[foaf-dev] Re: 'Interested In' field

Frederick Giasson fred at fgiasson.com
Tue Apr 8 14:46:02 BST 2008

Hi Anthony
> This is for a proposed system that I am experimenting with, where data is made available selectively to friends. 
> The user populates Friend groups with friends. The request is identified as coming from a friend (the mechanism has been under much debate on these lists, not final yet), the friend's groups are retrieved, and appropriate content is served.
> I'm now wondering if the friend-to-group mapping data is such a good fit for a FOAF document. Given that the user names and populates these groups, they could mean anything; it's not semantic data - it is likely to be useful and understandable to people, but that's not guaranteed. 
> Maybe the way for me to go is to confine these groups to the back end, and perhaps allow flags e.g. the user specifies that people in group "my friends" are in relationship to them of  "rel:closeFriendOf" and "colleages" are in "rel:worksWith". This rel would then be placed on each friend record generated in the FOAF doc.
> In that case I'd like a general "rel:Family" rather than all the very specific "rel:grandparentOf", "spouseOf" etc.
> Is this making sense now?

I do think that the problem is one of conceptualization. You seem to see 
these groups has "bags" of people (the "bag" definition of a data 

However with the solution you come with above, you create "sets" of 
"Person" (since foaf:Person is the class extension of this kind of 
properties) that shares the same property with you (the user).

What you were previously thinking, is creating explicit "lists" or 
"sequence" (collections or containers) where to put your friends.

But obviously, you come up with a better solution (in my opinion) by 
yourself, with what you proposed above.

However the RELATIONSHIP ontology is probably not complete, and as Alex 
proposed, you can extend the vocabulary so that you can meet your needs 
(however, take a special care to make the definition of these new 
properties "dereferencable" on the Web).

Then, depending on the "privacy" properties selected by your users, you 
will be able to expose, or not, these properties in their public FOAF 

Take care,


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