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Revision as of 07:20, 4 September 2012

This is in response to http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rdf-dawg-comments/2012Aug/0011.html

Dear Barry,

> The working draft does not specify how the RDF dataset is constructed 
> when no FROM and FROM NAMED clauses are present in the SPARQL query.
> 
> Implementations are therefore able to construct the dataset differently, 
> e.g.
> a. dataset default graph contains only the data store's default graph
> b. dataset default graph contains the RDF merge of all graphs in the 
> data store

It is correct that how the concrete default dataset of a SPARQL endpoint is conctructed is left open to implementations. Since different endpoints and implementations support different behaviours in this regard, the working group does not feel that there is a unique standard behavior to be advocated.

> As soon as a single FROM or FROM NAMED clause is used then the data 
> store's default graph is excluded from the query's dataset.
> 
> Which means that there is no portable way to defne a SPARQL query so 
> that it executes only against the default graph in the data store - or 
> even against a combination of the default graph and one or more named 
> graphs. 

Note that the combination of querying named graphs and the default graph of an endpoints dataset is supported via GRAPH graph patterns.

> This is a problem that often confuses users of RDF data stores 
> and is likely to lead to implementations that provide their own specific 
> means to achieve this, e.g. http://www.openrdf.org/issues/browse/SES-850
> 
> Inspired by the update language's use of the 'DEFAULT' keyword for graph 
> manipulation, I suggest an extension to the query language that allows 
> "FROM DEFAULT" to be used, e.g.
> 
> SELECT *
> FROM DEFAULT
> WHERE { ..... }
> 
> => dataset contains a default graph made up of the data store's default 
> graph only

Please note that this the standard behaviour when no FROM clause is given, i.e. this corresponds to

SELECT *
WHERE { ..... }
> 
> This construct can be used with any number of FROM <uri> or FROM NAMED 
> <uri> clauses, e.g.
> 
> SELECT *
> FROM DEFAULT
> FROM <http://example.com#g1>
> WHERE { ..... }
> 
> => dataset contains a default graph made up of the data store's default 
> graph merged with the contents of the data store's g1 graph
> This would be a fairly trivial change for exisiting sparql processor 
> implementations, but would provide a big improvement in 
> functionality/flexibility by allowing a data store's default graph to be 
> used/queried/merged in the same way as any of it's named graphs.

It looks like you suggest here to construct a new dataset composed of parts of the default dataset of an endpoint plus possible external graphs, please confirm. This is a feature currently not foreseen in the features addressed in this round of SPARQL. The features being worked on in this round of standardization have been layed out at the beginning of the WG in this document: http://www.w3.org/TR/sparql-features/

Work items postponed to a future working group are being collected by the group at the following page:

http://www.w3.org/2009/sparql/wiki/Future_Work_Items

which also contains the features discussed in the beginning of the WG which have not been considered for this round:

http://www.w3.org/2009/sparql/wiki/Category:Features

Among this list, the feature

http://www.w3.org/2009/sparql/wiki/Feature:CompositeDatasets

might capture what you have in mind and a future WG might possibly work out the details of such feature.

We'd kindly ask you to confirm by a reply to this list that this addresses your comment.

Axel Polleres, on behalf of the SPARQL WG