[foaf-protocols] Fingerpoint - a proposed alternative to Webfinger

Toby Inkster mail at tobyinkster.co.uk
Fri Aug 21 16:31:25 CEST 2009

Fingerpoint is an alternative draft specification offering much the same
facilities as Webfinger. The current draft spec can be found at:


I think it offers the following advantages over Webfinger:

1. Minimal reinvention. Fingerpoint reuses FOAF for descriptions of
people, and reuses the W3C SPARQL Query Language for searching for their
information. It uses Mark Nottingham's Web Linking draft for discovery.

2. Integration with the world of Linked Data.

3. It's very easy to set up a small-scale Fingerpoint service - no
programming knowledge needed!

A basic command-line client for Fingerpoint can be found at:


To run it you type:

	FingerpointClient.pl account at example.com

To show how easy it is to set up a fingerpoint service, I've set one up


Note that no fancy .htaccess tricks are required, no PHP, no programming
at all. It can be implemented easily on a cheap host that just serves up
static files. (Though there are scalability advantages if you can run
your own SPARQL endpoint.)

To try it out, install the FingerpointClient.pl client and try fingering
the following identifiers:

	me at fingerpoint.tobyinkster.co.uk
	somebody at fingerpoint.tobyinkster.co.uk
	mail at tobyinkster.co.uk

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

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