[rdfweb-dev] FOAF and the long dead ...

conor dowling conor at the325project.org
Sun May 8 02:34:30 UTC 2005

>> In a Factlog (http://www.the325project.org/factlog/325Factlog.xul),
>> I've taken to identifying such "web-free" folks using text references  
>> -
>> xpointers into references to them in well regarded texts. For example,
>> take a reference to the name "Constantine" in a text, where the name
>> refers to the first emperor Constantine. Such a reference identifies
>> him. It answers the question, which "Constantine" with "the one
>> referenced in the second paragraph of the first part of Eusebius' Life
>> of Constantine". That reference is to him and no one else.
> A nice idiom is to use well known documents, whose primary topic is the
> person concerned. This is pretty much as you suggest, except I tend to
> use entire documents rather than document fragments. The latter is
> possible too. So using the 'primaryTopic' property,
> <Document  
> rdf:about="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I_%28emperor%29">
>   <primaryTopic>
>    <Person>
>      <name>Flavius Valerius Constantinus</name>
>      <nick>Constantine the Great</nick>
>      <nick>Constantine I</nick>
>      <depiction  
> rdf:resource="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/29/ 
> 180px-Constantine_I_Roman_Emperor.jpeg"/>
>    </Person>
>   </primaryTopic>
> </Document>

makes sense except that most people aren't the primary topic of a  
document - not well recognized documents away. If you have a biography  
about them then you're ok but what about the more regular Joe, someone  
just mentioned in that biography or in a general history or even in his  
town's newspaper?

As Hendy said in the previous mail: how do you know everyone is  
referring to the same person? Well, the instance of the name  
"Constantine" in that particular document refers to the first Roman  
emperor of that name, not his son, not subsequent rulers, not your  
local Greek realtor. It isn't ambiguous. Of course, reference the name  
in a page about American Idol and that's another fellow all together.  
I'm using the following but this may be too cumbersome ...

&quot;&quot;, 25, 7))"/> ... precisely point to where someone is named  
in a document ...

To be useful of course, more than one data store would have to use such  
a reference to designate someone, so that an aggregator could merge  
their definitions. To encourage that you could use a convention like,  
reference the first time someone is named in a document. Outstanding  
problem: which version of a text? Sites use different markup ... um ...

> Dan

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