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Thu Apr 14 18:21:16 CEST 2011


"2011-05-02, DCMI and the FOAF Project have announced a cooperation
agreement outlining measures aimed at reinforcing the long-term
viability of the FOAF Vocabulary. DCMI will maintain an up-to-date
snapshot of the FOAF Vocabulary, temporarily host the vocabulary if
needed, and assume maintenance responsibility if the FOAF Project
should cease its normal activity. The two organizations see this
cooperative agreement as an opportunity for better integrating their
vocabularies with semantic alignments and for promoting the
documentation of best-practice usage patterns in which the two
vocabularies are used in combination. The agreement includes an
affirmation of best-practice principles embodied in a DCMI Generic
Namespace Policy for RDF Vocabularies."

The main document is: http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-foaf/
"Agreement between DCMI and the FOAF Project"

See also the principles documented in
http://dublincore.org/documents/2011/05/02/dcmi-namespace-generic/ and
which both DC and FOAF subscribe to.

Basically we've finally written down something that has been discussed
informally for several years: a collaborative agreement between
maintainers of two RDF vocabularies that are often used together. Many
thanks to Tom for all his work on this, and for those discussions as
they've evolved over the years. I think we both hope it may serve as a
template or at least a conversation starter for maintainers of other
RDF vocabularies too -- since in RDF, independent vocabularies are so
often deployed together, we have a shared incentive to collaborate on
long term preservation and maintainance.

The primary motivation was to deal with the occasional 'what happens
if Dan and Libby are in an airplane crash?' questions, by putting
mechanisms in place for another organization to take on the hosting
and long-term responsibilities for FOAF's core technical assets (the
RDF vocab). But it's also interesting as an exploration of the ways in
which smaller, less formally maintained vocabularies and more
traditional, organizationally-backed vocabularies can be deployed
alongside each other, and how some of the risks and benefits from
these different approaches can be balanced.

I'll copy the body of the agreement below, but see the DC Web site for
hypertext version. Expect to see updates regarding progress towards
our stated goals through the summer.

cheers,

Dan


---- ----- -----
http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-foaf/  "Agreement between DCMI
and the FOAF Project"

Description of Document:	This agreement outlines specific measures to
be undertaken in cooperation between DCMI and the FOAF Project --
measures aimed primarily at reinforcing the long-term viability of the
FOAF Vocabulary by addressing the risks inherent with having a single
point of failure. The two organizations also see this cooperation as
an opportunity for better integrating their vocabularies with
alignments -- mutually declared mappings between semantically
overlapping terms -- and for promoting the documentation of
best-practice usage patterns in which the two vocabularies are used in
combination.

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) is an open organization,
incorporated in Singapore as a public, not-for-profit Company limited
by Guarantee (registration number 200823602C), engaged in the
development of interoperable metadata standards that support a broad
range of purposes and business models. DCMI is the maintenance
organization for the vocabulary DCMI Metadata Terms.

The Friend of a Friend (FOAF) Project aims at creating a Web of
machine-readable pages describing people, the links between them, and
the things they create and do, using an open, decentralized technology
for connecting social Web sites and the people they describe. The FOAF
Project is the maintenance organization for the FOAF Vocabulary.

Preamble on shared goals

The FOAF Vocabulary and DCMI Metadata Terms are often used together in
applications, and both are consistently listed among the top
vocabularies in the Linked Data space. As organizations, DCMI and the
FOAF Project share a common interest in improving resource discovery
across the boundaries of information silos on the Web. They share also
share a common concern for balancing centralization and
decentralization by encouraging the stabilization of third-party
extensions and companion vocabularies that enhance the usefulness of
the vocabularies they maintain.

This agreement outlines specific measures to be undertaken in
cooperation between DCMI and the FOAF Project -- measures aimed
primarily at reinforcing the long-term viability of the FOAF
Vocabulary by addressing the risks inherent with having a single point
of failure. The two organizations also see this cooperation as an
opportunity for better integrating their vocabularies with alignments
-- mutually declared mappings between semantically overlapping terms
-- and for promoting the documentation of best-practice usage patterns
in which the two vocabularies are used in combination.

Both organizations believe that arrangements of mutual support and
cooperation among vocabulary maintainers such as this agreement can
improve the long-term viability of RDF vocabularies in all niches of
the Semantic Web ecosystem -- from vocabularies maintained by small,
agile, time-limited projects or grass-roots initiatives to
vocabularies maintained by stable cultural memory organizations -- and
offer this agreement as a potential template for others.

Specific commitments

* FOAF will arrange for its DNS (Domain Name Service) to be controlled
by a Registrar account for FOAF as a project and will grant DCMI full
technical and administrative access to the Domain Name (xmlns.com).

* The FOAF Project commits to pay Domain fees so that it is always at
least one year, ideally two or more, paid in advance. DCMI commits to
monitor this situation and to step in and take temporary or long term
control and stewardship of the domain if the FOAF Project is no longer
able or willing to maintain the vocabulary.

* The FOAF Project affirms the maintenance and persistence principles
outlined in a DCMI Generic Namespace Policy and commits to make no
semantic changes in the FOAF vocabulary without advance public notice
of at least two weeks.

* This agreement is not a legally binding contract but the public
expression of a collaborative partnership. Collaboration will be
re-evaluated and re-affirmed annually. DCMI and the FOAF Project have
chosen this mechanism rather than a binding and final transfer since
it provides a more scalable template for other collaborative
relationships. The agreement may, with no ill-will, be publicly ended
by either party at any time.

* The FOAF Project leads, Dan Brickley and Libby Miller, expect to
manage all matters related to vocabulary maintenance in-house for the
foreseeable future, including long-term planning for contingencies by
which the project leads would become unable to manage the vocabularies
themselves. DCMI's engagement with the FOAF Project serves both to
promote active collaboration between the two vocabulary maintenance
organizations and to underwrite the long-term viability of the FOAF
vocabulary domain should the FOAF Project for any reason cease its
normal activity. This collaboration also gives both projects a
mechanism for sharing among themselves, and the wider community,
details of their preservation-planning activities.
DCMI and FOAF will take measures to keep contact information
reciprocally available and inform each other on plans and developments
concerning their namespaces. Service outages of a few hours, even
days, are a natural feature of the Web and are something for which
implementers should plan. However, in the event that the FOAF
namespace should become unavailable on the Web for an unusually
extended period (e.g., more than two weeks), and communication with
the FOAF Project leads cannot be established, DCMI agrees to step in
and use its DNS access to arrange for temporary public hosting of the
latest copy of FOAF namespace documentations. To prepare for this
contingency, DCMI will download and periodically refresh a copy of the
FOAF Subversion project.

* For the longer term, if DCMI should find itself as the publisher of
the final results of a FOAF Project that has ceased activity, DCMI
will maintain the documentation of FOAF in conformance with the
surrounding technical infrastructure (e.g., in response to a revision
of W3C Resource Description Framework).


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