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July 25, 2008

SPARQL @ 6 months

I've been keeping an eye on the things people are saying about SPARQL and how SPARQL is being used ever since we published the W3C SPARQL Recommendations back in January. Of course, SPARQL has been around for much longer than half a year (as noted, for example, by Deepak Singh who "hadn’t even realized that [SPARQL] was in draft status"). Here's a summary of some of the more interesting or noteworthy ones. Please share any of your favorites in the comments!

Upon announcing SPARQL

Positive Impressions

Negative Impressions

  • Unhappy With SPARQL - unsatisfied with the verbose syntax, the lack of arbitrary selectable expressions, and the ASK query form
  • Have you heard of SPARQL? - worries that SPARQL queries are so targeted as to miss accidental discovery of interesting information and that this might be a new technology burden for small Web site developers
  • The problems of SPARQL - enumerates three problems touching on the RDF data model's complexity, SPARQL's relative anonymity (compared to SQL), and a perceived lack of expressivity

Explanatory/tutorial Writings

  • Understanding SPARQL - A tutorial by Andrew Matthews on IBM developerWorks that teaches SPARQL "through the example of a team tracking and journaling system for a virtual company."
  • Introduzione al Web Semantico - OK, this Italian tutorial Simone Onofri only has a few slides on SPARQL, but slide 48 (introducing SPARQL) is so beautiful that I wanted to include this anyway.
  • Why SPARQL? - From yours truly.



Of course, the past six months have also seen plenty of new Linked Data deployments (often with accompanying SPARQL endpoints) as well as a bevy of new implementations, and enhancements and upgrades to existing implementations. And SPARQL continues to be used as the data-access bedrock of Semantic Web applications. All in all, the future looks bright--some might even say it SPARQLs.