Do you actually need a Semantic Desktop?

Leaving aside any prejudices one may have from success or failure of various implementations of a Semantic Desktop, do you actually want one?

People use computers for a very diverse range of tasks, personally, for my own work-flow I don’t see any advantage.

My own requirements are for document content indexing, a task that previously I had used Beagle for. More latterly Nepomuk, which I found moderately successful but woefully lacking in terms of complex search queries. I’ll refrain from commenting on Baloo. Currently my requirements are met by a recently discovered (my myself) indexing/search utility, Recoll, which I am greatly impressed with.

I am curious as to how others, especially those who make extensive use of tags, ratings, metadata etc. and are less concerned with actual document content, view the advantages or otherwise of Semantic Desktop capabilities.

No, I neither need nor want a “semantic desktop”. And, apart from that, the name “semantic desktop” is surely a misnomer. It’s a part of KDE that I have no use for, though I admit that I have not bothered to turn it off.

I share the same view- not used but leaving as it is for now. (I briefly disabled it just to show others how to.)

I’ve been pestering any KDE guys that would listen that the majority of users out there don’t use all the bells and whistles that comes along with the install…but, I’m just a face in the crowd. I agree they should be there for those that need them, yet it’s just a waste of resources for users like me. This type of discussion usually branches into memory use, but my beef is with the wasted cpu cycles. Silly me. I am very hopeful and pray that the KlyDE project gathers some steam and support (hint hint) and produces another release…and then I’ll beg Evergreen to support it. Yes, I live in a dream world. my 2 centavos.

I voted Possibly. I’ve been giving baloo a tryout as I found Nepomuk caused me the CPU problems most here speak of. Also, as a search tool it was… it was… A MESS!
So far here’s what I found.

  1. Yes the there is much CPU use by baloo at 1st. In my case on a 500G HDD It took about 6 hours. Unlike Nepomuk to date baloo hasn’t taken very much since that initial 6 hours. Nepomuk would randomly take chunks of CPU time & then slow everything else.
  2. Baloo according to the KDE blogs I’ve read was their most recent effort to try & make The Semantic Desktop useful, with the addition of the Milou widget I’ve found it useful so far. For those interested one can add this repo:

to get the milou widget.
3) With the addition of the milou widget I’ve found that I can click on it to find any file that i can think of the name or part of that name.
An example:
I’ll want a certain file ThatGirl. I have 2 files with that name, ThatGirl (a txt file)& thatgirl3(a jpg).
I’ll click on the milou widget which I have in my panel a box will show. In it I’ll type “thatgi” then those 2 files
show up in a list just above the box. Selecting “thatgirl3” I then get a small box with the the pic that is that file.
Showing me where it is in my case ~/Documents/favimages/
Selecting “ThatGirl” then I get a box with the Text that is that file & showing me where it is in my case ~/Documents/Stories/
Do I need the Semantic Desktop?
For me & I do stress for me I’m giving it a try to see if I do. I sometimes only remember certain parts of a file not the whole name, and sometimes I forget where I put it. This is the situation that the SD was for IIRC.
Now in the scenario I gave above without SD if I wanted to find “ThatGirl” I’d have manually gone through Dolphin trying to find it because I have moved it around a few times. Doing it this way takes much time. I used to use Krusader but for me it sometimes missed files.(something endemic to my system I’d guess) So I took it out. So far with baloo this hasn’t been a problem.
With SD just 2-3 clicks & There It Is!
As stated Nepomuk was just mukked up, but baloo just may get me into the idea of a Semantic Desktop.

Back in the days of Beagle, I disabled it. Then came Nepomuk, disabled that. In the future, I’ll be doing the same with Baloo, I imagine. It would be nice if these things were an option, disabled by default. But I guess I can disable it myself, as always. I need my CPU for more important things. I hate when the computer is brought to a standstill for long periods. I’m sure it’s useful to some, but I have no use for it. It’s not my intention to insult anyone, of course, so I hope it’s not taken as such.

Sometimes i need indexing (in-files text search), but i don’t need to tag files.

Yes, for one search…but it isn’t able in baloo :frowning:
i find pictures with the help of indexing the exif tags (keywords, comment, …)

anyone uses a different soft to find pictures running inside KDE?

Provided you don’t mind no integration with Dolphin or Gwenview, Recoll may be worth a look.

For images, “as is” it indexes EXIF, Makernotes, IPTC, and XMP data.

Screenshot of a quick search for EXIF “gpslatitude”

positive: controle over the database, fast, complete search options, …
negative: why is that not possible in baloo (to use direct in dolhpin):wink:

i think Recoll is staying here, thx :slight_smile:


I had as many others had problems with Nepomuk and Baloo. Takes to much CPU indexing. Well I could live with that. The moore larger problem for me is that my main storage is on my server in the basement. If I have understand it rigth it doesent help me on remote storages.

Oh yes I know it would take mutch moore time to index, -I use to re-index all my photos trow Digikam when ever I re-install my laptop. Even if I have Gigabit over the Lan it takes a lot of time.


I say its a nice concept but needs far better testing and smoothing out before it becomes something viable.

Interesting thread! As far as I can see, the only reason it’s on my system (I use lxde) is that like many here I use K3b, which is ‘nepomuk dependent’. If I find a way to keep K3b while removing nepomuk, boom…there it goes!
Take Care.

I’ve been without a Semantic Desktop for almost 2 decades, and never did it occur to me that something like that is a “must have”. I keep my data (files, emails, multimedia) very organized as I go along, so only very seldom have I found a need for a tool that aids in finding something. Most of the time when I do need searching help for a file, it is a hidden configuration file.

I am a devout user of KDE, and I admittedly have Nepomuk running, for no particular reason. When I used the “Find” feature in Dolphin, most of the time it has been an abysmal failure because (AKIK) it does not find hidden files, and I tended to search for items that were added too recently to have made it into Nepomuk’s index by the time I initiated the search.

I can see the utility of adding metadata to my files, yet I have not really felt compelled to add any tags to my data, probably because I’ve successfully lived without tagged data for the majority of my computing life. Maybe if I got serious about tagging my data, I could become a fan of the Semantic Desktop concept.

Haven’t seen any fully semantic web page 'till now, so Semantic Desktop wouldn’t see too.
As for me that’s a stupid idea.
Of course EU spent a huge amount of money to support Nepomuk development, but do we have any noticeable result ? No.

I’ve been using this for the past few weeks and here’s an update:
There’s been no sudden surges of CPU cycles.
While I usually can find most of my files using the Filter Bar on Dolphin there are some limits on what that can do.
If I want to find a specific file inside a folder but can’t remember which folder its in the Semantic Desktop helps with that. This has come in handy a few times now.

Now back when we had Beagle this wasn’t so back when it was strigi this wasn’t so.
So far however with baloo & Milou it has been convenient & efficient. I still count myself as a possible.

being old school my file lookup needs are met by using the findutils-locate package, and the kde4 kio-locate add-on, very simple and effective. This doesn’t index the content so people requiring that are better off with nepomukky.