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Semantic Desktop
• Getting semantics to help on the desktop may
be THE challenge for Graphical User
Interfaces in the next decade
• Desktop semantics offer some general
protection of privacy
- Searching
- Information Management
• New ways to think about Personal Information
• When we say “Desktop” do we mean
“Personalization” or “Knowledge
Personal Information Cloud
• Vander Wal’s Model of Attraction
- Your information has structure (and you understand it)
- You are more involved with it in different contexts on
different devices at different times
- Re-using information (see contexts) is key
• The current Web is (mostly) not like this
- Stateless, memberships, non-open formats
- You have to go to your information
• Information should come to you, transparent of
- Re-use of information easier with structure & retrieval
- Native understanding of user needs (it’s your information)
- Metadata can be added explicitly or implicitly
The Cloud that follows You
• Information stays
attracted to you
• Sync, contextual
portability are key
• This key is enabled by
- Of the information
- Of your situation
Personal InfoCloud issues
• Are we talking about Personalization?
• TBL’s Semantic Web Agents?
• Yahoo’s (Social Computing) 360?
• How much control do you want to have?
- Most people don’t even backup information or organize their
- The one time we organize our information?
• For taxes. Do we need a Certified Public Information
• What are the impacts for information system
- User defined metadata & its (user contextual) appearance
- Lightweight semantics universally accepted
Semantic Desktop Outlook
• Lots of people are working on it
- RDF on the desktop
- Ontology (matching or syncing)
- Desktop agents
• Web protocols work well on the desktop too
- You already have a Web server installed on your computer,
why not use it?
- MIME types, open formats, DOM scripting, logic running on
your own personal server
• Do you have to be a system administrator (now)?
• Does RSS go against this trend?
Organic Semantic Desktop
• Where will the SD come from?
• Is it winner take all?
• Who has the better pull?
- Server = Google
- Client = Microsoft (Apple)
• Can it work like you do now?
- What may need to be different?
- Is different always better?
• Semantic Desktops connected to the Web,
build the Semantic Web one user at a time
The usual (SD) suspects
Protégé (expanded)
Outlook ?
Small pieces (address books, email clients,
HTML documents)
• Home Entertainment Media Hubs
Semantic Desktop Building Blocks
• Previously mentioned systems
• Broadband, ubiquitous connectivity
• Open source software
- Web technology
- Open document formats
• New ways to store & organize information on the
- That might fight or confound current operating systems (file
structures, app interop)
- Drag & Drop vs. Search & Sort
- What about Attraction & Agents?
- Finding & Reminding
- Ontologies & Taxonomies that are scaled down to desktop
use & user mental models that change over time
Building Blocks diagram
Enabling Framework
Central RDF Repository
Central Search
Adapters (Sync, xfer, conversion)
Context Capture
Pluggable Architecture
• How are these exemplified in SWT concepts
we have discussed all semester?
Wiring the Web
- One view of using information if not semantically,
at least more seamlessly
• We have XML (RSS), Web Services, Mashups
• A “mesh” can form by using simple scripting
to wire components together
- Can end-users build it?
- What is the best metaphor to present it to users?
• How can users move beyond the model of
working with information of the server, by the
server & for the server ?
- Because I thought it was all about the users
A Clipboard of the Web?
• How can people move information around between
uses; among different Web sites & services or even
for contextual use on their own computers?
• “Copy & Paste” needs a new metaphor then
- Apple tried “Publish & Subscribe”
- Isn’t subscribe what we say for (RSS) feeds now?
• Live Clipboard
- “ because we view “live” efforts as those providing users
with seamless end-to-end scenarios that “just work” by
weaving together the best of software and the best of
services. “ Ozzie 2006
• What do you think?
- Marketing spin?
- A (desperate) attempt to keep you liking the desktop?
- A bad metaphor and not very sophisticated interface model?
10 minutes + questions
Any or all of the members may present
Demonstration of the project
Link to working demonstration that stays live for a
• Explanation of project ideas & technologies by using
readings & discussions from class this semester
• References, Bibliography of ideas & projects you
were inspired or built upon