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Discussion of the ontology

The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is interesting for making trade documents machine readable. Also, querying relations between trade documents and other data should be straight forward, with the help of tools based on SPARQL.

Various ideas:

  • With the help of web forms, it can be made simple for people to create both machine readable (RDF) and human readable data from the same input data. Human readable data is necessary, since e.g. RDF usually is hard to parse for by just looking at it.
  • Techniques for attaching machine readable data to documents:
    • Linking to the information: With this technique, the user stores the meta data in a file and makes that file available as an Internet resource, e.g. on his home page or on some free ad sponsored storage space. He and others may then refer to the resource using URLs. Because the file doesn't need to be very compact, a lot of information such as e.g. a human readable detailed task specification, may be put in it. This voids the need to put much information information into documents sent to fora.
    • Direct inclusion into Internet messages (e-mails, news group postings): Use application/rdf+xml mime type attachment according to RFC 3870. A problem, however, is that not all mailing lists permit inclusion of attachments. In this case, it would be nice to have some highly compressed data format that allows inclusion of machine readable meta data into the message body without making the internet message too large. An alternative would be usage of Notation 3, an RDF notation that is more human readable than XML RDF notation. The disadvantage of Notation 3, though, is that it's still quite space consuming.
    • Direct inclusiont into messsages in web fora: Have users include e.g. some highly compressed format that doesn't take much space. See also the remark on Internet messages.
  • For identification of documents (and only for that), assignment of a URN may be nice.
  • It would be nice to have a mapping to an RDF based description from tags according to the URN X-trade specifications. This would simplify managing data in common databases, i.e. portals can easily support several systems of trade tags, until one system becomes the de facto standard.
  • Optionally, integrate with FOAF, in order to establish relation to data such as name, age, and location of trade partners. It would be nice if FOAF would let the user specify prefered ways for financial transactions (e.g. bank transfer or Paypal). However, at the moment FOAF does not offer this possibility. Note that integration with FOAF should not be mandatory since that would contradict with one of the goals of the system: simplicity of use. Many people don't have personal web pages to host a FOAF file, and many don't want to bother with FOAF: They just want to create tags for trade.
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Last modification on 2006-Jul-10 at 17:23. Author: feklee