[foaf-dev] Facebook Foaf Generator

Matthew Rowe m.rowe at dcs.shef.ac.uk
Sat Sep 15 12:05:50 BST 2007

Richard Cyganiak wrote:
> Matthew,
> On 14 Sep 2007, at 16:16, Matthew Rowe wrote:
>> I have recently created a Facebook Foaf Generator that extracts 
>> information from the social networking site Facebook.com and 
>> generates a Foaf file using this data.
>> It is a simple and easy to use application. Please try it out, any 
>> feedback is greatly appreciated.
>> http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~mrowe/foafgenerator.html
> Very cool. Facebook is a fantastic resource for social network data, 
> and getting some of that data into FOAF is potentially a very big deal.
> Couple technical comments:
>     <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" ?>
> I believe this should be encoding="utf-8" to fix the issues with 
> special characters.
Good suggestion. I forgot to include this.
> My profile has:
>         <foaf:based_near>
>             <geo:Point geo:lat="" geo:long=""/>
>         </foaf:based_near>
> Maybe just skip these triples if the data is empty?
Good idea, I will rectify this.
> The generated RDF files are currently served with a text/xml 
> Content-Type. It would be more helpful if you used 
> application/rdf+xml. (Having a line "AddType application/rdf+xml .rdf" 
> in your Apache config, or in a .htaccess file located in the /files/ 
> directory, should do the trick.)
Another good idea, I will alter the .htaccess file.
> About the Social Networks Ontology: What's the rationale for not using 
> foaf:onlineAccount and the related FOAF terms? I thought that was 
> created for sceanrios like this.
I have altered the generator to use this concept instead of my original 
ontology. I created a new ontology to explicitly define the various 
social networking sites, I thought this could be added to as different 
properties can be defined for different social networking sites.
> Another question: Why do you hash the Facebook user IDs? I understand 
> why I'm supposed to hash my friends' email addresses in my FOAF file 
> -- I don't wand to serve all their email addresses to the spammers on 
> a golden platter. But I thought their Facebook IDs were already public 
> knowledge?
Yes, true. I hashed them because I felt that the ID was a unique 
identifier that people may not want other users to know. I have amended 
the generator to display the ID now unhashed.
> I wonder how you manage the created RDF files on the backend. For the 
> time being, this is a live, working URI that identifies me and has 
> some useful information about my Facebook contacts:
> http://ext.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~u0057/FoafGenerator/files/foaf-555777583.rdf#me 
> But I presume the idea is that I download the file and host it myself, 
> right? And the system deletes the files periodically?
Yes the files are removed every 24 hours, giving people enough time to 
share the file with their friends and peers. I could save the files in 
the directory permanently and host them in a space so that you have a 
URI that identifies you. However this does conflict with Facebook's 
terms of service agreement with regards to stored information:
> Hmmm, would it be technically possible to create a Facebook app that 
> users could install and that would keep a live, up-to-date FOAF 
> profile for the user?
This is definitely something that could be looked at as a feasible 
option for future work. It would not be difficult to alter the current 
code to do this.
> Anyway, great work!
> Cheers,
> Richard
>> regards
>> --Matthew Rowe
>> PhD Student
>> Web Intelligence Group
>> Department of Computer Science
>> University of Sheffield
>> United Kingdom Email: m.rowe at dcs.shef.ac.uk
>> Web: http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~mrowe
>> Tel: UK + 0114 2221945
>> Foaf File
>> _______________________________________________
>> foaf-dev mailing list
>> foaf-dev at lists.foaf-project.org
>> http://lists.foaf-project.org/mailman/listinfo/foaf-dev

Matthew Rowe
PhD Student
Web Intelligence Group
Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
United Kingdom 	Email: m.rowe at dcs.shef.ac.uk <mailto:m.rowe at dcs.shef.ac.uk>
Web: http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~mrowe <http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/%7Emrowe>
Tel: UK + 0114 2221945

Foaf File <http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/%7Emrowe/foaf.rdf>

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