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Can we afford to offer SPARQL endpoints when we are successful? (Was "linked data hosted somewhere")

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 00:18:34 +0000
To: Aldo Bucchi <aldo.bucchi@gmail.com>
CC: "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C55397DA.280C6%hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>

Prompted by the thread on "linked data hosted somewhere" I would like to ask
the above question that has been bothering me for a while.

The only reason anyone can afford to offer a SPARQL endpoint is because it
doesn't get used too much?

As abstract components for studying interaction, performance, etc.:
DB=KB, SQL=SPARQL.
In fact, I often consider the components themselves interchangeable; that
is, the first step of the migration to SW technologies for an application is
to take an SQL-based back end and simply replace it with a SPARQL/RDF back
end and then carry on.

However.
No serious DB publisher gives direct SQL access to their DB (I think).
There are often commercial reasons, of course.
But even when there are not (the Open in LOD), there are only search options
and possibly download facilities.
Even government organisations that have a remit to publish their data don't
offer SQL access.

Will we not have to do the same?
Or perhaps there is a subset of SPARQL that I could offer that will allow me
to offer a "safer" service that conforms to other's safer service (so it is
well-understood?
Is this defined, or is anyone working on it?

And I am not referring to any particular software - it seems to me that this
is something that LODers need to worry about.
We aim to take over the world; and if SPARQL endpoints are part of that
(maybe they aren't - just resolvable URIs?), then we should make damn sure
that we think they can be delivered.

My answer to my subject question?
No, not as it stands. And we need to have a story to replace it.

Best
Hugh

=======================
Sorry if this is a second copy, but the first, sent as a new post, seemed to
only elicit a message from <list-help@frink.w3.org> and I can't work out or
find out whether it means the message was rejected or something else, such
as awaiting moderation.
So I've done this as a reply.
=======================
And now a response to the message from Aldo, done here to reduce traffic:

Very generous of you to write in this way.
And yes, humour is good.
And sorry to all for the traffic.

On 27/11/2008 00:02, "Aldo Bucchi" <aldo.bucchi@gmail.com> wrote:

> OK Hugh,
>
> I see what you mean and I understand you being upset. Just re-read the
> conversation word by word because I felt something was not right.
> I did say "wacky"... is that it?
>
> In that case, and if this caused the confusion, I am really sorry.
>
> I was not talking about your software, this was just a joke. Talking in
> general.
> You replied to my joke with an absurd reply.
>
> My point was simply that, if you want to push things over the edge,
> why not get your own box. We all take care of our infrastructure and
> know its limitations.
>
> So, I formally apologize.
> I am by no means endorsing one piece of software over another ( save
> for mine, but it does't exist yet ;).
> My preferences for virtuoso come from experiential bias.
>
> I hope this clears things up.
> I apologize for the traffic.
>
> However, I do make a formal request for some sense of humor.
> This list tends to get into this kind of discussions, and we will
> start getting more and more visits from outsiders who are not used to
> this sort of "sharpness".
>
> Best,
> A
>
Received on Thursday, 27 November 2008 00:19:22 UTC

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