[Dev] Help requested for Ubuntu Brainstorm response on possible Zeitgeist integration

Manish Sinha mail at manishsinha.net
Mon Apr 4 18:34:43 UTC 2011

On 03/23/2011 04:43 PM, Martin Pitt wrote:
> Hello Seif, hello Zeitgeist developers,
> Once you've read the details below, please respond with an
> acknowledgement and let me know if you can participate.  The expected
> time investment is on the order of a couple of hours over the next
> two weeks.
> Last November, the Technical Board recently began a new program to
> respond to top voted topics on Ubuntu Brainstorm:
>    http://mdzlog.alcor.net/2010/11/03/weathering-the-ubuntu-brainstorm/
> As you are a Zeitgeist domain expert, it would be great if you could
> analyze whether this is feasible and desirable to do with Zeitgeist,
> discuss possible UI integration issues (GTK/Firefox/etc.), and perhaps
> also whether upstream would be open to the idea.
> Since you are well versed in the technology involved, we would
> appreciate if you could spend a short time reading the Brainstorm
> content about it and writing a few paragraphs.  You don't need to have
> all the answers, and I encourage you to ask for input from others who
> might have a view on the issue.  This can be in the form of a
> detailled upstream bug report, a blog post, an email, or any other
> suitable format.  It shouldn't take more than an hour or two to
> complete.
> Our goal is to have everything ready for publication by the 11th of
> April.  Can you confirm that you're willing and able to help with
> this?

After discussing we came to the conclusion that there are two ways
to get this done.
* Using Zeitgeist
* Without Zeitgeist

With Zeitgeist
We can use the power of "Recently used" in Zeitgeist to provide
the most useful file locations.

The issue is that if we want to get this done upstream then
it *might* add zeitgeist as a dependency to GTK
I proposed that they should add a method in GtkFileChooser to
send the list of locations. This might break API which wont
be done in GTK3

We can keep our custom widgets downstream. This can be done
but won't become so famous and everyone will not benefit

Without Zeitgeist
This part of the solution is the one sent by Federico to the
Zeitgeist list. Here is his answer simply copy pasted.

----------- Start of Forwarded Message---------------

[I'm the maintainer of GtkFileChooser, so consider the following

I don't think we need to make the proposed scheme look for N folders
specific to the running application.  The list of recent folders needs
to be global.  That nicely takes care of this supper-common problem:

1. Save a file in one program (say, an attachment in Evolution)

2. Open another program (say, LibreOffice)

3. Try to open the file from (1) - you need to find the folder and you

There are several bugs around supporting a list of recent folders in the
file chooser:

Strictly speaking, we don't need Zeitgeist to do this.  To get this
working, we need to:

* Make sure apps add an item to the recently-used list when they save a
file.  I don't think all apps do this.  (This will make Zeitgeist
automatically pick up the saved files.)

* Make the file chooser read the items from the recently-used list, and
extract folders from them.  Make it present the folders.

* Think of a good way to present the recently-used folders.  Right now
the "Recent files" item is hidden in the file chooser's sidebar; for the
"Save" chooser, you first have to open the "Browse for other folders"
expander and *then* choose the recent files in the sidebar.  Presenting
the last N used folders in the "Save in folder" drop-down is easy
enough, but I'm not sure that's obvious enough.  I'm open to ideas.

* For bonus points, see what happens if a file chooser that hasn't had a
directory set on it (e.g. one that would just show $cwd by default) were
made to show the last-used folder.  See how that feels with various

In the short-term future we can play with making the file chooser ask
Zeitgeist directly instead of asking GtkRecentManager.  But for now, we
don't need to do that; we just need to take care of the items above.

I'll gladly help people who want to take care of this; I can review
patches, give advice on the structure of the file chooser's code, etc.

------------ End of Forwarded Message -------------

Manish Sinha
(On behalf of Zeitgeist Team)

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