[Linux-aus] Grant request: Travel assistance for ODF+RDF talk at OLS

Ben Martin monkeyiq at users.sourceforge.net
Sun May 20 17:55:44 EST 2012

Date: 20 may 2012

Project Name:
Travel assistance to OLS to talk about RDF+ODF in both Calligra and
OLS is on July 11-13 in Ottawa.

Aim of Project:
The ODF document format includes provision to store and associate one or
more RDF/XML files inside the PDF zip file container with the document
(content.xml). Thus, the format allows for semantic information to be a
first class citizen in document computing. The catch is making sure that
many of the document editing applications can offer the user a method of
taking advantage of RDF simply and making the experience compelling
enough that businesses demand RDF as part of their documents.

Simply, the aim is to move word processors from tools which arrange
strings of characters to being tools which allow editing semantic
documents. Then the document can know about who, what, where, why, and
the relation between things. Tables of content can be supplemented with
tables of semantic relations and logistics timelines. I think RDF in ODF
gives the opportunity for the semantic web stuff to move onto open
source desktops before it gains mainstream acceptance.

I have made inroads in both Calligra and Abiword to this ends, and am
hopeful to attract interest at OLS to further and accelerate the pace of
development. While I enjoy attending conferences as much as the next
person, the main goal of this grant is to try to get larger companies
attending OLS interested in RDF/ODF enough to help move it forward. Of
course, I'd love to be a part of helping that movement too on the C++
coding front :) Ancillary: if anyone wishes to hack on this stuff or
knows projects which might like to use it, feel free to contact me!

I can see two ways that Australian citizens could benefit from this
grant. I say could because the grant is to travel in order to try to
gain wider acceptance, more hackers, and interest in the core idea of
RDF+ODF. It is very hard to directly tie tangible positive outcomes. 

The first good thing I see would be helping to save people from being
locked in to online "cloud" service providers for document computing,
with their vendor lockin, variable T&C, and closed source codebases
which disappear. Some of these offerings are trying to integrate with
Web 2.0 to provide a more compelling experience for the user. This
integration is exactly what RDF+ODF offers in a purely open standards

A longer term benefit would be having RDF on the OLPC write activity.
The write activity is based on abiword, so could allow for RDF to be
collaboratively edited by millions of children, a subset of these being
Australian citizens. If RDF is accepted by children as useful, perhaps
not at the triple level, but at a level that it helps do something
useful, then it becomes a widely used and expected feature of document

Person Responsible for Request:
Ben Martin

Return airfare to Ottawa in July ($3500 or below).

Orbitz has this pegged at $3300 to $3700 on a major carrier.
A route not considered by them is:
Brisbane <-> tokyo, Qantas      = $1150
tokyo <-> ottawa  , AmericanAir = $1600
                                = $2750
And probably cheaper yet with jetstar, but also flight dates are
critical to price and likely to change by the time approval of the grant
may occur.

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