[oslc-core] Questions about the creator property

Nick Edgar Nick_Edgar at ca.ibm.com
Wed May 5 12:32:46 EDT 2010

Hi all,

While working on the OSLC Automation provider prototype implementation for 
RTC Build, some questions have come up over the exact representation to 
use for the dc:creator property.

The core spec says that the dc:creator is a foaf:Person, but later in the 
Common Resource Definitions section it says "The Person resource can be 
used as the value for a dc:creator  or dc:contributor property. ", which 
is a bit ambiguous.
Is it valid to use a simple string value instead of a foaf:Person? 

Having a foaf:Person value for a dc:creator property seems at odds with 
the FOAF spec, where they suggest keeping dc:creator as the simple string 
and using foaf:maker for the Person details, and that dc:creator is the 
same as the maker's foaf:name.
See http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/#term_nick
There are some good arguments for that approach in the linked discussion: 

The original problem that led to me reading up on this was whether and how 
to include the Jazz user id (in addition to the real name).  I originally 
thought of just tacking on a dc:identifier property inside the 
foaf:Person, but foaf:nick is probably more appropriate, since the user id 
isn't a unique identifier for the actual person, and the scope of the user 
id isn't given.  Could maybe use foaf:OnlineAccount instead, or in 
addition to foaf:nick, but it's marked as 'unstable'; it would also be 
pretty verbose.

Are there more specific recommendations for which of the foaf properties 
should be given? All the ones mentioned by the core spec (foaf:name, 
foaf:givenName and foaf:familyName) are listed as optional.  Is it OK to 
just give foaf:name, or if one is given should they all be?

Nick Edgar
RTC Build component lead
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