NEPOMUK and Semantic Desktop in the midst of KDE and gnome integration

The co-located Akademy/KDE and GUADEC/GNOME “desktop summit” is over, and various bloggers report about the outcome. pro-linux news. Sebastian Trüg witnesses joint conference.

A summary statement on the KDE blogs by Richard Moore reports that NEPOMUK and the Semantic Desktop are key elements to build upon (also mentioning it before the new GUI) and distinguish the KDE desktop from others. During his keynote, Sebastian Kügler, board member of KDE Ev, announced that more funding will go into the Semantic Desktop area:
KDE e.V. will sponsor a series of developer meetings that focus on integrating these features into the desktop. We invite teams inside KDE to think about how their software can benefit from the semantic framework introduced in KDE 4. The semantic desktop has the potential of being a game-changer for the Free Desktop, as it provides a way to model the user’s data closer to how the human brain does it. It will move the computer’s user interface one step closer to the user. (copied from Richard Moore’s post, I cannot cross-check if Sebastian really said that)

Most apparent and important for me: gnome and KDE people work in parallel, but with closer and closer cooperation. An interesting aspect on this merge and cooperation is our contribution from the Semantic Desktop side:
KDE’s strigi library is getting closer to gnome’s tracker. As Sebastian Trüg writes, tracker is now using RDF and sparql.

As a common ground, developers from both projects agreed in April on using the NEPOMUK ontologies, and this will for cooperation grew and grew since then. I am helping a bit from the side of, an organization that was founded as a place for standardization work by DERI, DFKI, and KDE. There I represent DFKI, and we had to rethink our process a lot to cater for the needs of open-source projects.

So, I am watching open-mouthed at how ontologies really help building a common model between domain experts (horrayy, they work) and cannot imagine what will happen soon in the KDE/Gnome community around NEPOMUK. I really can’t, because with these many brains who now cooperate, innovation is speeding up by the minute, and its not predictable anymore what semantic desktop applications will be there in a year. Looking forward to it, though 🙂