Towards a Semantic K Desktop Environment
Speaker: Tudor Groza
In traditional desktop architectures, applications are isolated islands of data - each application has its own data, unaware of related and relevant data in other applications. Individual vendors may decide to allow their applications to interoperate, so that e.g. the email client knows about the address book. However, today there is no consistent approach for allowing interoperation and a system-wide exchange of data between applications. In a similar way, the desktops of different users are also isolated islands - there is no standardized architecture for interoperation and data exchange between desktops. Users may exchange data by sending emails or upload it to a server, but so far there is no way of seamless communication from an application used by one person on their desktop to an application used by another person on another desktop. The Social Semantic Desktop paradigm adopts the ideas of the Semantic Web paradigm and offers a solution the data interoperability problem based on formal ontologies able to capture both a shared conceptualization of desktop data and personal mental models and more specific on RDF (Resource Description Format), as a common data representation format. Together, these technologies provide a means to build the semantic bridges necessary for data exchange and application integration. The NEPOMUK Social Semantic Desktop will transform the conventional desktop into a seamless, networked working environment, by loosening the borders between individual applications and the physical workspace of different users.
KDE, as the most advanced open-source desktop environment is the perfect target platform to realize the ideas of the NEPOMUK Social Semantic Desktop. Semantic and social technologies can be integrated deeply into the KDE framework which builds the basis for all KDE applications. The interoperability of KDE applications and services can be extended to also cover semantic information exchange and creation. The goal is to give the KDE user a simplified way to handle the desktop data throughout all KDE based applications.
Tudor Groza received is MSc. degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Cluj Napoca in partnership with DaimlerChrysler AG Berlin. In 2005, he joined Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) Galway as a PhD student under the supervision of Siegfried Handschuh and Stefan Decker. Since the beginning of 2006 he is actively involved in the NEPOMUK - Social Semantic Desktop - project, where he deals with building the architecture for the NEPOMUK platform. One of the most important outcomes of his work in the architecture was, together with partners from the Consortium, to design and establish as standard for all NEPOMUK platform implementations, of the Middleware Registry API. He also implemented the first Java version of the NEPOMUK Middleware Registry.
Although without direct contributions (so far) for the K Desktop Environment, Tudor is a passionate KDE user. And since almost one year, together with Sebastian Trueg (K3B/Mandriva), Jos van den Oever (Strigi), Siegfried Handschuh (DERI), Laura Dragan (DERI) or Stephane Lauriere (XWiki) tries to make the Semantic K Desktop Environment become reality.
Tudor lives in Galway together with his wife, and when the weather gives him the opportunity, he likes driving and visiting the nice places that Ireland has to offer.