Versa Thoughts

Lately, I’ve been watching Chimezie play with Emeka, his RDF bot. It’s basically a Versa/4suite counterpart to Julie, the redlandbot (based, obviously, on Redland.)

I can’t say anything for his code, but I do know that through people working with Emeka, I’ve seen some Versa queries recently, and I have to say that they confuse the heck out of me.

I just read through the Versa Article on, and was helped not at all. The language itself makes sense when I read the examples, but I simply can’t come up with the way to do what I would in SPARQL. I’m sure that it’s really easy once you’re used to it, but to me, it seems like a query language with a 663 mode. Sure, I might be able to write it, with a reference handy, and execute it (hi Emeka!), but I sure as heck can’t read it.

I think I like SPARQL because it feels familiar: the turtle patterns are just turtle statements with some variables. The triple patterns *look* like triples. Versa doesn’t have this benefit: triple patterns in Versa become something along the lines of (all() ->rdfs:label->*) rather than (?s rdfs:label ?l). I think it may just be the fact that all the extra syntax confuses me: why put all these bits in the middle of my triples? They’re triples! Spaces are enough!

Anyway, this isn’t very helpful: I haven’t used Versa enough to have useful comments. Just know that reading this stuff, and even trying to wrap my head around the stuff Chimezie is ending to Emeka, I have problems. This probably is true for SPARQL/julie as well for most people – but for me it “just works”.

2 Responses to “Versa Thoughts”

  1. Uche Says:

    That’s the way it goes. I could pretty much substitute the words “SPARQL” for “Versa’ and post the exact same article as my own point of view. Choice is a lovely thing.

  2. Arnold deVos Says:

    Try mine 🙂 GraphPath is an attempt to create a way to manipulate RDF that works above the level of statements but does not intoduce an “impedance missmatch”. It is path-oriented like versa. I have used it in three commercial projects so far and my experience is that it is much more concise than using the RDF API’s directly and readable when I return to it later.