GNOME Journal Article

The first draft of my GNOME Journal article on Zeitgeist is below. Criticism and comments are welcome.

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Zeitgeist Updates

Seif has done some very neat work on Zeitgeist lately. I’ve been away from coding in order to take care of personal work, but here are a few of the items on my TODO list:

1. Implicit tagging of files/documents- There are endless mountains of information on the user’s computer and on the web that can give us hints about a user’s files. I’d like to use some of this information in order to automatically sort and tag files. (E.g. Popular Delicious tags can be used to automatically label a user’s bookmarks.)

2. Automatic grouping of documents based on tags and the time they were accessed.

3. A new database design.

4. Better Open File dialogs- I’d like to display file suggestions to users based on their past file history and the list of currently open files.


GNOME Zeitgeist

Two months ago, I began working on GNOME Zeitgeist with Seif Lotfy. We were frustrated about usability problems with the current GNOME desktop, and we had several ideas about how we wanted to fix them. Under guidance from Thorsten Prante and Federico Mena-Quintero, we began programming a Python prototype.


Over time, we experimented with different interface designs as well as the underlying architecture. We played around with the journal-like interface that Federico suggested, added support for tagging,  and switched to a sqlite database.

Right now, we have a basic architecture in place. From here, we’re going to move on to more interesting elements. Over the next two weeks, I’m going to do some work with Seif on implicit tagging and user contexts. Both the backend and frontend have major rewrites planned.

If you have any ideas for Zeitgeist, feel free to drop either Seif or myself an email.


Context-aware Location Switching

I just saw this email on GNOME’s Desktop Development mailing list:

Then we can build on top of that to provide locations so you can switch the usage profile, the proxy configuration, VPN settings and other stuff basing on where you sit (and get bonus points for  detecting locations basing on stuff like current wireless network).  Anyway that’s a whole different story and does not belong in this thread. This sounds a lot like Marco Polo for MacOS, which I started cloning as Shackleton (http://burtonini.com/bzr/shackleton/). Ross Burton

For those of you who don’t know, Marco Polo tracks your computer usage and will automatically update locations and configurations based on your environment.

Ross, I’m looking forward to it!


GNOME Summit Slides

As promised, the slides from my presentation at the GNOME Summit are available on live.gnome.org.

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