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    I remember this. It never had a chance. Very few people were technically inclined enough to participate.

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      Not only that. I remember looking at it and throwing the towel because the effort didn’t seem worth the result. It was even widely ignored by bloggers, that should tell you enough. There was no traction, there were no good libraries for it - and this was even before anyone had ever heard of Facebook or Twitter.

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        I remember it too, and agree.

        If someone wonders why JSON won, take a look at the RDF spec.

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          Now we have JSON-LD, which is basically an invasive RDF graft onto JSON…

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            And — like with RSS before it — lots of applications don’t follow the JSON-LD spec as written, either. See Litepub, for example.

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            RDF does something complicated, which is what the specs describe. That it happens to use XML is arbitrary; it’s just a data format.

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              Intellectually I’m aware of this, but I’ve never seen RDF expressed in anything other than XML - I guess it was because of the Semantic Web connection.

              Out of curiosity, is there any other plain-text serialisations of RDF? (Apart from JSON-LD, mentioned in this thread)

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                Turtle? - https://www.w3.org/TR/turtle/

                I’ve seen it in use at work (BBC Sport website).

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                  Yep, Turtle. Or N3. Apparently there’s also N-Triples and N-Quads, though I don’t remember those being available when FOAF was a going concern.

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          I think the biggest issue is that FOAF only makes sense on a web where everyone has a personal website. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it might have been easy to assume the web would eventually look like this, […] But the reality is that regular people don’t want to have to learn how to host a website.

          What this tells me is that we (the people who wanted a free and open web to win) failed. We failed to understand what it was like for a nontechnical user to try to make a web presence of their own, and brushed aside the difficulties. We could have taken usability seriously (and there were a few notable exceptions that did) but I hope this time around we can learn from the past.

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            Comparing FOAF to the powerhouse that is Facebook is a bit hypocritical imho.

            Facebook brings much more to the table apart from the network-related capabilities such as:

            • Near-zero realtime networking through high-bandwidth data availability such as video and chat.
            • Easy of use interface with a plethora of details regarding best-UX patterns that allow my grandma to use it.
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              • there was no video when FB started to climb to the throne (I’d say this is 2008-2012, but it depends on your country)
              • messenger also came quite a bit later imho
              • you mean best UX patterns like not remembering that you want a timeline strictly ordered by time? Or did they revert that?