From SPARQL Working Group
Draft reply to: AH-1
Thank you for your comment about SPARQL BINDINGS.
The working group has reworked what was previously BINDINGS along the lines of the message to public-sparql-dev . The details are in the editors' working draft  and the grammar. This allows VALUES in a graph pattern as well as after query level.
Regarding your editorial comment (adding an example) the WG decided that the Query specification is already quite long. It was, therefore, decided that no further examples will be added. For the IF feature, there are, however, publicly available test cases that illustrate the use of the feature:
For the casting functions, there is already an example right in the beginning of section 17:
In addition, SPARQL provides the ability to invoke arbitrary functions, including a subset of the XPath casting functions, listed in section 17.5. These functions are invoked by name (an IRI) within a SPARQL query. For example: ... FILTER ( xsd:dateTime(?date) < xsd:dateTime("2005-01-01T00:00:00Z") ) ...
We hope that you understand these decisions and we would be grateful if you could acknowledge that your comment has been answered by sending a reply to this mailing list.
Andy and Birte, on behalf of the SPARQL-WG