[whatwg] Fuzzbot (Firefox RDFa semantics processor)

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sun Jan 11 22:09:51 PST 2009

On Sun, 11 Jan 2009, Martin Atkins wrote:
> One problem this can solve is that an agent can, given a URL that 
> represents a person, extract some basic profile information such as the 
> person's name along with references to other people that person knows. 
> This can further be applied to allow a user who provides his own URL 
> (for example, by signing in via OpenID) to bootstrap his account from 
> existing published data rather than having to re-enter it.
> So, to distill that into a list of requirements:
> - Allow software agents to extract profile information for a person as often
> exposed on social networking sites from a page that "represents" that person.
> - Allow software agents to determine who a person lists as their friends 
> given a page that "represents" that person.
> - Allow the above to be encoded without duplicating the data in both 
> machine-readable and human-readable forms.
> Is this the sort of thing you're looking for, Ian?

Yes, the above is perfect. (I cut out the bits that weren't really "the 
problem" from the quote above -- the above is what I'm looking for.)

The most critical part is "allow a user who provides his own URL to 
bootstrap his account from existing published data rather than having to 
re-enter it". The one thing I would add would be a scenario that one would 
like to be able to play out, so that we can see if our solution would 
enable that scenario.

For example:

   "I have an account on social networking site A. I go to a new social 
   networking site B. I want to be able to automatically add all my 
   friends from site A to site B."

There are presumably other requirements, e.g. "site B must not ask the 
user for the user's credentials for site A" (since that would train people 
to be susceptible to phishing attacks). Also, "site A must not publish the 
data in a manner that allows unrelated users to obtain privacy-sensitive 
data about the user", for example we don't want to let other users 
determine relationships that the user has intentionally kept secret [1].

It's important that we have these scenarios so that we can check if the 
solutions we consider are actually able to solve these problems, these 
scenarios, within the constraints and requirements we have.

[1] http://w2spconf.com/2008/papers/s3p2.pdf

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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