[rdfweb-dev] FoaF RDF structure question(s)... (take 2)

David HM Spector spector at zeitgeist.com
Sun Jun 1 15:57:15 UTC 2003

[heh... let's try that again .. never walk way from an email window  
with a toddler in the room!  :-) ]


I've working on some software which will make extensive use of FoaF  
type RDF and am running into some real conceptual  
roadblocks/cognitive-dissonance points on the structure of FoaF  
objects.  Here's my current couple of quandaries:

  - Given that FoaF seems clearly to want to be a superset of the  
capabilities inherent in vCards and LDAP directories why not start with  
the vCard and InterOrgPerson schema a starting points -- FoaF could  
then cleanly bridge the worlds of LDAP and contact management systems  
and bringing them into the semantic web without forcing multiple data  
sources to exist and/or a grand reconciliation at some point down the  

- Is there any reason that the FaoF description cannot be a tree?   
Being able to cleanly decompose an FoaF markup into a person who has  
multiple sub-components/aspects would seem to add a lot of power to the  
FoaF metaphor.  The current foaf 0.1 seems incredibly top-heavy in that  
all possible attributes of a person are assigned to the person at the  
outermost scope if you will  and don't allow for people to be very  
dynamic.  For example, I may have several jobs each of which has  
several projects all funded by different  groups/organizations.  All of  
the major attributes (address, email, AIM ID, phone #, title, web page,  
etc) could be different depending upon which role we're looking at in  
any given situation.   Additionally, having the "friends" section(s) be  
either a separate tree or as subtrees of different roles (friends in a  
given role or association) would make the maintenance and  
authentication these records/pointers easier to do.

'sorry if these are naïve questions, but I have found any answers in  
any of the usual online spaces that address these issues...

   David Spector
David HM Spector	 	                            spector (at  
architecture/design/planning - security consultation - due diligence
Office:(631)261-5013                                            Cell:  
Website: www.zeitgeist.com          Blog: zeitblog.zeitgeist.com:8668

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