[foaf-protocols] P2P FOAF search

Luke Maurits luke at maurits.id.au
Sun Jun 14 13:09:33 CEST 2009

> Not sure how much overlaps with other projects such
> as distributed SPARQL (im not 100% up to date on things like this),
> but I'm sure that will become clearer over time ...

I'd like to know more about this too.  The only thing that makes the
current proposal a P2P FOAF search system rather than a P2P SPARQL
query system is, well, us deliberately restricting it to FOAF-only.  On
the one hand it feels slightly ridiculous to me to build a system that
is clearly so general in ability but is arbitrarily restricted to a
special case, but see danbri's earlier comment:

> It's a delicate balancing act! People in the RDF/SW community can 
> occasionally tend towards generalisation at the expense of completeness 
> of a concrete app. I'd rather see a useful P2P people-search app than an 
> "interesting but not very useful" completely general app.

Of course, there is no reason we couldn't build applications - in the
sense of desktop apps or web apps - that present to the user an
interface for people searching only but which, under the hood, make use
of a completely general SPARQL protocol.

I have to imagine that SPARQL people have something similar in mind
(surely the whole prospect of a full blown semweb is not predicated on
a few huge central indices turning up) and we're probably quite likely
to reinvent a lot of what they've already done if we forge on ahead
completely independently with our own distributed SPARQL query system.

Perhaps the idea is that developing a standard for full scale
distributed SPARQL that handles every edge case is going to take years
of debate and planning, but something that works well enough for FOAF
alone can be put together now?


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