Saturday, July 17, 2004

Update on XQuery - RDF

As expected the DAWG has rejected Network Inferencing's proposal. Jeff Pollock has responded on the public-rdf-dawg list. While Jeff is obviously disappointed, I suspect that the dawg hasn't rejected XQuery. NI's proposal was a syntactic one, and the DAWG decided months ago to defer syntax until after the semantics are decided.

Two weeks ago I wrote a new rdf-query language - it took me about half a day. The parser was trivial, and the semantics a subset of iTql (Tucana's rdf query language implemented in Kowari). At the end of the day, syntax isn't as important as semantics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A few corrections and comments, if I may:

1. We didn't reject NI's proposal, for two reasons. First, NI hasn't yet *made* a real proposal. It's not clear whether NI wants XQuery syntax, XQuery-like syntax, or some deeper integration. There were no detailed proposals made that DAWG members could consider. I've read every message on DAWG lists, attended every face to face and every teleconference, and generally have paid attention to DAWG's work. I still cannot tell you what NI actually wants

And, second, failing to adopt a proposed requirement or objective that focused on syntax isn't rejecting anything. NI is free, as are other WG members, to repropose in the future.

2. DAWG did not decide months ago to defer syntax until after the semantics are decided. There is a rough schedule that was cooked up by someone -- probably the chair, Dan Connolly -- which I take the WG to be free to continue following or adapt.

3. I agree with NI about one thing; DAWG should, when it takes up concrete syntax, leverage an existing technology that lots of people already understand. That's a useful principle upon which to make these decisions. SQL and XPath both, in my opinion, satisfy it better than XQuery. (And there are more RDF query languages with SQL-like or XPath-like concrete syntaxes than there are XQuery-like ones. It's not even close, in fact.)

Of course here I'm speaking only for myself, not for DAWG or for my host institution.

Kendall Clark, DAWG member