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

Marc Canter marc at broadbandmechanics.com
Fri May 7 16:52:53 UTC 2004

What Julian said...........

As much as we want to the world to be like us - most of the time -
they're gonna be like the them and wonder why we can't work in their

THIS is one of the reasons why the semantic web is scoffed at.  We come
off looking fairly dogmatic and rigid.  If we can't adapt to the
existing world - how are we ever gonna transition forward?


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
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