Re: Tracker to be default search provider in next Ubuntu release

On 8/23/07, Joe Shaw <joe joeshaw org> wrote:
> Hi,
> On 8/23/07, Kevin Kubasik <kevin kubasik net> wrote:
> > While I've been on something of a hiatus for a good chunk of the
> > summer, I must have missed the debate/argument.
> It didn't get any coverage on this list, and I haven't seen much of a
> discussion about it inside the Ubuntu community.  It did get a fair
> amount of coverage in the blogs though.
> > However, one feature that I have wanted to implement for ages,
> > and have made several futile attempts at, is to offer object tagging
> > live in the search interface.
> I am totally in favor of adding tagging to the user interface, and
> this should be really easy to do -- in the user interface.
> The larger question is what is responsible for managing the tags,
> where does Beagle come into play, etc.
> Tracker's greatest strength in its public perception is that it
> handles tagging itself, because it's a generalized metadata store.
> Personally, my feeling is that we need a dedicated desktop-wide
> tagging API.  I don't think this necessarily requires a daemon, and
> furthermore I don't thing Beagle is the right place to do it.  My
> feeling is that a simple C library, maybe built on top of SQLite and
> with D-Bus notifications can take care of this.  Beagle would index
> that data, and could also push back information about file moves, etc.
> into the tag database.  (Or something else could do this, like a file
> monitor like gamin.)
> In any case, Beagle would index that data store just like it indexes
> Nautilus metdata today in the trunk.  It should be reasonably
> straightforward.  You *could* even implement this on top of Beagle, as
> dBera mentioned elsewhere in the thread, but I don't think this is the
> right approach.

I'll agree that utilizing Beagle's Lucene based system is a complete
waste/overkill. If there were to be a simple tagging library (I have
thought about rewriting portions of the leaftag project and reviving
it into a more realistic solution).

> > Anyways, If I could get some help implementing the GUI side of it, I
> > would be more than willing to hook everything up to our current
> > nautilus emblem backend. The only issue right now is that Nautilus
> > doesn't care what beagle has stored as emblems, so we would either
> > need to push that data down to the XML nautilus speaks, dbus into
> > nautilus in some way to let it know, or just write a simple nautilus
> > extension.
> The biggest downside to using Nautilus for this is that it only covers
> files.  And there's no reason why tagging should apply only to files.
> A generic tagging API would work fine with anything, since you would
> reference everything by URI.
Agreed, and simple to implement.
> But if you wanted to push this info back down into Nautilus, yes, some
> sort of mechanism would be needed.  Just poking at the XML would
> require some logic in Nautilus to reload from the file whenever
> something changes.  Alternatively, D-Bus seems like a reasonable
> approach here.  But ultimately I don't think that Nautilus is the
> right place for tagging.
Fair enough, _if_ leaftag (or a similarly API'ed derivative) were to
be cleaned up, maintained, and made available, would that be a
viable/reasonable solution? I would have no qualms about doing the
revival work for leaftag if we were planning on using it. Right now,
it seems to have dead-ended somewhat.

> > One last thing, I do want to apologize for my lack of diligence on the
> > Ubuntu front, I know that (before my absence) I was becoming something
> > of the Ubuntu contact for Beagle, and I really should have at least
> > caught wind that a tracker v. beagle debate was going to happen and
> > notified someone, even if I couldn't address it myself.
> We really need someone to be the Ubuntu liason for Beagle, now that
> Brandon has moved on.  As Brian pointed out, Beagle is super broken in
> Gutsy right now, and we need it fixed.  If anyone on the list is an
> Ubuntu developer, or knows someone who might be willing (and able...
> that includes the time to do it), it would be greatly appreciated.
> There's no question that Ubuntu is the most widely used desktop
> distribution, so having a good Beagle experience there is key.

As I mentioned in my last e-mail, for triage/desperate situations like
this, I am not only willing, but completely ready to roll up a new
package or add some small/tested patch. While I don't really have the
time to be a full time maintainer, until someone with that kind of
time steps forward, if people notify of a task that needs doing, I can
ubuntufy it and put the needed steps in motion.

I'll try to get a working Gusty package this weekend. It probably
won't be super hot from a packaging standpoint, but if we can at least
get it running reliably.
> Thanks,
> Joe

Kevin Kubasik

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