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GNOME's Zeitgeist Engine Has Its First Release

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  • GNOME's Zeitgeist Engine Has Its First Release

    Phoronix: GNOME's Zeitgeist Engine Has Its First Release

    One of the GNOME projects that's in development that should premiere around the time of GNOME 3.0 is Zeitgeist, which is the system for tracking user activity and events and then logging it, so that later on the user can use the Zeitgeist tool to browse or find events and files on the computer. This project is described by the Zeitgeist developers as, "You worked on a file, but you cannot remember where you saved it? You visited a web page about basketball three days ago, but you cannot find the URL in your browser's history? No problem, this is where Zeitgeist enters the scene...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzM4Mw

  • #2
    Another epic fail IMO. I know where my files are and don't need any trackers indexing and grinding my disk down. I don't know why indexing is such a popular feature of many OSes. It's sad how much effort beagle and tracker received.

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    • #3
      sounds interesting!
      but the data this program gathers is dangerous. imagine someone hacked you computer and knows when you stored what where and what you did with whom..

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      • #4
        I hope this is not being integrated in to gnome apps ? I kinda think this stuff is already, gedit for example, will open a file and jump to the last location in the file. Seriously, its a simple text file, all that does is waste cpu and disk. I find this really annoying, which is why i ditched gedit.

        /me thinks about mouning ~ on tmpfs

        What bothers me the most is the useless disk access and wasted cpu.

        matt

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hax0r View Post
          Another epic fail IMO. I know where my files are and don't need any trackers indexing and grinding my disk down. I don't know why indexing is such a popular feature of many OSes. It's sad how much effort beagle and tracker received.
          The article doesn't mention Zeitgiest's long term goals, which may be why you believe it to be another indexing service. It shouldn't be thought of as Yet Another Desktop Indexer, but more like a desktop revision control system. Like bzr or git that doesn't require commits(or branches, or pushing and pulling of remote repo's or anything else that at normal desktop user wouldn't use).
          Last edited by Milyardo; 07-15-2009, 02:47 PM.

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          • #6
            I don't like to judge software before having tested it, but I'm pretty sure I would disable this one fast, if it came enabled by default on a fresh installation of, say, a future Ubuntu release. I've seriously given content indexers a try, but they mostly just waste system resources and add little value. The Locate program is very simple, but still often does the job. Besides, I rarely forget where I store things or what I work on.

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            • #7
              Not to mention that it's a security and privacy nightmare: if I wanted some database tracking every web page I ever visit, I'd move back to Britain.

              I'll never understand why some people believe that logging everything they ever do and keeping every version of every file on their system is a good idea.

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              • #8
                Sounds like a piece of shit.

                Keep Registry crap on Windows only please

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cruiseoveride View Post
                  Sounds like a piece of shit.

                  Keep Registry crap on Windows only please
                  Non sequitur.

                  As described, Zeitgeist looks like a replay or revision control system. It has abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with the windows registry.

                  There are many legitimate uses for such a system and it opens some pretty interesting possibilities if it's included by default. What possibilities? Think user assistance (your father loses his photos, you use Zeitgeist to retrace his steps and restore them), application testing (I did xyz and your application crashed, here is a Zeitgeist replay) and more.

                  Of course, most people wouldn't understand innovation even if you spellt it, but that's ok. I, for one, like seeing features that aren't copied right out of commercial OSs.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by movieman View Post
                    Not to mention that it's a security and privacy nightmare: if I wanted some database tracking every web page I ever visit, I'd move back to Britain.

                    I'll never understand why some people believe that logging everything they ever do and keeping every version of every file on their system is a good idea.
                    Because some people keep valuable stuff on their systems. Music creation; 3d models; textures; retouched photos; book scripts; source code.

                    Note: this is orthogonal to regular backups. If I understand Zeitgeist correctly, it could work as a revision control system for your whole system.

                    Obviously, if you are concerned that someone might be monitoring your workstation, it would be best to minimize traces of your illegal activities - hence no Zeitgeist for you. :P

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                    • #11
                      And some people just dont want more features.

                      If I wanted a feature fest i'd use KDE

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                        Because some people keep valuable stuff on their systems. Music creation; 3d models; textures; retouched photos; book scripts; source code.
                        And they'll lose them all if they're not backed up on a remote system. Compulsory version control is just silly; there's a reason why even Microsoft didn't copy it from VMS.

                        Obviously, if you are concerned that someone might be monitoring your workstation, it would be best to minimize traces of your illegal activities - hence no Zeitgeist for you. :P
                        Who said anything about illegality? There are many perfectly good commercial and personal reasons for not wanting your computer to save away every file you ever access and every web site you ever visit. Heck, Mozilla just put a new feature into Firefox to _prevent_ it from logging what you do because many users wanted that.

                        If this goes into Gnome and can't be turned off, I'm not even sure we'll be able to justify using it at work anymore. For example, a while back I was given sample files from a customer which they required me to delete all copies of once we were done testing; how do I do that if the _windowing system_ is saving away copies in random places?

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                        • #13
                          You know the Firefox smart search bar? Same sort of concept. Making histories and such return things that are more useful and more relevant to users. Gnome 3 is trying to base the desktop around getting you to the media and programs you want faster, putting less focus on "file managers" and more focus on "event managers".

                          Hey, actually that's a pretty good term to use IMO...but I'm sure someone already thought of it first.

                          But I think it's a good thing, turning the computing experience into the same kind of easy access experience that, say, gaming consoles have, or media centers give you, etc. If you do have a need to access files/programs through the traditional methods, of course the file managers and consoles will still be available, but I think easier-to-use UIs will only increase in traction for the mainstream computing experiences.

                          P.S., think Minority Report, etc. Only time will tell as to what computing experiences are desirable but I definitely think there is room for these environments.
                          Last edited by Yfrwlf; 07-15-2009, 11:05 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by movieman View Post
                            And they'll lose them all if they're not backed up on a remote system. Compulsory version control is just silly; there's a reason why even Microsoft didn't copy it from VMS.
                            As I said, this feature is orthogonal to regular backups. I understand your urge to post, but make sure you understand someone's point before clicking the reply button.

                            Who said anything about illegality? There are many perfectly good commercial and personal reasons for not wanting your computer to save away every file you ever access and every web site you ever visit. Heck, Mozilla just put a new feature into Firefox to _prevent_ it from logging what you do because many users wanted that.
                            Illegal activities = tongue in cheek.

                            If you have legitimate reasons to avoid this feature, just turn it off. Feeling paranoid? Compile it out.

                            It's not as if this were some obligatory spyware forced down your throat by the government.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                              As I said, this feature is orthogonal to regular backups. I understand your urge to post, but make sure you understand someone's point before clicking the reply button.


                              Illegal activities = tongue in cheek.

                              If you have legitimate reasons to avoid this feature, just turn it off. Feeling paranoid? Compile it out.

                              It's not as if this were some obligatory spyware forced down your throat by the government.
                              It's not always that easy. In this case this functionality will be built on to be critical to the UI. The work that your seeing now is just the initial framework being hammered out. The UI work will come later once the framework issues are resolved.

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