The authors welcome comments on this document, preferably via the public FOAF developers list [email protected]; public archives are available.
A historical backlog of known technical issues is acknowledged, and available for discussion in the FOAF wiki.
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FOAF has been evolving gradually since its creation in mid-2000.
A FOAF document, unlike a traditional Web page, can be combined with other FOAF documents to create a unified database of information.
FOAF is a Linked Data system, in that it based around the idea of linking together a Web of decentralised descriptions. If people publish information in the FOAF document format, machines will be able to make use of that information.
To achieve this we use the "FOAF vocabulary" to provide a collection of basic terms that can be used in these Web pages.
At the heart of the FOAF project is a set of definitions designed to serve as a dictionary of terms that can be used to express claims about the world.
Computer programs will be able to scutter around a Web of documents designed for machines rather than humans, storing the information they find, keeping a list of "see also" pointers to other documents, checking digital signatures (for the security minded) and building Web pages and question-answering services based on the harvested documents. FOAF files are just text documents (well, Unicode documents).This revision of the specification consists mostly of editorial improvments.In addition the properties maker and made, as well as the clases Agent and Organization are now marked as "stable", in acknowledgement of their unproblematic usage in the Semantic Web community, and as an indicator that only minor changes to their document are anticipated for the future.This document is created by combining the RDFS/OWL machine-readable FOAF ontology with a set of per-term documents.Future versions may incorporate multilingual translations of the term definitions.