[rdfweb-dev] foaf:Person identification
jim at jibbering.com
Mon Jan 12 12:34:03 UTC 2004
"Mike Higginbottom" <mike at peak41.co.uk>
>On Fri, 9 Jan 2004 22:24:34 -0000, Jim Ley <jim at jibbering.com> wrote:
>Why is it easier to give people a URI instead of a GUID?
It's equivalent to my mind, but a URI is a lot more useful in RDF as it
simplifies things greatly, and if there is a single identifier for a person,
a URI makes a lot more sense than a GUID.
> In these
>situations using a GUID becomes much more straightforward doesn't it?
Using a GUID is not straightforward, you need to have access to an accurate
GUID of a person before you can talk about them, that's a ridiculous
>OK, that's a fairer description, and it seems like a good idea but I can't
>help feeling it's a little 'wooly'.
The concrete is unworkable without a central resource, central resources
have all sorts of problems.
>> Which would be fine, except it brings lots of problems, and is
>> for all sorts of reasons.
>I think this is the nub of the issue. I don't understand what these
>problems are :(
Finding out a GUID of a person, talking about someone when you do not have
enough information about them to identify their GUID, talking about a person
when they've not yet generated a GUID for themselves, talking about dead
people who cannot generate a GUID for themselves, having to search the
entire universe looking for people to identify the GUID, creating a central
authority for generating GUIDS and associated maintenance of it. Are just
a few of the problems.
>Agreed, but do you think it needs to work worldwide with absolutely no
>ambiguity or just with a real world human interpreted uniqueness.
If it's not going to be worldwide unique, then we don't need to worry about
issues of people who might re-use email addresses, and I don't see much
point in having a GUID that's not global.
>I didn't word that very well. I really meant that the app gives you a
>list of all the danbris it knows about. If the one you're thinking about
>isn't in the list (eg he has no FOAF file) then he just gets ID'd as
So I can't talk about someone in two places, unless the app knows about that
persons unique ID - even if I don't know the real identity (GUID) of
danbri, it's still useful to me to know that the person in one photo is the
same person as in the other one.
>Obviously you can't assign a GUID to him yourself, that has
>to be done by the subject. Is this one of the problems you're referring
Of course, not being able to say anything about someone until they've
generated themselves a GUID is ridiculously unworkable. Am I going to have
to regenerate all my metadata after he's done it for example.
>> As a back end thing, I'm _:genid1_R1072397830234 completely
>> unambigiously identifies me
>Why does that completely and unambiguosly identify you?
Because I say it does, that ID is a GUId within my universe.
>that? What's to stop the same ID being generated for me?
my GUID generation code.
> If it does what
>you say then surely it's a GUID and my proposal is already in place isn't
No, because it's only system wide, it cannot go outside the system into the
real world without the above problems coming into play - you'd have to come
to me to get a GUID before you could talk about me, or even yourself.
>As for what you'd want to do with it, well specifically I could, for
>example, use it to assume (but obviously not prove) that the Jim Ley this
>bit of data refers to is the same Jim Ley that wote this mail.
Much easier to use a suitable definition of mbox sha1sum surely? It doesn't
prove anything anyway, a GUID is no less fallable than an email address or
weblog or DNAChecksum even.
>generally, a unique identifier is just a useful property to have in
Within systems is sure is, which is why I have one, I'm sure every other
foaf consumer has one too, but that doesn't mean it's sensible to extend it
outside the system.
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