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[Bug 7681] link tag: rel: associate pages about the same person across many sites

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 18:33:23 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1NwJm7-0002PH-5r@wiggum.w3.org>

Toby Inkster <mail@tobyinkster.co.uk> changed:

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--- Comment #13 from Toby Inkster <mail@tobyinkster.co.uk>  2010-03-29 18:33:22 ---
(In reply to comment #10)
> --- Rel="me" is not adequate. The "me" points to a canonical page, not a
> person. And which page is canonical for Attila the Hun might not be subject to
> general agreement.

rel=me should be adequate. It is not defined to point to a "canonical page"
just to another page about the same person. If your page on Attila the Hun
pointed to Wikipedia's page on him using rel=me, and my page did the same, and
Wikipedia cited Joe Bloggs' page on Attila using rel=me, then a crawler could
easily determine ttha all the pages in question dealt with the same person.

> --- FOAF is for XML and therefore is compatible with XHTML, but is a bit more
> complicated to use with HTML, because some of its requirements don't apply to
> elsewhere in HTML. FOAF has many good features but, of 8 I proposed here, it
> lacks 6: death date, when flourished, nationality, birth place, and a way to
> refer to authoritative sources if they're not openly online (e.g., subscription
> databases and Who's Who books) (http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/). In addition,
> despite having read probably dozens of books on Web matters (among hundreds on
> computers generally), I didn't recall FOAF. It deserves publicity, but HTML
> already has that and already has a mechanism to do what I'm proposing, a
> mechanism described in books on the language.

If you believe FOAF to be an XML-based standard, then you are mistaken: it is
RDF based. RDF is an abstract data model that can be serialised in a variety of
ways: XML is one such way of course, but it's also possible to use JSON or
indeed HTML - the HTML Working Group is working on HTML+RDFa as a method of
embedding RDFa in HTML. So it's certainly possible to embed a FOAF description
of a person into a webpage.

As far as it lacking the properties you propose, FOAF is occasionally revised,
so you could bring them up on the FOAF mailing list. The editors of the FOAF
spec are generally quite open to adding new features if they're shown to be
useful. And FOAF being RDF-based is very extensible - any properties or classes
that FOAF lacks, you can define yourself. For example, you might defined a
"historical person vocabulary" and use it in HTML+RDFa like this:

  <div xmlns:foaf="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/"
       <h1 property="foaf:name">Asashi T. Fung</h1>
       Born: <span property="foaf:birthday">1723</span>,
       died: <span property="hp:died">1799</span>,
       flourished: <span property="hp:floreat">1740s-1750s</span>.
       Nationality: <span rel="hp:nationality"
       birthplace: <span rel="hp:birthplace"
resource="http://dbpedia.org/resource/Honolulu">Honolulu, Hawaii, US</span>.
       <br rev="foaf:primaryTopic" resource="">

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Received on Monday, 29 March 2010 18:33:25 UTC

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