Re: Tracker, Zeitgeist, Couchdb...where is the problem ?


On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 2:11 AM, Thomas H.P. Andersen <phomes gmail com> wrote:
On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 22:48, Matthias Clasen<matthias clasen gmail com> wrote:
> I think this recent discussion about tracker as a gnome module is
> somewhat backwards. I don't think it is leading us anywhere to talk
> about ontologies and rdf and events and timelines and metadata stores
> and kernel apis before we answer the first question:
> What is the user problem that we are solving here ?
> Can that be described in a paragraph ?
> And if it can, is it something that a 'regular' user would recognize
> as a problem he has on his computer ?

 The basic problem is to "link information" and make it available out of the application silos. The desktop is full of data, but there is no way to mix those data. IM messaging, Contacts, Email, are very close to each other but we cannot build a "Google wave"-like window.

 The classic search engines (tracker 0.6, beagle) were fighting against tons of formats to reconstruct information. The application knows that some information is a contact, save it in a vcard, tracker reads the vcard and tries to reconstruct the contact. This solution tends to fail: the reconstruction is never complete, and a lot of guess is needed.

 So the new approach in tracker 0.7 is to offer a common schema, and let the application push the information directly. Skip the file step, so no information is lose in the "file roundtrip".

 What does this mean to the user? That he can see related information everywhere.

For instance, take EOG
* you could filter by "photos sent by..."
* you could open an IM conversation with the person who sent you the picture
* you could have a tag cloud, including your fspot tags
* If zeitgeist set relations between photos, it could suggest "related documents"
* In EOG you can ask for photos tagged as "GCDS" and find local/flickr/facebook results with that tag

This could apply also to totem or rhythmbox. s/pictures/songs/

The browser:
* Bookmark a page in epiphany, and it is available in firefox.

Other example:
* Somebody write: "Hey, have you take a look to the document i sent you yesterday?" and your dashboard shows the last document sent by that contact and his last blog posts. It can show that not because it understand the "have you take a look..." but because it knows you are talking with a certain contact. I.E. No magic or wonderfull inference: just queries to a well structured database.

Right now, all the information is already available somewhere (evo, telepathy, pidgin, ...), but these use cases are impossible to implement.

> Once we have the problem scoped out, we need to look at the user
> experience we want to aim for in solving it. Will it be a single
> search-for-everything dialog ? A query language ? Tagging everywhere ?

 The "dedicated search window" is dead. The applications are the client of this central storage: the application knows what is showing, so knows what can be related with it!

> After that, it might be possible to evaluate whether tracker,
> zeitgeist, couchdb or something else can be part of the
> implementation...

 Zeitgeist + tracker are complementary (and a nice team together).

 CouchDB is also a storage but with a different philosophy. The nicest part is the synchronization... but maybe we could "wrap" tracker in a similar code to allow the online replication. This is just a wild guess.



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