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initial comments on FOAF 0.9

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2007 16:35:57 +0200
Message-ID: <46602ECD.20802@w3.org>
To: public-wai-ert@w3.org


Ref: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/20070524.html>

As per my action item, I've read through the FOAF spec of 24 May, 2007 
(version 0.9, code name "rehydrated"). It looks much more solid with a 
lot of helpful introductory and background information.

As to the vocabulary itself, several classes and properties have been 
marked as "stable" which helps adopting it. The following classes are of 
particular interest to EARL:
  - foaf:Agent
  - foaf:Person (subclass of foaf:Agent)
  - foaf:Group (subclass of foaf:Agent)
  - foaf:Organization (subclass of foaf:Agent)

So far we had not considered foaf:Group as it was unstable and not well 
defined. However, now it is much better defined and has a foaf:member 
property which is useful to describe a group of foaf:Agents. It is worth 
considering if we should drop the earl:CompoundAssertor with foaf:Group.

Also foaf:Organization is now marked stable, yet it doesn't provide as 
many properties to describe an organization. However, both foaf:name, 
foaf:mbox (and foaf:mbox_sha1_sum) and foaf:homepage can be used. This 
should be sufficient for our use.

On the down side, there are some issues with some of the properties that 
we are using in EARL 1.0, and that are still not marked stable in FOAF. 
Specifically foaf:name (along with its more specific counter parts 
foaf:firstName, foaf:surname, and foaf:family_name) is marked "testing".

Surprisingly also foaf:sha1_sum is marked "testing", even though it has 
been recommended in previous drafts of the spec. However, I think its 
quite widely deployed but I'd like to check with Danbri on reasons for 
this status, and if it expected to change.

Last but not least, foaf:homepage now has a range of foaf:Document which 
is both marked "testing" and not really well defined. I'm not sure if 
our current use to point to a Web page as a resource is correct. We also 
need to check this with Danbri.

Note that there is a whole collection of other "identifier properties" 
such as foaf:nick, foaf:jabberID, etc which could be useful but are 
currently all still marked "testing" as well.

So all in all its looking good, but the following questions are for a 
group discussion:

Q1- Should we drop earl:CompoundAssertor in favor of foaf:Group? -That 
would make earl:SingleAssertor unnecessary and the whole construct would 
collapse to an earl:Assertor that is either earl:Software or foaf:Agent.

Q2- Are there any changes to the identifiers that we need to identify 
foaf:Agent, foaf:Person, and foaf:Organization? Right now we are using 
foaf:name and foaf:sha1_sum but as mentioned above there are others too.


Shadi Abou-Zahra     Web Accessibility Specialist for Europe |
Chair & Staff Contact for the Evaluation and Repair Tools WG |
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)           http://www.w3.org/ |
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI),   http://www.w3.org/WAI/ |
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Evaluation and Repair Tools WG,    http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/ |
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Received on Friday, 1 June 2007 14:36:05 UTC

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