AW: Module Proposal: GNOME Activity Journal

Some further comments below.

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: Randy B [mailto:email tehk gmail com]
> Gesendet: Freitag, 7. Mai 2010 02:33
> An: Colin Walters
> Cc: Thorsten Prante; desktop-devel-list gnome org
> Betreff: Re: Module Proposal: GNOME Activity Journal
> This is just a quick note. People often confuse Zeitgeist with the
> Activity Journal. The Journal is a centralized activity browser that
> uses Zeitgeist. Other implementations around the GNOME desktop will
> use Zeitgeist directly unless they just want to just display a
> specific day in the journal or information about a specific event.
> Something like tracker-search-tool mixed with Nautilus, except for
> activities instead of files.
> > What are your long term user interface goals?
> We plan to finish tracker search support and add both a tracker tag
> cloud and a way to view a detailed description of an event. Beyond
> that, we would like to further refine the existing interface.
> > Do you see the
> > modification to the GNOME 2 UI being a new "Activity Journal" entry in
> > "Accessories" as being the end?
> I plan to merge a branch soon which provides a DBus interface to
> display specific day, or a specific event which could be used by other
> applications. Other than the possibility of applications using that
> interface Activity Journal will just be another application which
> exist in the menu.

A new entry in accessories can be a useful end, yes. 

Beyond, it is our vision that any item on the desktop can be used as an
argument to call up GAJ. This is to show the user, when the item had been
used and what else it had been used with. Currently, we further develop this
feature by having GAJ show related items (by use over time) to any item it

Plus, GAJ could become an alternative or extension to recent documents. GAJ
not only shows you what you are currently working with, but enables users to
access items, which have been used the last time a few days ago. Also, it
doesn't delete this memory as soon as you are re-using a certain item. As
indicated above, multiple item-usages (as in you work on a seminar paper)
are shown within the context of what else you had used them with at each
occurrence of use. Items organized in folders do not necessarily reflect
what has been used together, neither do search engines. Also
application-wise histories don't help to lessen this kind of fragmented user
experience, as opposed to what they remember.

What we will take up again and bring forward is providing search and

> > * Do you expect users to launch this occasionally when they're looking
> > for something, or they keep it running?
> Users would launch it just as they would a file manager, which is to
> say, when they are looking for an activity.

"Launching vs. keeping it running": totally depends on user preference.

> > * Have you given any thought to how this interacts with the file
> > picker, Nautilus, or the Places menu in GNOME 2?
> Journal should have almost nothing to do with those applications. If
> Zeitgeist features were added to those applications they could
> possibly have a option to launch the journal and show more information
> about the event or the day's activities using the aforementioned
> planned DBus interface.

The file picker could have a GAJ button for the use case that work will be
resumed via an application and GAJ will behave to display only those items,
which can be opened by the respective application.

With respect to the places menu, we don't (yet) support logging folder use.

> > * Have you looked at the GNOME 3 UI plans around files?
> I have seen the ThreePointZero plan wiki page, and the Activity
> Journal's goals are exactly what is defined there under the "Changing
> the way we access documents" section. Once we finish the tracker
> search and tag cloud, I believe we will be close to providing a part
> of that user experience. Zeitgeist and tracker integration in other
> key modules is really needed to provided that experience throughout
> the GNOME desktop.


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