[XESAM] Extension proposal, alternative search services

Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen mikkel.kamstrup at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 13:44:06 PDT 2007

I just wanna toss this idea out in the wild.

I want to make it easy to have multiple services expose a xesam search
interface. We would still have the standard desktop search engine with the
dbus path and name as specified, but other implementations of the search
interface could be useful too. Consider fx if Gnome's Mugshot applet (
http://mugshot.org) exposed a xesam search service that could search in
mugshot groups, feeds, and persons. This would not be suitable as an
integrated part of the main desktop search service. Another example could be
a xesam wrapper for the Yahoo REST api.

This way we could (at some point in the future) have a small "swarm" of
xesam search services (likely with the desktop one as the most prominent),
and applications like deskbar could aggregate these in a a nice
search-everything-you-can-dream-of-and-then-some applications.

We can achieve this with almost no changes to the current search proposal.
What we basically need is some way to introspect what ontologies the search
engine is capable of using, and we probably need that anyway.

What I actually propose is this: Add a session property
vendor.ontologiesthat has value type aas, an array of ontology
definitions which are triplets
[unique_name,version,path]. So fx hooking up to the Yahoo service and
calling GetProperty(session, "vendor.ontologies") returns [["yahoo", "1.0",

If the main xesam desktop search service had a 3rd party onto installed it
might return [["xesam", "1.0", "/usr/share/ontologies/xesam-1.0], ["my-app",
"0.3.4", "/usr/share/ontologies/my-app-0.3.4]].

What do you guys say? Cheers,
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