I have posted the message below freedesktop.org's xdg list. Your comments there are welcome.
Tracker integration in Evolution is something that has been wanted for a long time (see Benjamin Otte's post from 2009 here). My point is that it probably will never happen because Evolution developers does not trust the performance characteristics of a foreign, all-desktop database like Tracker (am I right?). What I propose then is that instead of expecting Evolution to come to the semantic desktop, the semantic desktop should come to Evolution; instead of Evolution using Tracker as its back-end, EDS should be exposed to Tracker in a format that Tracker understands (namely RDF).
My proposal to xdg is a stab at an interface for accomplishing such an exposure. Basically, EDS would be exported as a D-Bus object with similar semantics to a 'graph' in Tracker.
Can you imagine yourselves (the Evolution team) maintaining a component implementing such an interface in Evolution?
-------- Original message --------
I would like to propose a new standards activity: metadata access and storage.
The mission is as follows: "Define a single, unified interface for access to all metadata on the desktop. Then extend it to support insertion (storage) of metadata too."
There has been at least one previous effort of this kind that I know of (Xesam), but most parts of it seems to have been either consumed by other projects (NEPOMUK), or abandoned completely (notably the query language). In any case, the state of affairs appears to be that there is no standard interface for accessing metadata: Evolution, Nautilus, etc. all still exist as separate silos - not as a unified whole which can be queried through a single interface. - It's 2011, and I still have to manually copy contact information from Empathy to Thunderbird.
Benjamin Otte gave a pretty good review of the situation (as far as GNOME goes) here: http://blogs.gnome.org/otte/2009/07/23/semantic-desktop/
As always, all options are open, but my own tentative proposal – titled Semantk – will give you an idea of what I have in mind: http://www.semantk.org/
How would you solve this problem?
-- -Anders Feder
-- Anders Feder