SPARQL working group holds 1st face-to-face, decides upcoming features

The SPARQL working group recently held its first two-day face-to-face (F2F) meeting, co-located in Cambridge, MA, USA and in Bristol, UK.

The F2F marked the culmination of the first phase of the group’s work, in which members worked to identify potential features to work on in the coming months. On the first day of the F2F, the group resolved to work on a set of six required features and five time-permitting features over the next 15 months or so. These features include long-sought SPARQL capabilities such as aggregates, subqueries, and update, as well as a better approach to negation and a standard way for SPARQL endpoints to describe the capabilities of their service (“service description”).

Time-permitting, the group intends to also pursue standardization of the semantics for using SPARQL to query richer entailment regimes such as OWL or RDFS, as well as to consider basic federated query and property paths.

The Working Group also decided that while the whole landscape of language and protocol will continue to be referred to as SPARQL, particular SPARQL languages will also be identified with names such as SPARQL/Query and SPARQL/Update. Others are possible as the group pursues its work.

On the second day of the meeting, group members launched into discussions of potential designs for three features: aggregates, subqueries, and update. The group noted nearly 30 open issues that must be resolved, and gathered nearly 20 actions to help advance towards consensus on these issues. You can follow along as the group continues its work via the SPARQL Working Group’s issues & actions tracker.

The SPARQL Working Group will be publishing a document within the next two months that outlines the features and rationale behind the features that the group will be working on. As always, we welcome input on this document and on any other work the Working Group pursues via our public comments list, public-rdf-dawg-comments@w3.org.