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The Nepomuk Sprint

Posted by grundleborg on June 22, 2009

I’m writing this on the plane back from Freiburg, and the Nepomuk Coding sprint. It’s a beautiful town (except late at night during the weekend, but anyway…) and well worth visiting again (hopefully there’ll be a Nepomuk Sprint 2010).

Now to the important details. As I often seem to at these kind of events, I find myself leaving with less code written than I arrived with. However, when put in context, this is no bad thing. Nepomuk is a new technology, and is not entirely straight forward for a newcomer to understand. I arrived with intentions of integrating Telepathy with Nepomuk, but with little clue how to actually do this. And the results: I know understand enough about how Nepomuk works to make a plan, and start coding on integrating with Telepathy (unfortunately most of the code I wrote in the few days beforehand with this aim turns out to be so wrong it’s best just to throw it away and start again).

There are two ways in which Telepathy will be integrated with Nepomuk. One is the fairly obvious case of storing metadata about your IM buddies. Some examples of this might be: the last time they were seen online or the geolocation at which they were last online using the Location interface of Telepathy). I’d love to hear any more suggestions of metadata that it might be good to store on your instant messaging and VoIP contacts (please use the comments section at the end).

The second integration point is a little different. It concerns the idea of metacontacts. Users of IM clients such as Kopete are probably familiar with the idea that you can group two buddies on different protocols, who are the same person in real-life, together as one metacontact. I intend to implement this for Telepathy applications’ contact lists using Nepomuk to store the relation between the different buddies. The advantage of doing this is that not just your IM client, but any Nepomuk enabled application can see this relationship.

So, that’s my rather superficial hand-wavy summary of the plans that came out of the Nepomuk sprint for Telepathy. I hope to write again soon to provide a mercilessly technical explanation of how all this will/is being implemented.

Finally, I’d just like to say thank you very much to Sebastian Trueg who did such a great job of organising this sprint.

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6 Responses to “The Nepomuk Sprint”

  1. DanaKil said

    “I’d love to hear any more suggestions of metadata that it might be good to store on your instant messaging and VoIP contacts”

    I was thinking about some statistics about my contacts (those whom I speak rarely/often… so that I can clean up my list from time to time)

    An other idea : it could be interesting to store the sex (male/female) of contacts too. In some languages (french and others), one need to know the sex of the subject to properly write a sentence, ie :
    “Marie is connected” -> “Marie est connectée”. (female)
    “Thomas is connected” -> “Thomas est connecté” (male).

    This problem is usually solved by writing “est connecté(e)” but is could be really cool if the OS can do it correctly without this trick (it “knows” that my contact is a real person and not just a line of text…)

    • +1 on the gender+language thing. My mother tongue suffers from that problem (three genders and multiple grammatical numbers) as well. A feature like that combined with an improved l10n would positively pop out in terms of polish when it comes to translations! 😀

  2. Although I myself do not need or want this feature, I’ve met people (usually of the female persuasion) who manually write down a history of their own nicknames and “witty status messages” and those of people they know. Maybe some people would like to see that automated – so they can see (e.g. in the metacontact) how in time the person’s nickname and “witty status message” changed.

    There’s also the possibility to implement the features that are currently offered by the ‘statistics’ plugin in Kopete. I’m thinking in the line that Nepomuk would gather when a certain person is usually online and when it usually replies (IM, e-mails etc.) …based on this statistic data Nepomuk could also predict when the certain person would most likely be online or reply.

    It would be awesome if it was also possible to integrate Nepomuk with Konversation – imagine if you could see from any Nepomuk app (e.g. addressbook) if the person is online on the servers you use (e.g. produce a full /whois or /whowas).

  3. mutlu said

    Given that you called the fact that two accounts belong to the same person as a ‘relationship’ between the two accounts made me think about more kinds of relationships other that “a and b are identical,” for example family relationships (“a is mother of b”) or possibly even relationships in the business world.

  4. Andre said

    It would be great if the contacts were integrated with Akonadi, so that all contacts (IM accounts, IRC account, vcard) would be integrated. Also, you could have properties/tags (coworker, friend, relative) that could be used for grouping in the address book and contact list.

  5. Will Stephenson said

    I think looking at Nepomuk first is a good idea, since the metacontact abstraction is more important to how we do IM than where the contacts are stored. Looking forward to more informed blogs as you progress – I hope you’re not doing anything else this summer 😉

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