a consortium of commercial systems for interchangeable FOAF (Friend Of A Friend)

9/27/04 now supports FOAFNet

Import and export. For more information click here. Supports FOAFNet

What does a FOAFnet file look like and how is it different from 'normal' FOAF?

FOAF Galway report

Julian Bond showed working import mechanism implementing the FOAFnet spec - at the recent FOAF Galway workshop. She found more information at answers how.

Congrats to Julian!

  • we're a bunch of commercial developers who need to have a frozen spec to develop with
  • we love FOAF, so we're defining a first step - something we can all agree to - subset of FOAF
so we can utilize FOAF to interchange entire social network profiles NOW
while the research and development of FOAF continues.
so the FOAFnet is:
a basic frozen spec
some user interface guidelines
on-going work to move forward as a consortium
committment to stay in sync with the larger FOAF effort

There are sample files linked on the Basic Specs Page. See also these live files.

What is FOAFnet compatibility?

  • FOAFnet is a subset spec of the FOAF spec - guaranteeing interop between on-line systems (blogging tools, on-line email, social networks, other membership based webapps and services)
  • this interop is currently for the purpose of import/export of FOAF files - so that one can bring in not only his/her own profile data, but also their entire social network (list of friends)
  • the FOAFnet consists of:
- a basic subset spec of FOAF voabulary
- an API (with example code in Java and php - so far)
- a set of user interface guidelines (for both export and import)
- an industry consortium to help market, recruit and maintain compatibility as we increase the feature set


  • We are Tribe, Ecademy, Blogware, AlwaysOn Network, InCircle, SixApart (Typepad, Moveable Type), PeopleAggregator, Midentity, Technorati, CivicSpace/Drupal, 1UP, LiveJournal, Zopto, Bryght. Contact Marc to get your name onto this list.
  • We are waiting on official word from LinkedIn, Orkut, WordPress, Blogger, Plink and Spoke

Source Code

  • org.foafnet.Person java middleware available for download
  • Source available here in Java and PHP Source Code


Basic Specs - minimum FOAF vocabulary
Security Privacy Authentication
Use Cases
Initial Implementations
Marketing Ideas
XML Style Guide - by Julian Bond

Issues pending

  • Sxip Networks has proven to be a god send. Their system will help us provide:
- control over attributes
- single sign on (SSO) so that a target system can access a source system's data - cleanly and end-users don't get hassled - ever
- reputation system and trust metrics now easily possible
- DNS like registry of people

  • require checkboxes on import - to enable the end-user to ONLY auto-register checked names (default checkbox off)