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DC Terms, FOAF etc

From: Phil Archer <parcher@icra.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2008 13:20:18 +0100
Message-ID: <48735B82.8010008@icra.org>
To: Public POWDER <public-powderwg@w3.org>
CC: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>

In a comment on our latest public drafts [1], Ivan pointed to the 
updated namespace for Dublin Core. Everything is now in 
http://purl.org/dc/terms/ with legacy support for the older namespaces.

OK, in the updates I'm working on right now, I'm updating that namespace 
in all our examples. It's particularly relevant for dcterms:issued. 
Shout if you think we shouldn't do this.

But... looking at this reminded me that in an earlier e-mail exchange (I 
think it was just to me, not on an archived list) he also queries our 
use of FOAF when:

1. DC now includes an Agent class and dcterms:creator can point to that 
class in much the same way that foaf:maker points to a foaf:Agent

2. FOAF, for all its popularity and usefulness, is controlled by two 
individuals, not by an organisation. However illustrious those 
individuals may be (and they don't come much more so than Dan and 
Libby), this is a potential weakness in the POWDER spec.

Hmmm... looking closely at the (updated) DC vocabulary [2] it is perhaps 
tempting to ditch FOAF and just use DC. But I'm inclined not to do so 
for several reasons and I thought it best to record them in public for 
possible future reference:

1. DC Terms has an Agent class but, unless I've missed it despite 
looking, none of: name, nick, homepage etc. To take my own organisation 
as an example, I use those three and more in our FOAF file [3] and I 
believe that, whilst FOAF is not a perfect fit, it's very close to it 
for our uses cases.

2. DC is massively successful in the publishing world (its origin) and 
FOAF is massively successful for linking people and organisations. I 
know Dan is trying to find a way to put FOAF on a more stable footing 
but from an outside perspective, it's an established vocabulary and the 
one people expect to see used. RSS isn't in the purview of an 
organisation either - but it's a method of doing things that crops up 
occasionally ;-)

We have talked about this within the group. I recall Kai raising the 
issue ages ago, for instance, but the feeling has been that we'd like to 
stick with FOAF. If the Rec Track process or the weight of comments 
received makes it clear that we should not mandate its use, OK, we have 
a get out, but personally, I'd like to keep things as they are: dcterms 
for issued and FOAF for the the attribution info.

That said, if the WG wants to use dcterms:creator->dcterms:Agent rather 
than foaf:maker -> foaf:Agent - it's not /that/ much work to do it.



[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-powderwg/2008Jul/0026.html
[2] http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/
[3] http://www.fosi.org/fosi.rdf

Phil Archer
Chief Technical Officer,
Family Online Safety Institute
w. http://www.fosi.org/people/philarcher/
Received on Tuesday, 8 July 2008 12:21:00 UTC

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