[uf-discuss] Re: XFN is getting smoked by FOAF

Toby A Inkster mail at tobyinkster.co.uk
Tue Mar 11 07:36:59 PST 2008

Costello, Roger L. wrote:

> So it would seem that XFN provides a richer and lighter-weight set of
> information and would be a better choice for social networks.

XFN provides a richer set of *relationship* information, but FOAF provides 
more than relationship information -- it also includes:

	1. hCard-like contact information, but richer in in some ways,
	   having built-in support for a bunch of different instant
	   messaging types (as against hCard where these are hacked onto
	   the "URL" property), different types of URL, etc;

	2. topics and interests;

	3. group/club membership;

All of which are beyond the determined scope of XFN. Having that kind of 
thing makes FOAF very useful for social-networking type sites.

In terms of relationships, FOAF *can* go beyond foaf:knows by taking 
advantage of two things:

	1. Implicit relationships. If two people have the same
	   foaf:workHomepage, then they are probably co-workers.

	2. FOAF is RDF. You can mix and match RDF vocabularies.

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
[Geek of HTML/SQL/Perl/PHP/Python/Apache/Linux]
[OS: Linux, up 41 days, 21:39.]

                              The Semantic Web

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