Beyond XML and RDF: The Versatile Web Query Language Xcerpt
Applications and services that access Web data are becoming increasingly more useful and wide-spread. Current main-stream Web query languages such as XQuery, XSLT, or SPARQL, however, focus only on one of the different data formats available on the Web. In contrast, Xcerpt is a versatile semi-structured query language, i.e., a query language able to access all kinds of Web data such as XML and RDF in the same language reusing common concepts and language constructs. To integrate heterogeneous data and as a foundation for Semantic Web reasoning, Xcerpt also provides rules. Xcerpt has a visual companion language, visXcerpt, that is conceived as a mere rendering of the (textual) query language Xcerpt using a slightly extended CSS. Both languages are demonstrated along a realistic use case integrating XML and RDF data highlighting interesting and unique features. Novel language constructs and optimization techniques are currently under investigation in the Xcerpt project (cf. http://xcerpt.org/).
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