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Still not getting it, here's your second example in that syntax:

    SELECT ?son WHERE
    {
      <brian> parentOf ?son
      ?son gender <male>
    }
What's the fundamental difference? That one example yields a new RDF triple, and the other yields a query result? Surely this is just a matter of representation.



Good point. I think you've changed my mind about the utility of inferencing :).

The difference between querying and inferencing isn't what I was trying to emphasise, though. My point was the difference between being designed for making queries/inferences within a dataset, and being designed for joining distinct datasets.

Querying within a dataset is easy: SQL, XPath, XQuery, LINQ, etc. You can write rules for transforming any data model that you can query.

RDF isn't anything special in these areas (though I do think that SPARQL is an awfully nice query language). What it gives you is a way to link and merge datasets.

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