only.)

> It seems the trend now is to use rdf:nodeID instead of rdf:ID anyway,
> but I'm no expert!

This seems like a very strange idea.  The difference between rdf:ID
and rdf:nodeID is that the latter specifically does *not* create an
URI reference: nodes that use the rdf:nodeID tag remain "blank nodes"
and can only be referred to within the same file.  This is useful if
one wishes to avoid creating a globally unique identifier for the node
(as when one is not the authoritative source on a resource).  But
one's own primary FOAF file, referring to oneself, should definitely
create a globally unique identifier for oneself - hence rdf:ID rather
than rdf:nodeID.

A Google search returns 745 matches for "FOAF rdf:ID" and only 88 for
"FOAF rdf:nodeID", so it would seem that people have been following
the globally unique URI course.


     David A. Madore
<URL: http://www.eleves.ens.fr:8080/home/madore/meta.rdf#dmadore >

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