To achieve this, FOAF takes a liberal approach to data exchange.
It does not require you to say anything at all about yourself or others, nor does it place any limits on the things you can say or the variety of Semantic Web vocabularies you may use in doing so.
This is a pity, as in fact documents on the Web describe real objects and imaginary concepts, and give particular relationships between them. The title document to a house describes a house and also the ownership relation with a person.
Adding semantics to the Web involves two things: allowing documents which have information in machine-readable forms, and allowing links to be created with relationship values.
There is now a stable core of classes and properties that will not be changed, beyond modest adjustments to their documentation to track implementation feedback and emerging best practices.
New terms may be added at any time (as with a natural-language dictionary), and consequently this specification is an evolving work.
The FOAF specification is produced as part of the FOAF project, to provide authoritative documentation of the contents, status and purpose of the RDF/XML vocabulary and document formats known informally as 'FOAF'.
FOAF was designed to be used alongside other such dictionaries ("schemas" or "ontologies"), and to be usable with the wide variety of generic tools and services that have been created for the Semantic Web.
The HTML specification no longer embeds the RDF/XML markup; however an experimental subset of the RDF is included in this document using RDFa notation.
The authors welcome comments on this document, preferably via the public FOAF developers list [email protected]; public archives are available.
FOAF does not compete with socially-oriented Web sites; rather it provides an approach in which different sites can tell different parts of the larger story, and by which users can retain some control over their information in a non-proprietary format.
FOAF has been evolving gradually since its creation in mid-2000.Regardless of whether information is in people's heads, in physical or digital documents, or in the form of factual data, it can be linked.