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Re: What Happened to the Semantic Web?

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@miscoranda.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:39:09 +0100
Message-ID: <CAH3-oEfJ3puXnv30aQhnA-V_dJix1+V1VfYmV2QS_Cd10sR2Gg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Martynas Jusevičius <martynas@atomgraph.com>
Cc: SW-forum Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, public-lod <public-lod@w3.org>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
The RDF syntax that N3QL uses is called Notation3:


If it seems uncannily familiar to you, it is because it is the syntax
from which Turtle was derived, and eventually named graphs.

We have SPARQL parsers now, but at the time myself and others had to
make those parsers with our bare hands. The point is that SPARQL won
over superior alternatives, and that we can *still learn* from those
alternatives even though they did not become widely deployed
standards. SPARQL won not due to its technological superiority, but
because of other factors such as easing the mental transition from

To be fair even I never fully understood those factors (which are
complex), so I just asked one of my old friends for further
explanation and we had an interesting discussion about it. In a
particularly beautiful coincidence it turns out that this friend was
one of the authors of the SPARQL recommendation :) I'll send a summary
of that discussion in a separate thread.

You had expressed your dismay that I was negative about SPARQL. I have
explained some of the ways in which SPARQL could have been better;
there are many more. It is reasonable for you to respond by saying
that we "may as well embrace SPARQL" now, but that's a long way from
what you no doubt originally thought of as an unfair dismissive
attitude towards SPARQL. And to say we've "moved on" is itself
unfairly dismissive of the work of others, including the work of those
who were involved in creating SPARQL in the first place. The things
that were discussed at the time SPARQL was created are still
interesting and fascinating and *relevant*, and true lovers of SPARQL
will also love those things.
Sean B. Palmer, http://inamidst.com/sbp/
Received on Friday, 13 October 2017 10:39:34 UTC

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