W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > November 2010

Re: Failed to port datastore to RDF, will go Mongo

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 21:51:17 -0500
Message-ID: <4CEDCF25.9040503@openlinksw.com>
To: William Waites <ww@styx.org>
CC: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>, Ben O'Steen <bosteen@gmail.com>, public-lod@w3.org, Friedrich Lindenberg <friedrich@pudo.org>
On 11/24/10 6:19 PM, William Waites wrote:
> * [2010-11-24 22:44:53 +0000] Toby Inkster<tai@g5n.co.uk>  écrit:
> ]
> ] Or, to put a different slant on it: a competent developer who has spent
> ] years using SQL databases day-to-day finds it easier to use SQL and the
> ] relational data model than a different data model and different query
> ] language that he's spent a few days trying out.
> I don't think that's what's happening here, or at least not
> entirely. People coming from a RDB background expect things like SUM,
> COUNT, INSERT, DELETE, not to mention GROUP BY to work. But SPARQL 1.1
> is still very new, each store implements them in slightly different
> ways with slightly different syntax, sometimes requiring workarounds
> in application code.

Now if you put it that way, YES!
Any RDBMS developer that comes to RDF triple / quad store land and 
discovers that main query language only just learned how to count 
(recently) would be SPOOKED!
Virtuoso is a hybrid (multi-model) DBMS and that insulates it from these 
kinds of transition concerns. It also why we give you the ability to 
leverage SQL in SPARQL or SPARQL in SQL etc..

>   With RDBs we have good libraries for abstracting
> away these differences.

Hmm.. in my experience there are very few ODBC or JDBC or Native CLIs 
that pull off such abstractions. We have gone to great lengths to make 
this so re. our ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, OLEDB drivers for all the major 
RDBMS engines via implementation of metadata calls. Trouble is, Web 
Developers don't even use any of these APIs they write RDBMS specific 
apps :-(

Ironically, the abstraction you describe is one that could manifest via 
an ODBC ontology i.e., and RDBMS abstraction ontology. Naturally, this 
is what we do inside Virtuoso's Virtual DBMS for Relational Data 
Sources, but it isn't OWL based since it precedes OWL etc..

At some point, we might consider making a public ontology for ODBC, but 
for now, making Linked Data simple for end-users and power-users is a 
much higher priority :-)

> We still require people to pay a lot closer
> attention to what the underlying plumbing is and how it works (and if
> the binary package they got with their OS might be out of date or has
> to be compiled from source or even patched - the horror!).

Well how is that different from any other Open Source experience? 
Basically, this is what Toby is saying: those used to MySQL and LAMP 
stack are fine, they go through pains that are invisible since that's 
home territory. Tweak the model a little, and all hell break loose. 
Tweak can even be as simple as writing RDBMS independent apps. via ODBC 
using iODBC or unixODBC.

Virtuoso can run LAMP apps (modulo MySQL via ODBC or JDBC based data 
access) across Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, and many other UNIX 
platforms. You install and go, but to many typical LAMP folks, that very 
very confusing :-)

> These
> things prevent people from getting on with what they see as the task
> at hand.

Yes and No, there is an element of discomfort that comes from changing 
the norm that makes this awfully subjective.
> Cheers,
> -w



Kingsley Idehen	
President&  CEO
OpenLink Software
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen
Received on Thursday, 25 November 2010 02:51:55 UTC

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