Beagle Newsletter #4 - 29 November 2004

Beagle Newsletter

29 November 2004

Welcome to another edition of the Beagle Newsletter. If you're new to

the project you can read up about it on our website:



This past week saw a new release (0.0.3) of Beagle.  There have been

a great many changes since the last release.  Jon has assembled a

short list at the end of the release announcement:



The core Beagle hackers met on the phone a couple of weeks ago and put

together a list of features and issues that we want to have

implemented for a first "working release." This release has been named

milestone 1.

Each of the tasks that is part of milestone 1 has been created as a

bugzilla bug in

The main new features in milestone 1 will be: 

    * Reduced memory usage. Beagle today consumes several hundred megs of

      RAM under heavy use. It is not clear why. The team has been

      looking into the problem.

    * In the past, Beagle has acted as a query aggregator for diverse

      backend search tools. For example, even though Beagle does not

      index your mail itself, when you do a search it will query

      Evolution through the Camel messaging library, and combine the

      Camel search results with the other Beagle search results. It

      does this also for Google searches.

      We have made the decision that all local data and cacheable

      remote data must be indexed by Beagle in its primary Lucene

      index. This will make searches much faster and will give us much

      more consistent relevance sorting.  

      And when it comes to implementing metadata interfaces in Beagle,

      this will ensure that we have a consistent location for all

      metadata (e.g., instead of the sender of a message being stored

      in a mailbox file somewhere, it will be cached in Beagle's

      Lucene index, like everything else).

      This decision applies in particular to mail, address book, and


    * Full support for indexing Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint


    * Indexing files that appear on your Windows partition if it is

      mounted in Linux. 

    * Integrated presence in search results through Galago.

We are shooting for January to have milestone 1 complete. This will

roughly correspond with both GNOME 2.10 and SUSE 9.3. 

Naturally, the Beagle team is open to contributions and discussion of

features that are not in this list.



While Jon Trowbridge has been focusing on getting the 0.0.3 release

out many things were being coded.

Windows Port

    Fredrik Hedberg has been working on getting a working port of

    Beagle to the Windows platform.  Without a port of D-BUS to

    Windows, Fredrik also made the beginning of the Beagle networking

    code.  Great work!


    In the past Beagle has queryed Evolution for results.  Lately Joe Shaw
    has been working on having Beagle index the mail instead of
    relying on Evolution.  This strategy is not only faster but 
    improves the accuracy of the results.  However, this results in
    the inclusion of a new dependency for Beagle, GMime.
    This dependency can be currently found in GNOME CVS.


    Robert Love has made some new inotify kernels.  The new kernels

    fix many of the queue overflow problems that previous kernels were

    experiencing.  Packages can be found here: or the

    patch itself at:

MS Office Filters

    Veerapuram Varadham has been working on improving the filters for

    various Microsoft Office file types.


    Jon Trowbridge, Joe Shaw and Dave Camp have been working on

    improving the stability of the Beagle daemon.  Great work, it is

    nice to be able to keep beagled running for long periods of time.


    Tuomas Kuosmanen has been working on many images for the Beagle

    project.  They look awesome, thanks!




    Previously patches have been sent to the list

    (dashboard-hackers gnome org) for review, however, this has led to

    many patches getting missed or skipped over.  For the future,

    please file a Bug on Bugzilla ( and put the

    patch there.

    Fd.o has undergone server problems in the last few weeks.  Because

    of this there is some differences in the new cvs/svn servers.

    Information should be on the wiki ( about how

    to access the servers.


    The troubleshooting Beagle page on the wiki has proved to be a

    great source for helping set up beagle.  If you overcome a problem

    when setting up or using beagle, please add it to the wiki:

As always if you have any input to how the next Beagle Newsletter

should be distributed or what should go in it please email Joe

Gasiorek at joe gasiorek gmail com

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