[foaf-dev] [foaf-protocols] revisiting FOAF project goals

Hailton Sales hailton.sales at gmail.com
Sun Jun 21 05:31:38 CEST 2009


> 1) FOAF+SSL [1] which piggy backs off SSL, to allow a client prove
> that they own a profile
> 2) OpenID ("Your global identifier throughout the web isn't
> "happygirl234324" or an email address, or
> "bradfitz at identityserver.com", but your FOAF URL" -- Brad Fitzpatrick
> [2] )
I totally agree to that, I would just use "FOAF URI" instead of "FOAF
URL" and make an emphatic use of the "buzzword".

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Melvin
Carvalho<melvincarvalho at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 1:59 PM, Dan Brickley<danbri at danbri.org> wrote:
>>
>> I haven't explicitly written about goals for this project since 2000,
>> when we called it RDFWeb (and before that RDFWebRing).
>>
>> That original document is here,
>> http://www.foaf-project.org/original-intro (with one major change, I put
>> the new name everywhere that it used to say RDFWeb).
>>
>> Here's what the project website said about goals in mid 2000:
>>
>> """Goals
>>
>> We want a better way of keeping track of the scattered fragments of data
>> currently represented in the Web.
>>
>> We want to be able to find documents in the Web based on their
>> properties and inter-relationships; we want to be able to find
>> information about people based on their publications, employment
>> details, group membership and declared interests. We want to be able to
>> share annotations, ratings, bookmarks and arbitrary useful data
>> fragments using some common infrastructure. We want a Web search system
>> that's more like a database and less like a lucky dip. We need it to be
>> be distributed, decentralised, and content-neutral.
>>
>> FOAF, if successful, should help the Web do the sorts of things that are
>> currently the proprietary offering of centralised services.
>>
>> RDF seems to offer a lot of promise in this area. While RDF is defined
>> in terms of a rather abstract information model, our needs are rather
>> practical. We want to be able to ask the Web sensible questions and
>> common kinds of thing (documents, organisations, people) and get back
>> sensible results.
>>
>>     * "Find me today's web page recommendations made by people who work
>> for Medical organisations".
>>     * "Find me recent publications by people I've co-authored documents
>> with."
>>     * "Show me critiques of this web page, and the home pages of the
>> author of that critique"
>>     * etc...
>>
>> All this sounds a bit ambitious (and it is), but we think we've a
>> reasonable sense of how to build a linked information system with these
>> capabilities. """
>>
>>
>> As I look at getting a revised statement of goals written, I'd love to
>> hear more about what folk on the FOAF mailing lists find interesting,
>> compelling or intriguing. What motivates you to spend time working with
>> FOAF and RDF and linked data? Why do you care? How did you end up on
>> this mailing list, or interested in RDF and Semantic Web?
>
> Will try and give some answers to this:
>
> I've followed FOAF on a casual bases for quite some time, recognising
> it as an important technology, due to its open and extensible nature.
>
> However, the thing that really got me interested was when I realised
> you could use your FOAF profile, as a global identity, just by adding
> a public key to it.  As such, this allows single sign on accross the
> whole web.
>
> FOAF has inspired two important technologies, in this respect:
>
> 1) FOAF+SSL [1] which piggy backs off SSL, to allow a client prove
> that they own a profile
> 2) OpenID ("Your global identifier throughout the web isn't
> "happygirl234324" or an email address, or
> "bradfitz at identityserver.com", but your FOAF URL" -- Brad Fitzpatrick
> [2] )
>
> Both of which I find interesting, though OpenID seems to have veered
> off the original FOAF concept.  I like FOAF+SSL again because if it's
> openness and extensibility, and it also has the advantage of not
> requiring a 3rd party Identity Provider, you can authenticate using
> your browser alone.
>
> I find this an attractive model for the web, and this lead to my
> interest in the group.
>
> FOAF appears to be quite "grass roots" which is something I like, so
> one of my aims is to add some contributions to the ecosystem.
>
> I think FOAF is perhaps the sleeping giant of the internet, and may
> become the biggest social network.  What interests me is leveraging
> the power of machine readable linked data, in conjunction with a
> massive network, and building intelligent systems to allow people to
> interact, in ways not thought of before.
>
> Perhaps my only reservation about FOAF is that it can be a bit
> overwhelming from the point of view of a beginner.  The amount of
> information out there is good quality but it's hard to know where to
> start, and which links to follow.  Also there isnt really a book on it
> (though there is a section in practical RDF).  I think perhaps one of
> the goals of FOAF might be to try and make it more accessible to a
> wider audience, one idea might be in targetting and organising the
> wiki page [3] to be aimed at beginners, while having more advanced
> content on the main foaf project site
>
> Overall, I find the FOAF community to be an amazing group of people,
> not only in terms of the intellect and thought put into their
> solutions, but also the approachability and helpfulness that seems
> ubiquitous.  I've benefitted greatly as a beginner learning about this
> technology over the last year, and so would be keen to make sure I do
> my bit, to help others as well.  Pehaps a longer term goal might be to
> work in the field, or be part of a start up, but I think some more of
> the infrastrcutre needs to be built out before I'd consider that.
>
> I hope that explains some of my motivations, but above all, I want to
> be around with all this takes off! :)
>
> [1] http://esw.w3.org/topic/foaf+ssl
> [2] http://community.livejournal.com/lj_dev/683939.html
> [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOAF_(software)
>>
>> Am interested in any and all responses to this, on-list, or offlist,
>> blogged or emailed.
>>
>> Thanks for your thoughts!
>>
>> cheers,
>>
>> Dan
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>>
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