Related link: http://my.opera.com/community/sparql/
I’ve been pushing the convergence line lately: there’s no fundamental conflict between Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web. They may not be quite two sides of the same coin, but they’re definitely the same currency. Or something like that. Anyway.
The folks who run the Opera community portal have just done a really smart thing — they’ve deployed a SPARQL web service for their data. It’s the community’s data, and what better way to let the people at their stuff?
This is better than a bespoke API because it’s not another API-to-API integration problem. Rather, it exposes, essentially, a domain-specific (or “little”) language for arbitrary use by arbitrary third parties.
And it does so using a standard, lightweight web service interface, REST HTTP, with the possibility to deploy SOAP pretty easily too.
Want to add some Opera community data to your latest Web 2.0 mashup? It’s as easy as writing a few SPARQL queries and some code to handle the XML those queries return. Easy peasy. (And I’ve been working on a serialization of SPARQL query results in JSON, which will make it even easier to do in AJAX apps.)
There are some areas for improvement here, since the SPARQL query engine being used here isn’t the speediest and there’s no support for
DESCRIBE queries yet. But still, this is a big deal!
I’ve hinted at this before, but I think I’ll put a stake in the ground and say it clearly:
The developer(s) of every Web 2.0 app/service should seriously consider exposing their data with a SPARQL query service.
What else ya gonna use?