Re: foaf history presentation

"FOAF - the most used ontology in the history of the universe. How the hell 
did that happen?".

With all my good sense of humor, it is carried to extremes:).

It might be a right time to announce that the Standard Ontology and 
Semantics (SOS) Report is to be published on the site: There one can find a special chapter, 
titled "Standard Ontology and Semantic Web: The World-Web Mapping". I 
remember a raw draft was sent to TBL, but todays nobody reads or references 
somebody's other works.

Additionally to the objective analysis of all key SW projects, as the formal 
languages and vocabularies and datasets, there are some encouraging words on 
foaf, which might be valuable to heed for prospective projects:

"There is an interesting RDF application, known as FOAF (a Friend of a 
Friend), which specific vocabulary, categories, classes or types, properties 
and relationships (see below), characteristic for people, are introduced 
with the namespace URI ''. The project is intended 
to create a machine-readable semantic ontology for homepages of agents, 
persons, people,companies, organization, or groups, and how they may be 
related to each other, by using human class URI's and property 
(relationship)  URIs, like as foaf:know or foaf:name or foaf: 
membershipclass or foaf:depiction. However interesting, many social 
relationships of humans are missing, like as a relational hierarchy of 
standardontology:relationship > standardontology:friendship > 
standardontology:trust. Besides the key construct foaf:person is very poorly 
described, which is best to be replaced with standardontology:person.

The project is viewed as a forerunner of a semantic stage in the web 
development, the Giant Global Graph, or the Semantic Web, assuming that the 
Web is no more about computers or documents or data, but more about real 
things in the world and their complex relationships, what calls for working 
out the normative ontology and semantics of world  resources."

Azamat Abdoullaev

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan Brickley" <>
To: "foaf-dev Friend of a" <>
Cc: "Semantic Web" <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:12 PM
Subject: foaf history presentation

> Hi folks (FOAF list and SemWeb IG),
> I gave an invited talk on monday, at a "Semantic Web perspectives" seminar 
> in Dagstuhl in Germany. The title is thanks to Jim Hendler, "FOAF - the 
> most used ontology in the history of the universe. How the hell did that 
> happen?".
> Obviously I wouldn't propose such a grand title myself, and in fact I 
> added an extra "?" in the middle, but it's true that FOAF has had 
> massively more visibility outside the traditional ontology / knowledge 
> representation community than most other efforts. So I gave a talk giving 
> some fragmented history explaining something of what happened, some ideas 
> about why/how, and some notes on problems and issues.
> Needless to say the slides were assembled late the night before. I didn't 
> attempt an explicit "credits" slide, since so many of you contributed so 
> much, I was fearful of missing people. For those of you I didn't namedrop, 
> and those that I did, many thanks for all your hacking and enthusiasm!
> Slides are here (in Flash and Keynote, sorry; I'll work out other format 
> exports somehow...):
> I'm not sure how much sense they'll make without my talk. Any 
> thoughts/feedback welcomed on foaf-dev or wherever.
> The dynamics of how something can get so big with so few polished and 
> end-user-benefiting apps are interesting, to say the least. It also had me 
> re-visit the old mailing list archives back to mid-2000. Re-reading the 
> original goals and use cases,
> the light of recent SemWeb developments is also a strange 
> experience.
> We have made so much progress, and yet the original use cases I mention 
> are not entirely addressed yet:
>     * "Find me today's web page recommendations made by people who work 
> for Medical organisations".
>     * "Find me recent publications by people I've co-authored documents 
> with."
>     * "Show me critiques of this web page, and the home pages of the 
> author of that critique"
>     * etc...
> Looking back it is clear these scenarios were grounded in early EU-funded 
> work in the DESIRE project, where we had a bunch more similar "quality 
> labelling"-related scenarios, see 
> Now with POWDER, SKOS, SPARQL and RDFa in the technology enviroment, we 
> can do quite a lot more than back in 2004-5 when FOAF was last actively 
> evolving. In particular, SKOS and the Linked Data datasets I think really 
> fill a gap: describing a person on their own is somewhat boring; 
> describing them in the context of topics, places, content etc is much more 
> fun...
> cheers,
> Dan

Received on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 18:44:55 UTC