Re: vCard and FOAF?

Dear Renato,

We have discussed your suggestion to change the specification of DCAT, where
you argued that vCard, which is currently only specified as the
recommendation for dcat:contactPoint, could also be used for properties to
identify persons and organisations, i.e. dct:creator and dct:publisher.

While we appreciate your suggestion and understand that in your opinion this
would increase consistency across the specification, we have decided not to
make the change you have asked for.


The reason for our decision is two-fold:

1.	In the current specification, there is an explicit semantic
difference between the agent-related properties, defined by DCMI as linking
to an agent, i.e. organisation or person, and dcat:contactPointwhich is
defined as linking to contact information for the catalogued resource. This
is the reason that the recommendation for dcat:contactPoint, to use vCard,
is different from the recommendation for the agent-related properties, to
use resources of type foaf:Agent. In our opinion, this difference in
intention between the properties is important to preserve.
2.	We have not seen evidence that the current specification hinders or
breaks implementations. In general, one of the criteria to make changes is
that such changes are necessary to repair errors that negatively affect
interoperability or to add features that increase interoperability, and we
consider this change not essential for increased interoperability.

Having said that, the fact that we're not adding vCard as a recommendation
for the agent-related properties does not mean, within the context of the
Open Word Assumption, that it would be illegal to use vCard properties for
the description of agents, as long as these vCard properties are applied to
an entity that is an instance of the class foaf:Agent; it is just that we
don't consider it to be necessary to make the additional recommendation.


As we understand there may be some confusion over the usage of vCard for
dcat:contactPoint, we will add some examples to the specification to make
its use clearer.


Kind regards, Makx Dekkers


Response also posted at



Received on Monday, 15 July 2019 20:35:01 UTC