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  • Statements for user profile standard development (for discussion)

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  • In most cases, hierarchical constructs of user properties can be approximated by a flat set of properties with URIs as keys.
  • See as an example the WURFL properties database for mobile devices.  This simple collection of key-value pairs for thousands of mobile devices is a de-facto standard in industry today for the user interface adaptation based on mobile device characteristics. WURFL is regularly updated by a community.
  • Many standards in this area have a flat structure, and some use URIs as keys (e.g. Dublin Core, ETSI ES 202 746).  This is a pragmatic approach, and allows for core properties and extension properties based on domain names. Also, using URIs as keys allows for formal definition of preference items (and constraints) in RDF.  Note that doesn't mean that the preference values need to be coded in RDF.
  • The core items will have a commonly defined domain name (namespace) as part of their URI.  Third parties such as user groups and vendors can define their own extension items by using a different domain (namespace).



I know some people like the ideas to appear on this list but please can we make sure that all ideas end up on the wiki. Otherwise I think we will have overlapping conversations and end up with a mess!

I am lucky enough to be spending a few days with Eric Miller. I think there are major advances in how the web works and what is coming available. My discussions with him only increase my feeling that we should be organising the needs and preferences as they are discovered - that is, they should be defined and we should have a clear 'mapping' of how they relate one to another.

Andy (in email) has talked about relationships between needs etc. This is an important aspect of a need so that I can have a broad wish and you can have a very detailed and specific version of that. It is also very important so that if your system does not know about the detailed need you have, at least it will know that it is a qualified version of one of the things your system does know about.

Finally, it lets us be assured that we can always cater for a new or more precise version of a need - ie we can have an extensible set.

My understanding of the pairs that Gottfried is talking about then allows us to include the relationships in the definitions.

So while I am not sure what Andy is advocating, I ask yet again if we can please learn about the needs and preferences by talking to as many people as possible who can inform us about what they are, and then can we start to organise them, please.

In general, the user properties stored in a user profile should be based on requirements rather than functional descriptions of the user.  However, functional descriptions may help to efficiently derive requirements-based properties for the initialization or fine-tuning of user profiles.