Jamie McCracken (jamiemcc) wrote,

Desktop search hackfest

The hackfest has been really cool with lots of discussions and ideas

Of particular interest to me is just how far Nokia wants to integrate tracker into their devices. Suffice to say its massively and no doubt explains why they have contributed tons of code over the last 6 months via 6/7 paid developers.

I have to say Im very impressed with the list of ideas that they want tracker to do including being the database for their media player. Philip Van Hoof also showed me a really cool tracker powered file manager thingy but as some of this is potentially confidential I wont go into details just now

Its also good to know what makes a metadata storage daemon a success and in particular why tracker's database utilising a hybrid sql and custom triple store approach allows us both performance and flexibility which you would not get using say an RDF based backend

the key factors for a successful metadata daemon include:

1) ease of use - friendly API (XESAM scores big here). Raw RDF/SPARQL would potentially scare people off
2) high performance - sadly absent from RDF databases but not an issue with tracker's ability to denormalize triplet data into flat tables for key or important metadata.
3) Extensibility - not so great if you cannot extend it

At the end of the day we dont want application developers to resort to creating custom sql databases to service their needs which is what will happen if a metadata daemon does not satisfy all of the above.

Anyway thats not to say tracker is perfect in this area yet and there will be some more work to create dedicated media databases which are flattened and comparable in structure to databases like banshee and rhythmbox use. Im confident we can deliver 50,000 music tracks complete with key metadata in a fraction of a second with the soon to be implemented improvements.

Along with the integration of a custom sqlite FTS module that im working on I believe it will make tracker's goal of world domination one step closer as well as giving us a rocking mobile desktop thats fully integrated and far faster and more intelligent than what we currently have.

The next generation desktop is happening now in the mobile space and with a clutter based UI expected in the next generation tablet from Nokia complete with cell phone ability, that future device should easily match the iphone (if not beat it)

I cant thank Nokia enough for having the vision and the resources to make it happen. Its also great that companies like Nokia are now going overboard in investing in exciting free software projects and getting their work upstream.

I hope we will have the same level of excitement in our Gnome desktops that exists in the highly innovative mobile space in the not too distant future and Im sure it will happen if other companies follow Nokia's example.
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