[foaf-protocols] WebID support in OntoWiki 0.9

Toby Inkster tai at g5n.co.uk
Tue Jul 21 12:20:59 CEST 2009

On Mon, 2009-07-20 at 18:01 +0200, Sebastian Dietzold wrote:
> Henry visited us last week on monday [3] and presented foaf+ssl alias 
> WebID 

Unless someone's changed something and not told me, FOAF+SSL and WebID
are not the same concept. WebID is much broader. For FOAF+SSL we're
considering the more catchy name of "Secure WebID".

A WebID is a URL (strictly a URI) that represents you, the person.
Crucially, it is not the same URL as your homepage. By using different
identifiers for yourself and your homepage, it allows us to make
unambiguous statements about each of them, and how they are related to
each other.

For example, if the URL representing my homepage is
<http://tobyinkster.co.uk/> and the URL representing me is
<http://tobyinkster.co.uk/#i> then I can say:

  <http://tobyinkster.co.uk/#i> made <http://tobyinkster.co.uk/> .
  <http://tobyinkster.co.uk/#i> isPrimaryTopicOf <http://tobyinkster.co.uk/> .

I can say when I was created (my birthday) and when my homepage was
created, without any chance of getting those two statements mixed up.

So that's the concept of a WebID. FOAF is probably the next stage up,
even though historically it was developed before the concept of a WebID
had fully crystallised. FOAF is a standard vocabulary that can be used
with RDF to describe the people that are represented by WebIDs.

FOAF+SSL builds on all this to allow people who have WebIDs to securely
identify themselves to websites.

I've thrown together a quick diagramme to help illustrate the
relationships between the topics in the eternally popular "layer cake"


Toby A Inkster
<mailto:mail at tobyinkster.co.uk>

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