[rdfweb-dev] FOAFnet and the future of FOAF in commercial systems

Danny Ayers danny666 at virgilio.it
Fri May 7 10:25:47 UTC 2004

Julian Bond wrote:

> Leigh.Dodds at ingenta.com wrote:
>> I'm totally sympathetic to that. I'm just finding that "theoretical 
>> parsers"
>> statement a bit hard to swallow seeing as I've got a concrete RDF 
>> parser sat on
>> my hard drive which I've been merrily using for some time.
> Right now (and for the medium term future), affordable web hosting has 
> perl, PHP, MySql or ASP/MSSQL. All too often there's no shell access 
> or ability to load new modules or RPMs. You mostly get an out of date 
> PEAR and limited CPAN. The closest thing to an RDF parser available in 
> those environments is RAP. And good as it is, it's still slow and hard 
> work. You generally get a fast robust XML parser by default. There is 
> no RDF parser by default[1].
> Sure, if you have complete control over your environment, you can use 
> Redland. If you work in Java there's Jena. But projects like Drupal or 
> *Nuke (or Movable Type) that are aimed at lowest common denominator 
> hosting simply can't use them.

I agree completely that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. 
I've not got far enough with my own RAP experiments to comment on that.

> Then there's datastores. There are huge amounts of code implemented 
> out there that could use FOAF but which are engineered on top of a SQL 
> datastore. Suggesting we re-engineer these to use a native RDF data 
> store just makes me laugh.

Why? Many RDF datastores use a SQL RDBMS backend, the change is more in 
terms of application model.

> [1]The RDF tool community really needs to put work into getting an RDF 
> parser and datastore into the standard distributions of things like 
> PHP. It took a surprisingly long time for this to happen with XML. Now 
> it's RDF's turn. Some binaries for MS Windows users wouldn't go amiss 
> either.
Agreed 100%. I hope someone from the Best Practices WG is listening.
 (btw, I believe danbri was talking of offering T-shirts in exchange for 
work on Redland on MS Windows the othe day).



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