Mandriva adds a semantic layer to the KDE 4 desktop

On the occasion of aKademy 2007, the annual conference of KDE developers and users, Mandriva is proud to announce together with the NEPOMUK partners and the KDE community that the NEPOMUK-KDE project it leads is poised to deliver a sea change in the Linux desktop experience. NEPOMUK-KDE introduces semantic capabilities to the upcoming release of the K Desktop Environment (KDE 4), providing an interoperable framework that can be harnessed by all KDE applications to allow annotating and interlinking any and all desktop objects.

62 years ago, in the famous article "As we may think", Vannevar Bush aired the dream of a "Memex", a system that would let the user create associative trails of data, hence becoming an "enlarged intimate supplement to his memory". In the mean time, the advent of semantic Web technologies combined with the tremendous progress of database systems, the exponential growth of digital information stored on personal computers, the power of graphical toolkits and the inventiveness of open source communities have produced huge momentum for a new generation of personal knowledge systems. In 2007, the time of desktops acting as intelligent assistants has come.

Building upon existing standards and open source technologies, the NEPOMUK-KDE framework is the first desktop-wide semantic system to become a reality. The framework provides rich application programming interfaces allowing for content annotation using well defined relationships between the information elements and for advanced content search from any KDE application. KDE Dolphin - the new KDE
file manager - and KDE PIM - an application suite for managing personal information - count among the early adopters of the innovative NEPOMUK libraries.

Sebastian Trueg, the leading architect of the NEPOMUK-KDE project, explains: "NEPOMUK-KDE transforms the data islands currently encapsulated in each application into a gigantic graph of knowledge both at the desktop level and soon at the Web level".

With the goals of showcasing the latest advancements of the framework and involving the community of end users, Mandriva is building a KDE 4 preview image integrating the latest NEPOMUK achievements. "The objective is to expose the new desktop environment to the largest number of users, developing its future in close collaboration with the community it is made for, making the technology truly accessible and easy to use", says David Barth, Mandriva Consumer Vice-President.

Mandriva and the NEPOMUK Consortium are extending the scope of the project by bridging existing initiatives related to desktop metadata management to make semantic features interoperable between different technologies. Mandriva is also leading the implementation of similar features on top of the Eclipse RCP and the Mozilla XUL frameworks, and it is teaming up with XWiki and with the Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology to design a community semantic help desk with rich desktop extensions and P2P capabilities that will bring the knowledge sharing
process within the Mandriva community to a new level of efficiency.

Stéphane Lauriere, coordinator of the Mandriva Semantic Web activities, says: "NEPOMUK paves the way for revolutionary applications. It will considerably improve the efficiency of users in their day to day work. NEPOMUK will have a direct impact on the way people work, learn and communicate, empowering them with new methods for easily creating knowledge, and for discovering contextually
relevant facts."

Francois Bancilhon, Mandriva's CEO, adds: "It is no surprise that the innovations carried out by NEPOMUK stem from open source communities, since collective knowledge creation is at the heart of the open source movement. Mandriva is very proud to be part of a European team who is realizing the next big thing in desktop computing."

A video demonstrating NEPOMUK's integration into Dolphin, the new KDE
file manager, can be found at DailyMotion:

Tudor Groza, from DERI, will present the NEPOMUK framework during a
dedicated keynote session at aKademy 2007: