Developing and testing SPARQL queries with cURL

There are tons of online SPARQL editors out there, but they often lack some specific functionality. The most common one is that they cannot query an endpoint you may have running on your own machine during development. The SPARQL forms that come with most triple stores, however, are very bare bones, to say the least. Plus I don’t really like going back and forth in a web browser when I’m working on a piece of code.

What I do instead is writing the query in a text editor with syntax highlighting and then shoot them over to the endpoint via cURL on the command line:

curl -i -H "Accept: text/csv" --data-urlencode query@query.sparql http://example.com/sparql

This will take the file query.sparql, send its contents to http://example.com/sparql (with the query parameter name being query), and show the results as comma-separated values. Obviously, this is no magic, I just keep forgetting the exact parameters so I thought I might as well document this here.

If you are using Sublime Text as your text editor, there is also the Sublime SPARQL Runner package. Does exactly the same thing and opens the results in a new text file right in sublime. I’ve only tested the package briefly, but it seems to do what it says on the tin.

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