New SPARQL Specification

I’m very pleased to see the publication of the latest SPARQL specification.
It looked for a while as if FROM was going to be removed from the language, i.e. specifying the data set would be a protocol issue and not something supported in the query language. This seemed like a bad idea to me, not because of any deep technical issues, but more because I see a lot of benefit in having self-contained queries. Something that I can pass on to an expert for optimisation, or cut-and-paste into code or query tool, publish for others to use, etc.
Secondly I was originally concerned that there would be no ORDER BY; sorting seemed pretty essential to me. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, and the DAWG have accepted sorting as a design objective. The new Building a Table of Contents use case also gave me cause to grin this morning.
I’m less enamoured of the new Turtle style syntax, much preferring the original bracketed triples which are easy to read IMO. I find the additional magic punctuation to be a real turn off. I’ve not had time to dig through the public archives to find out what motivated the change. No doubt I’ll get used to it though.
But to end on a positive note, it’s really great to see ORDER BY in the specification and progress continuing. Have printed out the spec and Dave’s SPARQL reference for a little light reading so I can catch up with more of the detailed changes.