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Re: Linked Data API

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 18:34:17 +0000
Message-ID: <4B86C2A9.1040309@webr3.org>
To: Dave Reynolds <dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com>
CC: Leigh Dodds <leigh.dodds@talis.com>, Linking Open Data <public-lod@w3.org>, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>
Dave Reynolds wrote:
> On 25/02/2010 18:11, Nathan wrote:
>> Leigh Dodds wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> Yesterday, at the 2nd Linked Data London Meetup, Dave Reynolds, Jeni
>>> Tennison and myself ran a workshop introducing some work we've been
>>> doing around a "Linked Data API".
>>>
>>> The API is intended to be a middle-ware layer that can be deployed
>>> in-front of a SPARQL endpoint, providing the ability to create a
>>> RESTful data access layer for accessing the RDF data contained in the
>>> triple store. The middle-ware is configurable, and is intended to
>>> support a range of different access patterns and output formats. "Out
>>> of the box" the system provides delivery of the standard range of RDF
>>> serialisations, as well as simple JSON and XML serializations for
>>> descriptions of lists of resources. The API essentially maps
>>> parameterized URLs to underlying SPARQL queries, mediating the content
>>> negotiation of the results into a suitable format for the client.
>>>
>>> The current draft specification is at:
>>>
>>> http://purl.org/linked-data/api/spec
>>
>> If I may make a suggestion; I'd like you to consider including the
>> formed SPARQL query in with the return; so that developers can get used
>> to the language and see how similar to existing SQL etc etc..
> 
> Absolutely. The notion (and current implementation) is that the returned
> results gives a reference to a metadata resource which in turn includes
> the sparql query and the endpoint configuration. Will check if that is
> clear in the current draft of the spec write up.
> 
>> For all this middle-ware is needed in the interim and provides access to
>> the masses, surely an extra chance to introduce developers to linked
>> data / rdf / sparql is a good thing?
> 
> Exactly. The API helps developers get started but we are trying to keep
> the essence of the RDF model intact so that they can move onto SPARQL
> and full stack as they get comfortable with it.

thinking out-loud here; I wonder what would happen if you created a REST
api like you have, that redirects to the SPARQL endpoint w/ query and
that obviously returns SPARQL+JSON / SPARQL+RDF ..? then libraries like
ARC and rdflib, jena etc can be used by the developers; essentially just
a little introduction protocol and offloading all the hard work on to
these fantastic libraries. Which in turn would also be a further
introduction to Linked Data. Further SPARQL+JSON is really easy to
decode and use (and again pointing to the documents will further
introduce.. encourage hacking (ie using sparql itself rather than the
api) and so forth.

Perhaps even as an option? /doc/school.sparql?district.code=00BX

regards!
Received on Thursday, 25 February 2010 18:34:58 UTC

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