[foaf-dev] Re: Prototyping a decentralized graph

Tom Heath tom.heath at gmail.com
Wed Aug 22 15:47:32 BST 2007

Hi Anthony,

This is really cool - nice one :)

A few comments/observations/requests...

1. Great move to use FOAF for this. Being able to outsource some of
the network definition process to the apps I already use is a major

2. Multiple fields: would it be possible to have one field per
service? I'm not fortunate enough to have a particularly unusual name,
so I often end up with different usernames for each service. Being
able to specify each of these (against just the services that I do
use) would be really helpful rather than leaving it to chance.

3. URIs and mbox_sha1sums: I've updated my main RDF description at [1]
to include a rdfs:seeAlso link to my Flickr->FOAF representation on
OFF (and also linked my main URI to the URI OFF generates for me,
using owl:sameAs), but apart from that the RDF that OFF generates is
not particularly link-friendly; i.e. it doesn't support linking to
other data sets out of the box, but relies on people making these
inward-linking statements elsewhere. What would be really cool would
be if you had an additional field on the form that allowed people to
enter an existing URI, which was then used in place of the freshly
minted http://openfriendformat.com/....#me URI, and another field
where people could enter an existing mbox_sha1sum which could be added
to the output using foaf:mbox_sha1sum. They could even enter an email
address to be SHA1 hashed if they didn't have an existing hash of
their mailbox URI to hand (or didn't know what on earth you were
talking about). Making these changes would really help OFF get linked
into the Web of Data.

4. Content-Type: the script currently returns the FOAF data as
Content-Type: text/xml. Whilst many apps will still parse this,
application/rdf+xml is the recommend content type, and the safer bet.

5. Given a choice I'd probably go for foaf:nick for my account
usernames, rather than foaf:name. If there was a real name available
from the services that would be cool to add too using foaf:name.

Hope these comments are helpful. Do shout if any of it doesn't make sense ;)

Really looking forward to seeing how the service develops,



[1] http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/tom/rdf

On 21/08/07, elw at stderr.org <elw at stderr.org> wrote:
> > A interesting project.  It does seem to have found a lot of my accounts.
> >
> > Now it does this just by searching on the nickname, which as it happens is
> > usually very consistent in my case.
> it worked amazingly well for me, too, given that i tend to use
> firstnamelastname as a username and have an unusual combination of
> names...
> great stuff!
> --e
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