DOAP, Description of a project
claes at it-slav.net
Wed Aug 11 21:50:14 EEST 2004
I recently discovered an interesting project I thought I should bring to
DOAP, "Description of a project".
The goal of DOAP is to develop a metadata format to describe open source
projects. It seems to aim especially to act as definitive source format
for various software directories such as Freshmeat, but I think it can be
valuable also for the desktop. Why is this interesting?
I think because there is lack of good metadata for free desktops today.
The .desktop files include very sparse human readable information, and the
descriptions in there must also come from somewhere. Some programs have
good documentation, but the coupling between executable, documentation,
man page, home page, repository, .desktop file etc is loose.
I previously did some research to see what kind of metadata was available
to describe the programs I had installed on my Linux system. Actually, it
is not so much. .desktop files, but with very sparse human readable
descriptions. Descriptions from the package management system. Also there
data is available in directories such as Freshmeat, but this is not easy
retrievable, and not quite free.
If something like DOAP is widely adopted I imagine every source tarball
would include a DOAP description in it. This could be useful when
creating .desktop files. Also, If DOAP files were installed as part of the
installation I imagine it would be easier to create user interfaces for
searching software on a system since there would be richer human readable
texts to index and search for.
I realize that a description of a project is not the same thing as a
description of the software that is produced by the project. Do you have
any innovative ideas of how DOAP (or similar) files could be used on a
free desktop? What metadata would be good if it could be included in a
DOAP file, from the desktop point of view?
I think DOAP looks promising, especially after having read the design
documents, linked from its home page.
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