I’ve been working with FOAF a bit recently which has entailed a fair amount of reading through the FOAF namespace document. Doing a “View Source” on that page is also useful as you can then examine the embedded RDF Schema that describes the FOAF vocabulary; there’s a lot more in the schema than is visible in the HTML.
But this soon got frustrating so I gave some thought to a better approach.

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Synthetic RSS Feeds and FOAF

Sean McGrath was recently looking for a tool that would “coalesce various standalone feeds into, aggregated feeds so that my client side aggregator sees it as a single feed” which seems like a perfectly reasonable request. And it’s one of many useful features that server-side aggregators could be doing. Others include normalising feeds so they have consistent levels of detail (e.g. with/without content), data cleansing (e.g. removing embedded markup), etc. There’s an essay I keep meaning to write here. It relates to separating out the data processing and presentation elements of RSS applications — everyone can benefit if serverside aggregators can pick up some of the heavy lifting in data processing and caching.
Anyway, whilst looking over the chumpologica just now, it occured to me that a nice feature in a tool like the one Sean is seeking would be to read a FOAF description and build an aggregated “My Friends” feed automatically. It’s only a matter of walking through the seeAlso’d FOAF files and picking out the foaf:weblog properties associated with each friend.
Allowing the level of harvesting to be configurable (e.g. include a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend’s weblog) would give an instant “my community” feed.
There are probably other variants of this, especially as the weblog property isn’t limited to people — it can be applied to Projects also.

Schematron Progress

Rick Jelliffe has announced a short document describing the differences between Schematron 1.5, 1.6, and ISO Schematron. The latter being the version that will become part of the ISO DSDL standard.
What with Jing now supporting Schematron, and the publication of James Clark’s Namespace Routing Language document, the DSDL effort seems to be moving forward very nicely.
I’ve always had high expectations for that effort: you only have to look at the people involved to see why. Must devote some time for a closer look soon.
Interestingly, I also note that the latest Oracle XDK supports XML Pipelines. I wonder whether they’re just aiming for completeness or if there have been people clamouring for support?

Radio Monkey


  1. I’ve just bought the new Radiohead album, “Hail to the Thief”
  2. I’ve also just bought Bonobo’s new album, “Dial M for Monkey”
  3. A Bonobo is also a type of monkey
  4. It’s Friday
  5. It’s Friday, and there are still no pictures of be-hatted animals on the Daily Chump

Therefore, here’s a picture of a novelty radio in the shape of a monkey with a hat on its head:
a picture of a novelty radio of a monkey wearing a hat
Can you see what I did there? 🙂
Did I mention I’m on holiday for next week. Going to St. Ives to gorge on pasties.

Structured Procrastination

Just saw this article on “Structured Procrastination” courtesy of Edd on the Daily Chump.
Fits my working style also. This week I’ve refactored the FOAF-a-Matic to allow me to internationalise it very easily, have been hacking on Mark 2 to get ready for another beta, and have been exploring how jpegrdf works with a view to building a tool around it. All while I should actually be concentrating on planning and testing the release of an application.