Chris Schmidt (crschmidt) wrote,
Chris Schmidt

FOAF and Associated Miscellany

Some nifty things that you can do with FOAF that I've been playing around with lately:

Semantic Web Applications is a list of semantic web playgrounds I'm currently working in. A quick rundown of some of the recent stuff I've been working on:

lorebot, an IRC based bot who collects information from IRC services on who is online in different channels. Once this information is collected, it displays a "who's online" information page, with links to further information provided by julie, a Redland bot who collects data from FOAF files. The lorebot page has pretty much all the documentation you'd need: if you're interested in seeing how it works, you can stop by, #swig for a demonstration. For a version of what kind of data this spits out, see the: #swig online_users page.

menow: a way to share the information on what you're doing, listening to, who you're being with, where you are, what you're reading, what you're watching, or anything else you might be doing now, in RDF. I've already put together some little hacks for getting this data out of different services: from AudioScrobbler output to reading your LiveJournal data and finding out what your posts say you were listening to. This one moves in spurts: we have a good schema, and some working code, but really, I keep forgetting to actually work on it.

Lastly, I've been discussing some things about how to get FOAF more involved in your daily life. A post from sethl has some information on how to add an X-FOAF header to your email client, sharing your FOAF with the world whenever you send an email. This could be useful if someone wrote some tools to process it: using procmail, or some other filtering system, to check out more information about the person who is posting email to you. Perhaps adding more data: a homepage, or an image URL pointer, and some plugins to display that info. I haven't gotten that far yet, but since lots of people are jumping on the X-FOAF bandwagon, I'll share with you what I did oh so many months ago to set up my email client, mutt:

echo "my_hdr X-FOAF:" >> ~/.muttrc

That's all I needed to do in order to add a custom header to my outgoing mail. Then, of course, I want to see that header. Typically, I ignore all headers except for those I specify, using:

ignore *
unignore to from cc date subject

To add X-FOAF to the displayed list, I just tack it to the end of the unignore list. Now that people are showing some interest, maybe I'll actually get off my rear and start writing some procmail rules to do something with these X-FOAF headers, although I'll be damned if I know what yet :)

Ooh, an idea: If an email has an X-FOAF header, pipe it to a script which will extract the metadata about the person: then send a "new email" message to an app like dashboard saying "new mail from this person with picture $foo!". That'd be nifty. Someone should write that. I wonder if Dashboard even works at the moment.

For the record, almost any code I've been working on recently for myself goes into Subversion. Repositories are available for julie, lorebot, and menow.

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