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

Julian Bond julian_bond at voidstar.com
Fri May 7 12:06:12 UTC 2004

Danny Ayers <danny666 at virgilio.it> wrote:
>Julian Bond wrote:
>> 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.

Changing the application model in Drupal, *Nuke, phpBB and the hundreds 
of other bits of existing code with an account system and SQL also makes 
me laugh...

We've got to face the fact that there's tons (really a lot) of existing 
code with existing user account systems held in more or less normalised 
SQL data tables. Requiring that these are changed in order to support a 
data transport protocol better just ain't going to work. This is what 
makes current FOAF a write only format. It's easy (almost trivial) to 
export FOAF from an existing user account system. It's much harder to 
import arbitrary FOAF into an existing user account system. But then 
given how everyone reinvents the wheel for every new system maybe it 
would be hard no matter what interchange format we used[1].

[1]You'd think by now that we'd all know how to store international 
names, addresses, phone numbers, but apparently not. But then you'd also 
think we'd have consistent date formats after ~2000 years of the current 

Julian Bond Email&MSM: julian.bond at voidstar.com
Webmaster:                 http://www.ecademy.com/
Personal WebLog:          http://www.voidstar.com/
M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173      T: +44 (0)192 0412 433

More information about the foaf-dev mailing list