The So(m)mer Address Book


The hyperdata Address Book project being developed here is meant to be the equivalent for foaf that BlogReaders are for RSS. It is a specialised Semantic Web browser that follows foaf documents around the web, building a distributed open social network. It is also a foaf editor, which you can use to publish your foaf files to an ftp/scp server.

With foaf you no longer need to worry about being kicked off your Social Network. You can own your web server/domain name or rent it from some trustworthy provider that allows you to publish anything you want. You could even put it on your home server linked to the internet. You can link to anyone wherever their server is and anyone can link to you. You can even publish any information you want. RDF is very flexible.

For a full explanation and demo of the Address Book see the full audio enhanced JavaOne 2008 presentation. For a list of blog posts on the subject see the addressbook tagged feed. And finally if you are new to the Semantic Web see this list of getting started with rdf resources.

Download the latest version (26 August 2008). Clicking that link should start Java Web Start. ( You need Java 6 for this to work ) If not please let me know what browser/os/java combination you were using.


Download, build and run the Address Book by typing the following commands (leave the password to the svn checkout blank). This currently requires Java 5 and 6.

    > svn checkout sommer --username guest
    > cd sommer/misc/AddressBook/
    > ant run
note: the ant run no longer works from the command line since adding Nasa World Wind. You will need to build using Netbeans 6.1 until I find out how to fix this JavaWebStart build problem... (I am investigating)

If you want to try the code out on different virtual machines then instead of ant run execute (note: no longer works for same reason as previous note above)

  > ant jar
  > java -jar dist/AddressBook.jar

Then you can just drag and drop the foaf file icon into the first column of the address book, and follow the distributed social network by pressing the space bar to get foaf files.


There are still a lot of missing features in this software. But you are welcome to help out in any way you can. This includes documentation, using it, feedback, blogging about it, helping out on the web site, code, etc. etc. I am very generous at giving people access to the repository, so just ask. Then add yourself to the list of participants:


There is a lot todo. Here are some ideas for the software side.

The web site could do with a lot of improoving. Some ideas on this level.

Software dependencies

Sibling projects

Here are just some projects working in the same space