[rdfweb-dev] Newbie: FOAF gotchas, hints, best practices

petite_abeille petite_abeille at mac.com
Tue Feb 25 13:47:09 UTC 2003

Hi Danny,

On Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003, at 14:06 Europe/Zurich, Danny Ayers wrote:

> I'll be very interested in hearing what the other guys have to say 
> about To:
> foaf:knows From:

Me too :-)

>  (I've a feeling it's come up before, but I can't remember
> where...).

Well, if you track it down let me know.

> Regarding the use of foaf:knows for relating docs for threads - I'm 
> not sure
> this is a good idea, as it's bending the meaning quite a bit.

I see. In any case, those examples where something I simply throw in 
for the sake of demonstration. This was not meant to be the final word 
on anything. After a good night sleep, I think that a thread would be 
better depicted as a foaf:Project... which in turns foaf:knows about 
foaf:Document (the email themselves)... therefore the email itself 
could foaf:knows about a foaf:Project (a thread). Does that make any 

> Also there are
> existing vocabularies specifically for this kind of thing, notably 
> Thread
> Description Language [1] and IBIS-T [2]. TDL is a bit of a catch-all, 
> and
> IMHO overlaps too much with other vocabularies. IBIS-T is based on 
> ideas
> that have been around for quite a while for discussion tracking which 
> I've
> put into RDF. (This + DC should pretty much = TDL). It does need more 
> work,
> and suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks for the references. One thing I like about FOAF's vocabulary 
though is that it's portraying relationships... which is what I'm 
trying to export... I'm not that interested in describing the emails 
themselves in RDF as this sounds quiet redundant... but rather the 
connection that such "document" creates between "people", 
"organization" and "project"... what do you think? odd? very odd? 
utterly out there? asylum grade?

> btw, Zoe is very impressive!

Thanks. Glad you like it. Keep in mind that it's pretty shaky still :-| 
Trade with caution.

Regarding FOAF, I came across Stefano Mazzocchi's Agora project... 
which is kind of nifty:


De rigueur screenshot:


Which could be an interesting way to represent the tangle web of FOAF's 
data... but... it does require a "weighted" relationship... and I'm not 
quiet sure how to express that with foaf:knows... which seems very 
binary at first glance (you do or don't know). Can foaf:knows be 
weighted somehow?

This applies to Zoe as well as it built such links also... and they are 
all weighted (e.g. a direct from -> to weights more than a from -> cc 
and so on)... cumulative (e.g. if I sent you ten emails, I "know" you 
more than if a sent you only one)... and directional (e.g. me "knowing" 
you doesn't imply that you "know" me)...

In fact I would venture that most social networks are weighted to a 
certain extend and that not all links are created equal. Therefore 
qualifying the link (foaf:knows:little, foaf:knows:somewhat, 
foaf:knows:bestfriend, foaf:knows:god, ...) would be something of value 
(at least to me :-).




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