An idea I've been thinking about for a while, so was nice to read Metadata for the desktop
by Edd Dumbill.
I've really been enjoying using KImDaBa
to manage my photos. But it doesn't make it easy to share the photos in a categorized way with those not using Linux, or over the web... I wrote a little wxpython
app that can read the database. But then I thought, actually a lot of the stuff in KImDaBa would be really useful for indexing other kinds of files (e.g. documents, music, sermon recordings)... but it would really need to be stored as metadata associated with each file.
And then I started reading on the semantic web
and thought, this is really how it ought to be done, rather than the ad-hoc xml style of KImDaBa. In fact the article by Edd contains a good description of RDF and how applicable it could be on the desktop.
The real advantage would come if someone like FreeDesktop.org
helped to define a standard way of attaching metadata to files (on a filesystem like Reiser, this can be done in the filesystem, but to work more broadly it would have to be in separate files), and perhaps even standard ways to index this metadata. Then KDE, GNOME, and even Windows tools could all work on top of this unified system. This should be done now, rather than waiting for new filesystems like WinFS which might simplify the process in the future. And an open source standard/architecture would gain a lot of traction...
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