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Re: 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 21:50:47 +0000
To: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
CC: "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C554C6B7.2813D%hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>

Sounds about right.
So the widespread offering of SPARQL endpoints at the moment is because that's all we really understand well so far.
In the longer run, we may be less likely to offer SPARQL, but we will understand better what are the good RESTful services, and how to describe them well.

On 27/11/2008 12:12, "Richard Cyganiak" <richard@cyganiak.de> wrote:


Here's what I think we will see in the area of RDF publishing in a few

- few public SPARQL endpoints over popular datasets (for obvious

- linked data sites offer limited query capabilities (e.g. a
scientific bibliography site could offer "search paper by title",
"search author by name", "search paper by category and/or date range")
(think the "advanced search" form on a website, clad into a REST-style
API that returns RDF)

- those query capabilities are described in RDF and hence can be
invoked by tools such as SQUIN/SemWebClient to answer certain queries

- everyone who wants more advanced query capabilities, will crawl the
site and run their own local SPARQL store

At the moment we don't have the technology for describing non-SPARQL
query interfaces in RDF, and crawling linked data is still a fairly
complex business. As long as these problems are not solved, we pretty
much are stuck with SPARQL endpoints.


On 27 Nov 2008, at 00:18, Hugh Glaser wrote:

> 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.:
> 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 21:51:37 UTC

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