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Re: side remarks on the shortcut discussion for INSERT/DELETE...

From: Steve Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 17:15:38 +0000
Cc: Axel Polleres <axel.polleres@deri.org>, SPARQL Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <0349F644-2F90-4BD2-AC74-C70D265D3F3E@garlik.com>
To: Andy Seaborne <andy.seaborne@talis.com>
On 12 Feb 2010, at 14:23, Andy Seaborne wrote:
> On 12/02/2010 11:10 AM, Axel Polleres wrote:
>> ... I have some side questions/remarks concerning the shortcut  
>> discussion we had for INSERT/DELETE...
>> 1) If we define shortcuts for INSERT/DELETE, I think it would seem  
>> awkward not to have a
>> similar shortcut also for CONSTRUCT, i.e.
> I though we had discussed this further and we had consensus that  
> because INSERT WHERE pattern is a no-op, we were only going to have  
> DELETE WHERE {pattern}
> This is after the point about the absence of WHERE in the delete  
> short form can become confusing:
> DELETE DATA { triples } and DELETE [WHERE] { triples } have  
> different effects.

Agreed, I think the DATA and WHERE keywords are very important for  
clarity's sake.

>>  CONSTRUCT<Pattern>   = CONSTRUCT<Pattern>  WHERE<Pattern>
>> agreed?
> This was "CONSTRUCT *" in DAWG.
> It's not so simple.  The output type of the CONSTRUCT operation is a  
> graph currently. What happens about:
> CONSTRUCT * { GRAPH ?g { ?s ?p ?o FILTER (?o > 57) } }

Yes, I don't have much enthusiasm for CONSTRUCT * anymore, but a  
CONSTRUCT WHERE could be useful, if we could agree some suitable  

I don't think there's any reason why adding CONSTRUCT WHERE should  
affect existing SPARQL implementations, as that's a syntax error in  
the current grammar.

> Two points: (1) use of GRAPH and (2) patterns that are more than  
> templates.  The pattern needs restricting (which is why it didn't  
> happen at 1.0)
> It is worth noting that this is an extension to the SPARQL Query  
> language that has repercussions on existing implementation design  
> and on protocol because CONSTRUCT returns a graph currently, not an  
> RDF dataset.

Well, some implementations return N3 currently, and as I understand it  
N3 can encode named graphs, so I'm not sure that this is a big issue  


>> 2)  Another thing... as an alternative to definintg the shortcut by  
>> the absence of a
>> WHERE clause (which, IIRC was critisised for being ambiguous)  
>> couldn't we just use
>> "*" like in SELECT, i.e. for instance
>>  INSERT * WHERE<Pattern>  = INSERT<Pattern>  WHERE<Pattern>
>>  ...
>>  CONSTRUCT * WHERE<Pattern>  = CONSTRUCT<Pattern>  WHERE<Pattern>
> I believe the design is
> DELETE WHERE { pattern }
> to emphasis the WHERE is pattern.  WHERE is mandatory.
> I have no problems with
> DELETE * WHERE { pattern }
> but it seems unnecessary.  DELETE WHERE does make restrictions on  
> the pattern; DELETE * feels like a bigger promise.

There's a risk of the * here being conflated with the meaning in  
SELECT, but I don't have a huge problem with it either.

> Personally, I don't like:
> DELETE * { pattern }
> because delete can have such large effects and one char is not enough.


>> the main question arising if we go that direction is how to handle
>> complex patterns, but I think we could solve that, depending whether
>> in general that sounds like a potential path to go for the rest as  
>> well?
> I thought we had solved that - the pattern is a quad template only.  
> This is language syntax enforced.

Yes, that's my understanding too.

> We did discuss quad template + filter (I was in favour) but we  
> didn't reach consensus.  We observed UNION made sense as well.

Also OPTIONAL, I think I'd have more use for OPTIONAL than UNION.

- Steve

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Received on Friday, 12 February 2010 17:16:10 UTC

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