[Kde-pim] A "personal assistant" in Kmail (and elsewhere)?

Ingo Klöcker kloecker at kde.org
Sun Nov 30 18:16:50 GMT 2008

On Friday 28 November 2008, Janne Ojaniemi wrote:
> Has anyone here tried out this service:
> http://www.iwantsandy.com/
> It's like a personal assistant in your inbox. Basically, you email
> "Sandy" stuff like "remind me to buy some milk at the end of the
> day", and she would then remind you of those things. This is a
> web-service, but I don't see why something like this couldn't be
> built into Kontact as well.
> How would it work? I don't think that using a special email-address
> would work that well. But what if it was turned in to a KIO-slave?
> That way it could be access just about anywhere. For example, you
> could send a mail to a friend, and you could cc: the message to pda:
> (for example, whatever the KIO-slave happens to be called). Of course
> it could take some time and effort to turn Kmails address-fields
> KIO-aware (or are they already?)....
> And if this was handled through KIO, it could be accessed elsewhere
> as well, like Krunner. The user could just fire up Krunner and type
> something like "pda:remind me to pick up the wife at the
> train-station at 17:30", and it would then remind the user. The
> actual reminding could be done through email (like the iwantsandy.com
> does) or, since it's a service built in to the desktop itself,
> through some other means as well (Korganizer-notifications etc.),
> The system would have to be able to handle certain keywords like
> dates, times and the like. But I think that could be handled. Kmail 
> is already capable of noticing if the user talks of attachments, but
> there is no attachement in the message.

I think you are reading too much in what KMail can do. There's no magic 
behind this feature. KMail simply looks for the words "attached" 
and "attachment" (or whatever words KMail is asked to look for in its 
configuration) in the message you are about to send and, in case one of 
those words is found, checks whether there's an attachment.

KMail's ability has (almost) nothing to do with natural language 
understanding which is what your idea has at its core.

What you propose sounds like a very interesting research topic. KDE 
Research (http://techbase.kde.org/Research) might be the right address 
for this. They might have some ideas how to find a young researcher in 
the field of Natural Language Processing who might be interested in 
writing his thesis about this.

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