Zeitgeist in my blood

For the last three months, I have been working with the Zeitgeist team for achieving the goal of a semantic Linux desktop. Right now I am not much involved in the daemon, but not for long.

Basics

Daemon is just one part of the solution. A server is of no use if there isn’t any client to use it. Similarly now what zeitgeist needs is a deep integration with most of the applications and the shell. Unity is already on it’s way rocking ahead with Unity Places. There are many applications for which plugins have been developed to push events to the daemon. Apart from these Banshee plugin is there in banshee-community-extensions and Rhythmbox plugin is already upstream in the source tree.

The awesome team

I think this is my first experience working in an open source project with a team. Believe me, the team is awesome. To put it straight – MIND BLOWING. Mikkel is the architect who is the role model for being always right. Seif is always encouraging. Markus Korn’s keen eyes on details and the knack for extreme review sessions make sure that the mistake I commit is always the first and last time. Same goes for Micheal Hruby.  Siegfried does a lot of heavy-lifting and is the person I catch first when some information is needed about the daemon/API/backend.

The development process is pretty much democratic. Before any new feature is added or before something is finalized a lot of discussion takes places. There is a voting in spirit with democratic values. This is a sign of QA. No one is allowed to push a change to the trunk without any other person reviewing it. The patches are then fine tuned and ultimately the merge happens.

Seif’s role is that of a manager. No! I am not talking about the managers in your office. Manager role here is about keeping an eye on the overall thing so that every other person can concentrate on their work. He is also our community manager. That’s why you can see his face everytime zeitgeist is involved. Even though he started the project, we don’t have a benovalent dictator.

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Role

When I started contributing, everyone in the team mostly worked on python and C/Vala applications. This left a gap for integrating zeitgeist in CLI based applications. Randel Barlow had tried sometime back, but he hit the rock(ndesk-dbus) and stumbled over. (Die ndesk-dbus). I took over the work of creating a CLI wrapper over DBus API. Finally after some lengthy hack sessions and constant hair-pulling, I managed to finish the work with help of Mirco Bauer who created the build script(autofooling in our language). All the time during the development, ndesk-dbus was at the receiving end of my rage.

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Packaging

Jo Shields came into picture when he did the necessary work for packaging the library. Well, after the decision to make Banshee the default media player for Natty. most of the focus has shifted to slim down Banshee. This needs a lot of work and the Debian CLI team became very busy. The only work left was packaging the library.

Yesterday I caught Jason Gerard DeRose on #novacut and asked for help to package it. Even though he had never packaged CLI based applications, he offered his help to the best of his capabilities. I worked till 5 in the morning to get the build working. His step-by-step guidance and explanation made me his instant fan. Jason – we need people like you. Seriously! Be convinced that novacut will receive all the help possible from me.

Here is the PPA. This is my first package(for Maverick and Lucid), so please be calm. It should not screw up your system. Be relaxed! The name of the package is libzeitgeist0.1-cil and if you want to build the dataproviders yourself, then you need to get libzeitgeist-cil-dev

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Banshee and Tomboy Dataprovider for the impatient

If you love Banshee and Tomboy and feel that they need Zeitgeist love, then here is a dirty solution. I am providing the binary files for it. Manually dropping the files in the respective locations is a bad practice. Actually getting these dataproviders packaged can take some time, so for those people who can’t wait can try downloading both of these files. Remember to delete them when these are packaged. I will warn you again next time when the package will land.

Banshee dataprovider [code]: Put the file in /usr/lib/banshee-1/Extensions

Tomboy dataprovider [code]: Put the files in ~/.config/tomboy/addins

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Disclaimer

If you want to submit your objections to mono, please go and talk to mono developers. For a non-techie end user, mono hardly matters. For them having an application with better desktop integration matters. I work for them. I serve them. Again if you think my work is going to be the reason for the upcoming apocalypse on this planet, do feel to contact me via Launchpad page. Please keep your mails polite.

You can ignore the title of this post if you were about to take it literally.

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8 thoughts on “Zeitgeist in my blood

    1. sagt:Dass Rhythmbox wieder als Standard mimtkmot, begrfcdfe ich sehr, konnte mich noch nie richtig mit Banshee anfreunden, habe immer Rhythmbox genutzt.Wird es eine Alternative zu Tomboy geben?

  1. Always great to see Zeitgeist grow and especially with another fantastic .NET developer. I am very pleased to see your initial Zeitgeist extension just got merged into Banshee Community Extensions, congratulations.

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