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Re: On the inevitability of SPARQL/SPIN for SHAQL

From: Irene Polikoff <irene@topquadrant.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2015 08:10:33 -0500
Message-Id: <10889877-1BB6-4B76-AB12-72EF3501BF92@topquadrant.com>
Cc: Dean Allemang <dallemang@workingontologist.com>, Holger Knublauch <holger@topquadrant.com>, RDF Data Shapes Working Group <public-data-shapes-wg@w3.org>
To: Jose Emilio Labra Gayo <jelabra@gmail.com>
Jose,

So, your proposal is not about actually using XPath as some of your previous emails have suggested by saying, for example, that all XPath tools would support this language. Correct?

I now believe you are proposing designing a new language that, like SPARQL, would operate on RDF graphs to match graph patterns and bind variables and, like SPARQL, would include functions and operators (e.g., addition) borrowing definitions of some of these from XQuery/XPath. 

Why should this group take on such undertaking instead of reusing already existing language produced by W3C?

Irene 

> On Mar 1, 2015, at 11:41 PM, Jose Emilio Labra Gayo <jelabra@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 4:01 AM, Dean Allemang <dallemang@workingontologist.com> wrote:
>> ARQ (and hence, SPIN) use a lot of the xpath functions in various sensible place (filter, bind).  xpath certainly seems like a good place to go for your built-in function vocabulary.  I like to idea of being able to extend this (as TopBraid does), but I don't know if there is a way to standardize the extensions. 
>> 
>> If that is what you are proposing, then I think I find myself in violent agreement; we should certainly use the function set from XPath for Shapes - no sense in re-inventing that, and we certainly need a function vocabulary.
> 
> Yes, that is more or less what I was proposing. 
> 
> My proposal was to have a construct in the language to bind variables to the subjects/objects that are matched and another construct that allows simple expressions using those variables. 
> 
> But my proposal was to limit those expressions to use the same expressions that can be used in the "FILTER" expression of SPARQL queries instead of any kind of SPARQL query, that's what I call "a controlled way"
> 
> Best regards, Jose Labra
> 
> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Dean
>> 
>> 
>>> On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 6:58 PM, Irene Polikoff <irene@topquadrant.com> wrote:
>>> Jose,
>>> 
>>> I do not understand what you are proposing - how exactly you propose to use XPath, what do you mean by 'controlled way' and so on.
>>>  
>>> I feel these ideas are too vague and confusing to have an effective conversation about.
>>> 
>>> Irene
>>> 
>>>> On Mar 1, 2015, at 3:57 PM, Jose Emilio Labra Gayo <jelabra@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 5:03 PM, Dean Allemang <dallemang@workingontologist.com> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> While I am a big fan of XPath (I use it all the time), I have to agree with Irene here - treating RDF as if it were XML seems like a bad idea. 
>>>> 
>>>> As I said in my previous email. My proposal was to use the same subset of XPath that SPARQL is using in the FILTER expressions so the Shacl language can define constraints that involve arithmetic and string operations in an easy and controlled way.
>>>> 
>>>>> I can't help but think that there is a perception thing going on.  The resistance to committing to SPARQL as a constraint language in favor of, e.g., XPath,
>>>> 
>>>> I think there is a misconception in that phrase. In fact, if we use SPARQL we will also use the same subset of XPATH. My proposal was to use only that subset as predefined builtin expressions...
>>>> 
>>>>> seems to stem from a feeling that SPARQL is a low-level, implementation-specific language whereas some alternative is higher-level.  
>>>>> 
>>>>> I view SPARQL as being at a much higher level than, e.g., XPath (just as I view RDF as being at a higher level than XML).  In RDF, we talk about how our resources relate to one another - not how a document (or a table, or a spreadsheet, or etc.) happens to structure that relationship.   XPath is a high-level language for navigating a very particular structure; if you change the structure, your XPath is at risk (and many of the features of XPath are there to help you make an XPath expression immune to certain changes in structure).   SPARQL is a language for navigating data graphs, regardless of how they are represented in a document.  
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> I think this is the source of a lot of the "XML Confusion" that Irene mentions in her message.  Those of us who are RDF fans can't help but be puzzled by any language proposal that, in our view, makes lower-level commitments in the shapes language.  
>>>>> 
>>>>> I suspect that there are others for whom SPARQL seems like the low-level language.  I can't represent this viewpoint as well since I don't myself hold it.  But if this is the view one is coming from, then committing to SPARQL would seem like a low-level commitment.  
>>>>> 
>>>>> and I think we are agreed that we expect Shapes to develop a high-level language.  We just don't agree on where the levels are. 
>>>> 
>>>> Yes, I also want Shapes to be a high level language...that's probably the main point that I am trying to defend. If we want to have a high level language, we should not embed SPARQL inside it without control. 
>>>> 
>>>> Best regards, Jose Labra 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Dean
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 6:19 AM, Irene Polikoff <irene@topquadrant.com> wrote:
>>>>>> Personally, I feel that mixing paradigms results in design that is inelegant and problematic on many levels. This is RDF. Why bring XPath in when there are equally good and better approaches within RDF stack?
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Besides RDF is still recovering from XML baggage and misunderstandings that resulted from people confusing it with its XML serialization. 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Irene
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On Mar 1, 2015, at 4:45 AM, Jose Emilio Labra Gayo <jelabra@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 9:56 AM, Holger Knublauch <holger@topquadrant.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> On 3/1/15 5:24 PM, Jose Emilio Labra Gayo wrote:
>>>>>>>>> 2.- To allow the core language to have XPATH like functionality and variables. It can be something similar to the expressions that appear in the FILTER clauses in SPARQL. As an example using the compact syntax we could say:
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> <RectangleShape> { :weidth ?w, :height ?h, :area ?a, FILTER (?w * ?h = ?a) }
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> This looks like it would simply reinvent a new SPARQL, only that no existing tool would support it yet.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> No, it is leveraging on XPath which has lots of implementations and tools. Maybe, the syntax can be "CONSTRAINT" instead of "FILTER" to clarifiy that it is not SPARQL. 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> <RectangleShape> { :weidth ?w, :height ?h, :area ?a, CONSTRAINT (?w * ?h = ?a) }
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> The only neede feature is to associate variables with the objects that are being matched and to have a "CONSTRAINT <XPath-Expr>" that evaluates to a boolean. 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> But generating human-readable error messages can be a post-process operation. Embedding that functionality in SPARQL you are preventing any implementation that is not based in SPARQL.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Why not?
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Because  you are embedding SPARQL in the generation of human-readable messages.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> If someone wants to use another language, then this would also have a mechanism to create strings. JavaScript certainly has.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> And in that way, the shapes generating human-readable messages in SPARQL are not compatible with the shapes generating human-readable messages in Javascript. 
>>>>>>>  
>>>>>>>> And even if not, the human-readable messages are purely optional anyway, but preventing something that is already solved by SPARQL doesn't sound like a good idea.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Because we are using SPARQL for something that is not needed. 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> And I emphasize, I am not against SPARQL, I am against embedding SPARQL in an uncontrolled way what is supposed to be a high-level language.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Best regards, Labra
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>  
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Holger
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> -- 
>>>>>>> -- Jose Labra
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -- 
>>>> -- Jose Labra
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> -- Jose Labra
> 

Received on Monday, 2 March 2015 13:11:10 UTC

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