SQL, OpenOffice: would a JDBC driver for SPARQL protocol make sense?

I’d like to have access to my SPARQL data from desktop tools like OpenOffice’s spreadsheet. Apparently it can talk to remote databases via JDBC and OBDBC, both for the spreadsheet and database tools within OpenOffice.

Many years ago, pre-SPARQL, I hassled Libby into making her Squish RDF query system talk JDBC. There have been related efforts since, but I’ve lost track of what’s currently feasible with modern tools. There was a SPARQL4J collaboration initially between Asemantics, Profium and HP Labs, and some JBDC code from 2005 is on sourceforge. SPARQL inside JDBC is always going to be a bit of a hack, I suspect, since SPARQL results aren’t exactly like SQL result. But if it’s the easiest way to get things into a spreadsheet, is probably worth pursuing. I suspect this is the sort of problem OpenLink are good at, given their database driver background.

Would it be possible to wire up OpenOffice somehow so that it thought it was talking JDBC, but the connection parameters told the Java driver about a SPARQL endpoint URLs. Actually all this is a bit predicated on the assumption that OpenOffice allows the app user to pass in SQL, so we could pass SPARQL instead. If all the SQL is generated by OpenOffice we’d need to hack the OO src. Amy I making any sense? What still needs to be done? Where are we today?

Notes from Bristol Amnesty International meeting

Jan 15 AI Bristol: Martin, Nancy, Margaret

Notes taken at the January 15th 2004 Bristol Amnesty International (AI) meeting. There were two guest speakers on the topic of “Israel, Palestine and Amnesty’s new mandate“: Martin Knight, AIUK Co-ordinator for Israel, the Occupied Territories and the Palestine Authority, and Nancy Rollason of Bristol Palestine Soldidarity Movement,

Note: this article was written a week afterwards based on my semi-legible handwritten notes. It likely containing errors and omissions (some but not all flagged with ‘@’ signs). This version (updated 18 March 2004) includes some edits and clarifications from Martin. The text that follows reports as closely as possible what I heard from Martin and Nancy. Also note that I’ve avoided prefixing each sentence with qualifiers such as “Martin reported that…”, since the article itself sets that context. Where my notes seem to capture a reasonably verbatim account of what was said, I’ve put the text in quotes; please bear in mind that I probably didn’t get it word-perfect. I’ve added a few links to supplementary materials that I found online. Except for the AI and ISM sites, these links weren’t provided by the speakers.
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