kio and frameworks 5

Casper Clemence maninalift at
Fri May 11 21:33:35 BST 2012

I'm want to start a discussion, put an idea out there. I am also being
pushy, on someone else's behalf.

Although it may be a difficult discussion I think it would be a great shame
to miss the opportunity to have it. I'm not trying to tell anyone to "do it
this way".

Please excuse me for saying "we" when I have not contributed to KDE as a
developer, I tied myself in knots trying to write in the third person and
gave up.

Preamble over.

The discussions is this "what part should libferris take in the refresh of
KIO in KDE Frameworks 5?"

Ben Martin really should be involved in any discussion of a redesign at the
very least. He clearly has put a lot of work and thought into virtual
filesystems and has created something quite unique.

Libferris is an awesome piece of technology. It provides not just the
traditional features of a VFS but a uniform method of access for
applications and users to a large and expanding range of things. It has
been demonstrated to work on maemo and as a Plasma DataEngine and has a web
service interface. The rate at which Ben is able to turn out new
capabilities for libferris also suggests it is well written and easy to

A uniform method of access for applications makes developing cool new stuff
easier. A uniform method of access for users leads means a powerful tool to
do what you want with your data, browsing a database in your file browser
and dragging and dropping data around.

So there are three points I want to suggest:
(1) Speak to Ben about the possible developments of kio
(2) learn from libferris
(3) consider adopting libferris wholesale

Possibly the biggest pain point with adopting libferris wholesale is that
libferris indexes and KDE already has an indexer in strigi.

But before the idea of adopting it wholesale into kdelibs is thrown out we
should ask whether the difficulty of solving any issues we have with it
really are greater than the difficulty of writing - and the advantage of
those features libferris has which would never get written into kio.

Libferris can already talk to soprano and Nepomuk, perhaps it should be
considared whether allowing libferris to take over from strigi could
actually be a good thing. Integration of the indexer into the VFS seems
quite smart especially when the VFS knows how to read the structure of
documents as well as index the text and metadata. I don't think that it is
an easy question, whether or not it is worth it can only be answered by
looking into it in technical detail, even trying it out.

I hope this was a useful conversation to start and I am not just being an
ignorant user butting in on the development mailing list.

Regards to you all
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