[RFC] Metadata access and storage

Anders Feder anders at feder.dk
Wed Sep 7 03:40:52 PDT 2011

Den 07-09-2011 02:02, Michael Pyne skrev:
> On Tuesday, September 06, 2011 17:28:56 Anders Feder wrote:
>> Den 06-09-2011 16:03, Michael Pyne skrev:
>>> On Tuesday, September 06, 2011 12:58:33 Anders Feder wrote:
>>>> Yes, but these tools has been available for years now and they still are
>>>> not integrated in applications (at least not on the GNOME end). How do
>>>> you propose to rectify this situation (other than to say: "improve
>>>> thyself!" to the developers, which clearly is not accomplishing
>>>> anything)?
>>> Given that there already exist GNOME-centric tools for semantic data
>>> integration (i.e. Zeitgeist) it sounds like the work needs to be done on
>>> the application end, not by inventing /another/ semantic data framework.
>> Does Zeitgeist have features for integration of semantic data? I thought
>> it was just a timeline of events?
> What I talked about regarding Zeitgeist was based on browsing its website
> right before I sent the email. My understanding based on that was that
> Zeitgeist was a more full-fledged semantic framework than mere events. I can
> see from re-reading the description that it does indeed claim to be more of a
> semantic logging framework.
> With that said it certainly talks about many features which would be useful in
> a more generic semantic layer but you'd have to talk with someone more
> familiar with the library to see how far away it really is.
I think Zeitgeist is fairly limited in that respect, though Tracker may 
be a bit better. But even Tracker only acts as a store (and in a 
somewhat limited way, there's parts of SPARQL it does not implement), 
not as an endpoint that will let you, say, query remote services.
>>> I mean let's face it, the reason the job hasn't been done yet is because
>>> the job is enormous, not simply because the correct library hasn't been
>>> invented yet. This is all not helped by the fact that most developers
>>> have zero inclination to do the extra work to describe ontologies and use
>>> semantic layers (similar in my mind to the choice between using plain
>>> text files for simple config or using a full-blown SQL database). Simply
>>> making up a different backend/semantic interface is not going to help
>>> matters unless that new interface is /significantly easier/ to develop
>>> against (and then why not just port that interface over to the existing
>>> frameworks?)
>> What makes you think that the developers are willing to use the existing
>> frameworks if only they were easier to use? The concerns I've heard over
>> using e.g. Tracker as a backend have mainly been related to performance.
> That's actually a really good point, but I suppose my thought would be what
> would make Semantk have great performance that could not be implemented into
> Tracker or strigi/Nepomuk or similar?
It would not be possible to attribute any performance to it, in that it 
would only be an interface specification - not an implementation. 
Implementation would be up to the application developers. For instance, 
Evolution might implement this thin interface over E-D-S. This would not 
require a complete rewrite of E-D-S, nor would it deprive Evolution of 
the performance characteristics it has with E-D-S as a backend.

Once 'legacy' applications like Evolution is on board, frameworks such 
as Tracker become a lot more useful for /new/ applications. But not 
before - right now there is a chicken-and-egg situation where new 
applications don't use Tracker because none of the big applications talk 
RDF anyway.

> Regards,
>   - Michael Pyne
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