[uf-discuss] Re: A (big) problem with XFN: identity of source and
target not findable
davidjanes at blogmatrix.com
Tue Mar 18 08:08:55 PST 2008
On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:29 AM, Toby A Inkster <mail at tobyinkster.co.uk> wrote:
> David Janes wrote:
> > FOAF is, quite frankly, an ugly mess. This, based on my experience of
> > trying to code to extract useful information out of it rather than just
> > an opinion I pulled out of the air. I spent way to many hours coding
> > trying to pull info out of FOAF because, well, things seem to be doable
> > in lots of different ways.
> Don't try to parse it yourself -- use an RDF parser. I recommend Redland
> (a.k.a. librdf) -- it's stable, has bindings for a bunch of different
> language, and feature-wise seems to beat the competition hands down.
Thanks -- I've got XFN and FOAF working nicely together too. I'm using
SPARQL and rdflib. My issue is not that it's not doable, it's just a
lot more difficult than you would think because more or less anything
shows up in the data -- not some specific thing.
With a typical XML API and Python's ElementTree, I can manipulating
data within seconds because everything will fall into a well-defined
slot. Same with JSON APIs and simplejson -- that's even better, to
tell you the truth, since there's a clearer distinction from dumping
the data what's representing a list and what's representing rows.
With XFN, I've already done the hard work: normalizing the HTML (using
TIDY), hCard parsers, etc. so it's really only regexs. That's ugly in
one sense, but there's definite benefits for the publishers.
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