[foaf-dev] Introduction

Luke Maurits luke at maurits.id.au
Wed Jun 3 08:06:26 CEST 2009

Greetings list,

I've recently taken an interest in getting involved in the FOAF
project, so this email is just me saying "hi" to everyone and trying to
get a feel for the level of activity in the community and this list.

I've started working on a Python library (see
http://code.google.com/p/foaflib/) to make developing FOAF-based
applications easier (it's really just a wrapper around the rdflib
library).  Assitance from any fellow Pythonistas would be very
welcome!  Once this library is in good shape I'm interested in the
possibility of developing a desktop application for (i) managing one's
one FOAF profile, (ii) keeping up to date on friends' FOAF profiles and
other things pointed to by their FOAF profiles, like blogs, Twitter
feeds, etc. - a sort of social RSS aggregator, and (iii) (and this is
the interesting part) doing peer to peer searches of FOAF-space by
communicating with other people running the application.  This last
idea is intended to solve the problem of searching for FOAFers without
someone having to put in the time/effort/money to set up a reliable
server with a huge database and constantly busy scutters.  I'm quite
interested in discussing this idea more with people, and also in
hearing if anybody has tried anything like it before.

Could someone give me a frank assessment of the vitality of the FOAF
community?  I notice that the vocab spec has remained unchanged for
something like 18 months, despite containing some obvious but
superficial problems - like the redundancy and inconistency of
givenname vs firstName and surname vs family_name.  I see that this
list only had 8 posts for all of last month, and I've lurked in #foaf
on freenode a few times without seeing anybody say a word (and the logs
seem to suggest this is the status quo).  Have I just started paying
attention at a bad time (perhaps this apparent inactivity is correlated
with the recent server downtime?) or are there not many people
interested in FOAF these days?

Looking forward to some interesting discussions about a really cool


Luke Maurits <luke at maurits.id.au>
CompCogSci | Crypto | Maths | Python | Unix

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