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make regex optional in SPARQL

From: Henry Story <Henry.Story@Sun.COM>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2006 13:17:03 +0200
To: public-rdf-dawg@w3.org
Message-id: <086940D2-23B5-47DE-9DA2-D5D02E33509A@Sun.Com>


I am a great SPARQL enthusiast [1], but have become concerned about  
the regex functionality in the specification. Having worked at  
AltaVista I have developed a feeling for volume and complexity. When  
one is dealing with 100 million searches a day or more every cpu  
instruction counts.

My feeling is that regex is much too powerful for any large database  
to allow it to be a mandatory part of the spec. (I may very well be  
wrong, if so please point me to a study that shows this not to be the  
case). Any such database will just not be able to implement such a  
query language. Regex therfore must be optional.

If possible it would be good to allow in addition for a simpler form  
of string query language that has been proven to work with large  
databases. This would treat words as atom units, allow their  
inclusion or exclusion from a string. Things like this

    sparql -cat "Danny Ayers"

which would find Danny's posts that don't involve cats. AltaVista did  
allow for simple suffix wildcards such as searches on cat* .

I am just posting this because regex raised an alarm flag in my head.  
Perhaps this has been dealt with before.


[1] http://blogs.sun.com/bblfish/entry/sparqling_roller among other  

Home page: http://bblfish.net/
Sun Blog: http://blogs.sun.com/bblfish/
Foaf name: http://bblfish.net/people/henry/card#me
Received on Monday, 23 October 2006 11:54:19 UTC

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