As explained on Userbase, Nepomuk is a promising new technology which aims to make the user's data easier to find. Not only through the now common search and indexing, but also by making use of more complex relationships between documents, contacts and all sorts of data. While the full potential of Nepomuk is still shrouded in mystery for most of us, for developers it is an exciting area of work where academic research and Free Software development come together. Nepomuk is looking for new developers, read on to find out how you can help!
The KDE team working on Nepomuk aims to bring the Semantic Desktop to KDE 4, allowing applications to share and respond intelligently to meta data about files, contacts, web pages and more. Let us make this short: Nepomuk is an important project for the future KDE desktop. Its goal is to get all the information available on the system to the user. You are receiving an email - Nepomuk should show you information relevant to related projects or persons or tasks. You look at images of a person - Nepomuk should have links to other images of that person or unanswered emails or events you met that person at. You open the video player - Nepomuk should propose to watch the next episode in the series you are currently watching.
These are all but examples of what Nepomuk should provide. It could all become reality. But for that more development power is needed.
Now is the perfect time to enter the world of the semantic desktop. We finally have a decent database back end with Virtuoso support in Soprano (instructions for testing it here). This not only improves critical issues like the memory footprint and the scalability. It also provides us with a range of new features. We can for example embed full text queries directly in SPARQL expressions. We can use aggregate functions such as COUNT or MAX. We can nest SPARQL queries. We can update data using the SPARQL update syntax. And so on. All in all handling the available data gets way more powerful and convenient.
At the same time the integration with Akonadi takes a leap. Akonadi already pushes all its contact, email, and event data into Nepomuk for us to consume and to enrich. This opens up many possibilities, ranging from tagging files, tasks and web pages with a particular contact to associating files with an event or linking a set of emails to a particular project.
Apart from that the Nepomuk playground is already full of examples and prototypes that only wait to be enhanced, re-factored, and reused.
All this information needs to be displayed and enriched via Plasma applets, application plugins, new frameworks, and most importantly your creativity. There are both simple and complex things to be done, from creating a search GUI to improving the data storage system or determining relationships between files.
If you are interested in the semantic desktop, in gathering, presenting and using this information, check out the Nepomuk project page to get an idea of what you could help with. Of course it does not stop there. You can implement your own ideas or work on the core components like improving file indexing and extraction of information. The team would love new blood and any kind of input is appreciated!
Join the Nepomuk mailing list and meet us on irc (freenode - #nepomuk-kde). We have the opportunity to be one step ahead of everybody else this time.