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SPARQL Graduates to W3C Recommendation 111

Posted by Zonk
from the mazel-tov dept.
KjetilK writes "The W3C just gave SPARQL the stamp of approval. SPARQL is a query language for the Semantic Web, and differs from other query languages in that is usable across different data sources. There are already 14 implementations of the spec available. Most of them are free software. There are also billions of relations out there that are query-able, thanks to the Linking Open Data project. The structured data of Wikipedia is now query-able at DBpedia. Also, have a look at Ivan Herman's presentations on this topic."
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SPARQL Graduates to W3C Recommendation

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  • Query (Score:5, Funny)

    by minginqunt (225413) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @04:07PM (#22070772) Homepage Journal
    A query language for the semantic web...

    A what for the what now?

    I'd always assumed the semantic web was some meaningless and faded buzzword designed to keep the W3C away from useful stuff. Is it back again with a vengeance?

    THE SEMANTIC WEB II: THIS TIME IT'S FOLKSONOMY

    Eek.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I spent a minute trying to find out what this was all about, and came upon this from Tim Berners-Lee:

      The Semantic Web isn't just about putting data on the web. It is about making links, so that a person or machine can explore the web of data. With linked data, when you have some of it, you can find other, related, data.

      Like the web of hypertext, the web of data is constructed with documents on the web. However, unlike the web of hypertext, where links are relationships anchors in hypertext documents

      • Re:Query (Score:5, Insightful)

        by minginqunt (225413) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @04:18PM (#22070906) Homepage Journal
        So, uh, yeah. I'm just as stumped as you are.

        Maybe I'm just your regular Homer, but reading that, I only make it as far as the second paragraph before my mind has already wandered off to a magical land of (Beer/Chocolate/Boobies)*.

        *delete as appropriate
      • It is really simple (Score:5, Informative)

        by KjetilK (186133) <kjetil@NoSPam.kjernsmo.net> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @04:31PM (#22071014) Homepage Journal
        Oh, it is actually really simple. See, first thing is that you link two documents. That's good old HTML. Then, you realise that you would want to link anything. Like persons. So, you give those persons a URI. You can't retrieve a person over the Internet, that's why it is a URI, not a URL, but you can get a description of the person. And then you realise that you want to say something about the nature of the relationship. So you put in a third URI that says something about the relationship. For example that the person knows that other person, or is his son, or something.

        so

        <http://www.kjetil.kjernsmo.net/foaf#me> <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/knows> <http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/card#i>

        simply says that I know timbl. I hope you're less stumped than you used to be.

        If you grok this, you've grokked 90% of RDF.
        • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @04:40PM (#22071108) Homepage Journal
          Let me (perhaps over-) simplify this for you.
          Stupid Question Language (SQL) does great for two dimensional sets of data.
          Special Peoples' Advanced Retarded Question language (SPARQL) is meant for return results from tree-shaped lumps of textual data, and lets you use regular expressions to figure out where you are in the tree and match nodes and attributes and stuff.
          I think smart money is going to continue to arrange data in sets, and in five years, your SQL knowledge will still be serving you in quite good stead.
          • by KjetilK (186133)
            Yup, that's a gross oversimplification. SQL is not very well suited for the kind of stuff we're talking about. It is very constrained, and doesn't help you in large data integration problems. There are a lot of money in huge data integration problems. And that's where most of the money up to now has been, big industry merges, high-level execs realising their SQL doesn't cut it. And that's why Oracle is on board. But SPARQL is most interesting when people are exposing data on the open web, and we're starting
            • by SQLGuru (980662)
              It's amazing how the generally agreed upon display format is tabular / grid for pretty much any large collection of data. The other agreed upon format is a tree view, but that is for a narrow view of data.

              It's easy to understand, it works well with the existing tools, and it fits our two dimensional screens. If you can't figure out how to get what you want out of a dataset with SQL, maybe you need to consider getting people with a specialized skillset. You don't get a Web developer to code in C. You don
              • If you can't figure out how to get what you want out of a dataset with SQL, maybe you need to consider getting people with a specialized skillset
                SQL has very limited expressiveness. As an example, you can't write a transitive closure of a relation in SQL. As a specific example example, if you have a table describing the parent relation, you can't write an SQL statement that will give you anyone who is the ancestor of someone else.
                • Nonsense.

                  Look up 'Nested-set model'.
                  • Okay, I've looked up nested set model. SQL still doesn't allow you to represent a transitive closure. You can munge your data so that it contains a mapping which allows a transitive closure to be modelled as a range, but that's horrendously ugly and in no way invalidates my point about the expressiveness of the language.
          • by psbrogna (611644)
            I guess I'm stupid then 'cause I'd put 1/2 my little pile of $ on trees. NXD's disencumber the database developer from having to writet complex mapping code to put hierarchical data in a relational store. In my little corner of the IT wood, I'd say 50% of my data is relational and 50% is hierarchical. Experiences may very but if you have any amount of hierarchical data it sure is nice to not have to worry about that mapping layer. I've done the materialized path, nested intervals, etc. it's all a step in th
            • Actually, it sounds like you're using the appropriate tool for the job.
              This is, you understand, not as common as it should be.
              What fascinates me is the people who tout the tree view as the be-all-end-all, but then don't say much when the data turn out to be a full-on graph. Whoops!
        • by _xeno_ (155264) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @05:51PM (#22072012) Homepage Journal

          Good lord, you actually have content there. Sweet Zombie Jesus, it's like if MySpace was irradiated with XML-Rays and mutated into a complete XML-based social network specification [xmlns.com], which requires everyone to write their own specifications and hand-edit XML files.

          That's just ... scary.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by KjetilK (186133)
            Hehe, well, yeah, FOAF's been around for ages, it predates pretty much the whole social networking craze. But the XML thing is kinda arbitrary, it is just one of several ways to write RDF. I don't really write RDF as XML by hand anymore, except for that single file. I might use RDF/XML if it is generated, if I hand-write, I use Turtle [w3.org].

            Anyway, FOAF + SIOC [sioc-project.org] + Policy Aware Web [policyawareweb.org] comprises pretty good solutions to the data portability and privacy considerations people have been screaming about lately.

      • by maxume (22995)
        That's the grand hand wavy vision. The essence of is that the more structure you add to data, the more structure there is to examine, and that common structures make that examination easier to do.
    • Every time there is a story about the Semantic Web here, people trot out the old "It's utopian vaporware" nonsense. The technologies that stand behind the term "Semantic Web" have existed for nearly a decade now and have produced much fruit. Just see Visualizing the Semantic Web [amazon.com] by Geroimenko & Chen (Springer-Verlag, 2nd ed. 2005) which has plenty of real-world examples of using these technologies to get real work done.

      Sure, the average joe isn't producing semantically meaningful markup when he uses

      • by minginqunt (225413) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @04:22PM (#22070938) Homepage Journal
        Sure, the average joe isn't producing semantically meaningful markup when he uses his whizbang Web 2.0 sites, but then again what the average joe produces isn't worth all that much anyway. Even if the Semantic Web doesn't expand to include all Internet activity, it has and continues to do much good.

        Cutting a swathe through your charmingly misplaced snobbery for a second, the ideal thing would be for you to provide a useful example or two of this human thing called SEMANTIWEB, and explain to silly old me how it has already changed my life but I'm just too gosh darned ordinary to have noticed.
        • Well, no, it hasn't changed your life just yet, but you could check out a few links in the story, there is a lot of potential there. I'm not going to run off on conspiracy theories, but it is pretty clear that many big players likes to keep things under locks, that's a hurdle that makes this take slightly longer.

          In my submission, I gave an example query, which you can run at DBPedia with their standard prefixes:

          SELECT ?name ?birth ?death ?person WHERE
          { ?person skos:subject ;
                              dbpedia2:birth ?birth ;
                              foaf:name ?name .
          OPTIONAL { ?person dbpedia2:death ?death }
          FILTER (?birth "1945-01-01"^^xsd:date) . }
          ORDER BY ?name"

          What this says is "give me the name, birth data and death date of a person that has the following properties:
          It is a computer scientist, who has a birth day and a name and optionally a death date, then filter based on the date and order it by name.

          There are now billions of such stuff you can query, and if you're open minded, it could indeed change your life.
          • by Yold (473518)
            The thing that bugs me a lot about this so-called semantic web is its reliance on humans to be accurate. Our minds do not operate on the same clear-cut logic as a machine, in other words we are able to make inferences from semantics.

            To use your current example, what if your person was classified as a "programmer", or "software engineer" rather than a computer scientist? I understand that there are varying meanings for that word, my computer-science teach used to call first year students "computer-scientist
            • by SQLGuru (980662)
              Theoretically, classification is not a singleton value but a list of values.

              My classifications could include "league bowler" "husband" "programmer" "database programmer" "texas resident" etc.

              Layne
              • by zlamma (962382)
                Yeah, but this would just be tagging :)
                In RDF, since you can relate any resource (i.e. concept) to any other, you can also relate "tags" (e.g. rdf:type properties) to each other. RDF features some simple inference-enabling vocabulary for creating taxonomies out of these, OWL offers even more and this is not the limit.
                Then you can easily discover similar "tags" by analysing the number of common instances and semantic distance between them both in the taxonomy created by RDF/OWL vocabulary as well as any othe
            • by Carnildo (712617)
              A great example of this is the results for the sample query "Mayors of US cities higher than 1000m" -- of the ten results, Roger Reed, mayor of Fredericktown, Ohio, is mayor of a city that is 1090 feet above sea level.
            • The thing that bugs me a lot about this so-called semantic web is its reliance on humans to be accurate. Our minds do not operate on the same clear-cut logic as a machine, in other words we are able to make inferences from semantics.

              Or, to generalize: the problem with the "semantic web" is that Good Old-Fashioned AI [wikipedia.org] failed, and somebody seems to have failed to get the memo. The "semantic web" really is just "expert systems [wikipedia.org], now with XML! (but don't call them that!)." Somebody failed to read or understand

            • The thing that bugs me a lot about this so-called semantic web is its reliance on humans to be accurate.

              This is oft-repeated argument against the Semantic Web, but it doesn't hold up to close examination. The Semantic Web doesn't rely on human accuracy any more than computer applications in general do, and the Semantic Web also provides a platform on which one can establish distributed trust systems, etc., to address problems associated with source unreliability.

              To use your current example, what if your per

          • by ultranova (717540)

            In my submission, I gave an example query, which you can run at DBPedia with their standard prefixes:

            Maybe my own search skills are rusty, but I couldn't find actual documents anywhere in the site, just various gibberish examples. In other words, is there actual documentation - especially a list of properties - anywhere ?

          • So what's the big improvement of your example over, say

            SELECT name, birth, death from person
            WHERE yada, yada, yada (or perhaps OUTER JOIN depending on the structure)
            AND birth = '1945-01-01'
            ORDER BY name

            I really can't see that the query syntax will change anyone's life. I'm sure that data sets that are non-relational and 2D will be a great thing and that the query language for it won't.
            • by KjetilK (186133)
              Yup, this really doesn't change so much. What is the true utility about the semantic web isn't syntax, it is the fact that you can query across very diverse data sources. If you have a look at the open linking data project page, that I linked in the story, you'll see a figure showing the data sources you can currently use, they are in the process of putting up endpoints for them, takes a while to do. It is like you'll have all that data in one large database, where you would give everyone a username and pas
          • The hurdle I have always seen with these kind of meta-data collections is that it is a huge amount of for the large part manual effort to convert the plentiful textual data into "semantic" meta data. For example its easy for a person to know that something like "DOB: 1/1/01", "foo was born on Jan, 1, 1901", "foo born son of bar in the late 16th century" and a picture of a family tree with dates on it all represent the same semantic data but how can we extract that with little effort.

            As far as I can tell
    • Here's IMO the sign that the W3C needs a swift kick in the pills. A query language for the semantic web?

      The W3C is past its usefulness and needs a shakedown IMO.
      • by eh2o (471262)
        Unfortunately, many examples of what people call "Web 2.0" consists of half-assed implementations (more like "Web 1.5") created by programmers who never bothered to understand RDF. Tagging is a great example of this. Tagging is RDF with a missing relation operator, in other words--meaningless junk.

        RDF databases really shine when you start pulling XML from multiple data sources. All the feeds can then be dumped into a single generic three-column table, slap a SPARQL implementation on top of that, and you
      • by mmcuh (1088773)

        SPARQL is a query language for RDF data. Or more specifically, a pattern matching system for graphs with named nodes and edges. Yes, lots of people who talk about it use so many buzzwords that they sound like marketing dweebs on a caffeine overdose, but when you scrape off all the buzzwords and misdirected enthusiasm, what's left is actually somewhat useful.

        Though you might argue that they could just as well use a single database table and normal SQL.

  • Oblig. (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Mr Sparquru! You have very lucky dishes!
  • by grassy_knoll (412409) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @04:14PM (#22070852) Homepage
    "Sometimes, I doubt your commitment to SPARQL Motion! "

    With apologies to Donnie Darko [imdb.com] ...
    • by pragma_x (644215)
      Thanks for the chuckle.

      Now, whenever my co-workers ask me why I'm reading about this I'll just tell them that "Frank made me do it."
  • by curmudgeon99 (1040054) <curmudgeon99@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @04:15PM (#22070866)
    Though the Semantic web is not important for the casual user--I think Google is pretty good now--but for a machine trying to converse with a human being, the semantic web is a great advance. I myself have an open source project on Googlecode that had a place holder for just this item. Thank god it's coming along.
    • by KjetilK (186133)
      Glad you're working on it. But I can't agree Google is doing so good. One of my customers is a bunch of librarians, and they see a lot of people seeking advice on how to find information. The information is out there, but it is so hard getting the keywords right that people can't actually do it. So, they turn to skilled information gatherers, i.e. librarians, who, supported by people with extensive domain knowledge, can point them the right way. This has shown us that pure text search is overrated, people d
      • by Ultra64 (318705)
        I usually just type my question into google "How do I wire the radio in a Toyota Corolla?"
        I get pretty good results that way, because someone has probably already asked that question on some forum and been answered.
        • by Khalid (31037)
          Amen to that ! this is exactly how I do it now, directing my search towards discussion forums. Before that I used to use the defunct Dejanews sigh ! and then for a short time Google Groups, and got the best technical answers ever ! before Spam, people desaffection from Usenet and Google has rendered totally useless, re-sigh ! what a loss !
      • You make a great point. I get great results with Google but I do know others who can't seem to find a damned thing.
        • I blame search engine optimization. More and more, I get links to marketing drivel while trying to find real, useful information.
    • by ddoctor (977173)
      The Semantic web IS important to the casual user. Social networking, blogs, RSS etc are about the most developed semantic web systems in practise.
  • Yet another web markup thingy i have to learn..

    Web development surely is a bitch.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Shados (741919)
      Dont worrie about it. In general, if the W3C made something, it, by definition, will suck, even if its fully implemented by a bunch of vendors. So what you do is wait for the development tools that abstract it, and use that instead.

      W3C: Making over-engineered pieces of trash in an attempt to handle every single darn scenario in existance (instead of using the right tools for the right job) since 19...well, since ever.
      • by jlowery (47102)
        >Dont worrie about it. In general, if the W3C made something, it, by definition, will suck, even if its fully implemented by a bunch of vendors

        Which means all these open standards are nothing more than data interchange formats for third-party commercial tools. In order to use the standard, you have to buy a tool. Once again, open != free.
  • I read the FAC, and once again we are reminded that graph theory, so fundamental to computer science, is not about making charts. But man, its a terrible word, because, one does want to think about graph as in graphic, when its really about the data. I think instead of graphs, we should call them something different, like:

    schmoo
    zenny
    budka
    dango
    chumpy

    or something. anything but graph.
    • Alas, "dango [youtube.com]" is already taken. Calling them "meshes" or "networks" seems reasonable to me, though I suppose current usage is already well established.
  • SPARQL (Score:5, Funny)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @05:06PM (#22071424) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only person who looked at that name 'SPARQL' and went 'Is that Sun's new name for MySQL [slashdot.org]?'

    • Actually, no. That was my first thought too +__+

      And until now I was also in the "huh, I thought 'semantic web' was little more than a buzzword a some markup no one pays attention too. Didn't think it were possible to make any use of" camp.
    • by Garridan (597129)
      No, my first thought was, no male developers are going to use a tech pronouced "sparkle", since it sounds so fruity. And no female developers are going to use it either, for fear that the boys wouldn't take them seriously. Honestly, WTF is up with the name -- it's so... OMG, Ponies!
  • by HappyEngineer (888000) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @05:20PM (#22071592) Homepage
    I suppose it's cool to emphasize the semantic web use of SPARQL. But, at its core SPARQL is a query language for RDF data stores. It takes some learning, but using SPARQL against an RDF data store feels much cleaner than using SQL against a relational database. It's slower though. Much slower. That's why it works best for small data sets.

    My company stores the schema for our objects in RDF and use SPARQL to query against that schema. The actual data is saved to a relational database (our experiments with an all-RDF system concluded that it's just too slow for large data sets).

    The RDF data stores can exist in arbitrary places (they don't need to be local), but I wonder how slow that would be to query.

    Nevertheless, I encourage people to at least learn about this stuff. It's good for the same reason that learning about Ruby and Python is a good thing even if you only ever program in Java or C++. RDF and SPARQL make you start thinking about inferences and ways of storing data which allow you to derive more information from your information. When I first learned about RDF I had the same type of aha moments that I had when I first learned a dynamic language (FWIW, it was TADS3) after years of using static languages.
    • by radtea (464814)
      That's why it works best for small data sets

      It'll work great for the Semantic Web, then, which is only supposed to organize all the data in the world...

      Personally, I don't see why they don't just stick trees in relational databases. I was doing this in 1996 or thereabouts, and with the right schema it is fast and efficient.
      • by KjetilK (186133)

        Personally, I don't see why they don't just stick trees in relational databases.

        Mainly because trees are very bad at describing many real world things. If you want trees, use XML and XQuery, but it won't get you very far, IMHO.

        RDF is a graph model, much more powerful, and something that can truly scale.

        • by Ankh (19084)
          You're aware, I hope, that you can represent RDF (or any other graph model) in XML, making utter nonsense of your claim?

          I do agree that trees don't work well in relational databases though :-)

          • You're aware, I hope, that you can represent RDF (or any other graph model) in XML, making utter nonsense of your claim?


            You can represent XML in an a pure RDBMS, too. But you wouldn't want to, and it wouldn't be great for tree queries, and an XML-centric query tool won't be a good way to do graph queries on RDF represented in XML. And you probably don't want to think about graph queries on an RDBMS representation of an XML representation of RDF.

            • by Ankh (19084)
              Actually most of the major relational databases now have efficient (non-relational) representations for XML and have implemented XQuery natively (on the underlying storage model not just via SQL). And it's perfectly fine for performance on graph queries. There are also XML-native databases with excellent performance.

              You're right that a "traditional" shredding approach to putting SGML or XML into a relational database was a performance nightmare. Times have changed.

              Having said all that, claiming that grap
    • To say that data stored in RDF is "slower" blanketly is a bit too broad. Many implementations try to jam RDF data into a relational database, and that is indeed quite slow. There are other implementations (See AllegroGraph, OWL-IM) that are plenty speedy for your RDF needs.
    • by Zebra_X (13249)
      Code is slow, ideas are not.

      It is possible to make it fast - but this will not happen overnight.
    • by Pedrito (94783)
      Nevertheless, I encourage people to at least learn about this stuff. It's good for the same reason that learning about Ruby and Python is a good thing even if you only ever program in Java or C++.

      And why, exactly is that? So that I can stuff yet one more computer language that I'm never going to use into a head that's already so full of trivial, useless information that something has to fall out (usually something occasionally useful, like French or a couple of notes in the pentatonic minor scale) for me t
  • SUNSHINE!
  • Free mod points to anyone who can give me the "So What" summary. The summary is useless and the linked articles failed to inform. Usually this just mans a circle jerk, but who know, there might be something useful or important in there.
  • I think the semantic web would be incredible, once it is widely implemented by content providers - a great example is dbpedia's query
    "Soccer player with tricot number 11 from club with stadium with >40000 seats born in a country with more than 10M inhabitants [aksw.org]"
    but, as far as i can see, it's just too tedious to implement. There should be something in between full-fledged semantics, and stuff like RSS which expose information in a rather un-semantic way.
    I just ran in to a problem trying to unify various
    • by CaptSolo (899152)

      Schweini: agreed re. the need for awareness-campaign.

      And often an average web citizen may ask: "so what's in there for me?". If you can play with SPARQL queries yourself, on some data that are of interest to you, that would be another thing entirely.

      As for getting interesting data to work on, you can use some of SIOC export plugins [w3.org] for WordPress and other blog/forum engines. Then collect data (that will require some crawling of data pages) and run queries over your own content. This data would be richer

  • Guess we'll finally find out now. The Semantic Web remains Tim Berners-Lee's vanity project: well-intended but poorly thought out and unfortunately unwanted.
  • Three tidbits up front: I am very very good at most flavors of SQL, good with XML, but only fair on reading W3C standards documents. Which means that I stand a fair-to-middling chance of understanding what in the heck they are trying to say with "SPARQL"

    And after reading the standard, most of the articles, and looking at a couple of implementations, not only have I hit arbitrary but fairly high limits on what I will put up with before my eyes glaze over, I've also hit the 'don't give a s--- limitation as w

    • Yeah, performance issues has been a big problem, and it has driven many early adopters away from it. I've had some really bad performance problems myself. However, academics generally agree that it is because most of the implementation and tuning experience people have are with relational databases, the graph model of RDF are not among the hard problems to solve, everything is pretty much known, it is just getting the theory into running code, and performance will be as good as with relational databases.

      O

  • SPARQL is both a recursive acronym and contains other acronyms! SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language.

    I vote this worst acronym ever!
    • by J1 (98359)
      Actually it is not recursive. The S stands for Simple.

      Which, I guess, is kinda hard to believe if you're not into this stuff.
      • Not according to my Semantic Web professor and the W3C Recommendation [w3.org]:

        The SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language (SPARQL) is a query language and protocol for RDF
        • by J1 (98359)
          Blimey. They changed it when I wasn't looking.

          I swear, it used to stand for Simple. Thanks for the heads-up.
  • I see OpenLink Software credited at DBpedia as a shadowy participant from the corporate sector.

    http://www.openlinksw.com/index.htm [openlinksw.com]

    The guy mentioned turns out to be the founder and CEO, and he keeps a personal blog space with a lot of stuff about SPARQL, but man, protect your eyeballs from the vision gouging link clutter. Has all the visual appeal of a rental car insurance application form.

    http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen/ [openlinksw.com]

    Even includes a link to the Zitgist data viewer. Amazingly, that domain was st
    • by SQLGuru (980662)
      Man, that site is almost as bad as those stupid adver-tags that people have.....if it had the floating windows to go with it, it would be as bad.

      Layne
    • by KjetilK (186133)
      There's not much shadowy about Kingsley. He is a very nice guy who does a lot of good things. He is very visible and very active in the community, also on IRC.
      • by epine (68316)
        I only used the word "shadowy" because it took some digging from the DBpedia page where his company is mentioned to discover who he was, and I hadn't found a "who we are" page at DBpedia, and I still don't know exactly what Kingsley's company brings/brought to the table over at DBpedia, aside from being generally all over the SPARQL technology. Actually, he looks like a pretty energetic and enthusiastic guy, once you get past those eye-jabbing cyclopropane moieties on his blog.
  • Looks like there's a SPARQL grammar [aduna-software.org] from which JavaCC can generate a parser (and, since it's a JJTree grammar, an abstract syntax tree). Nice to have that piece of work available and BSD licensed....
  • After working in Semantic Web technologies for the last few years, and trying to integrate them into the current web, I can verify there's a lot of reasons people valid reasons people are skeptical.

    1. True, RDF stores tend to be slow. Triple/RDF stores are sometimes built on top of SQL databases, and (for example) the database has to do a million inner joins per query. Column stores, other native graph stores offer some hope to this problem.
    2. True, SPARQL isn't that hard to learn, and it's simpler than exp
  • I have experimented with RDF for many years (best toolkit for experimenting, I think, is the Swi-prolog semantic web library: http://www.swi-prolog.org/packages/semweb.html [swi-prolog.org]).

    I much prefer the higher level OWL representation with descriptive logic, but the problem is that support for lower level RDF is much better. There are commercial and open source OWL+descriptive logic reasoner packages, but there is much better coverage for RDF tools. In any case, with the exception of the expensive (commercial) Lisp ba
  • Wonderful! (Score:2, Insightful)

    But, you know someone out there is thinking to themselves: "How can I use this new technology to spam people."

    Just like everything else, somehow someone is going to try to shove their advertising down it.
  • Too bad it's not XML. I really like to generate/modify my XSLT scripts using XSLT.
    • by KjetilK (186133)
      Well, the reason it is not XML is that XML is a tree model, which is usually a poor representation of the real world. RDF is a graph model. That said, you can use XSLT on RDF/XML, which is one serialisation of RDF. We're doing it, but it is something of a PITA. I think XSLT is easy enough to adapt, what I think we will be looking into for the future is to work on an XPath replacement to navigate a subtree of the graph called a concise bounded description. If we get somewhere with that, it may be a candidate
      • by gedhrel (241953)
        Have you seen the work Damian Steer put together: a tree provider for xpath that uses RDF graphs? This is a few years old now but permitted xslt, xquery, etc, against RDF sources.
  • Perhaps I'm being naive, but can't you use xquery for this? I was thinking the other yesterday after the Sun/mySQL annoucement that if I had to pick something today likely to follow the same trajectory as Monty's little project that it would be eXist-db, or some other NXD.
    • by Ankh (19084)
      I see no reason why SPARQL could not be implemented in XQuery, either directly or using syntax translation.

      You would need to choose an underlying data representation (in XML or at least the XDM) that could be optimised by the database technology you were using. Probably just a "node" element and a "relation" element would do it.

      The point of using SPARQL (as I see it) is so that RDF people can think in terms closer to their problems (wanting to explore inferencing and logic) and so that they don't have to u

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