How can I add an application for G-A-J to "index"

Asked by Jim Campbell on 2010-01-22

An application in the Lucid repositories, xml-copy-editor, allows me to work on xml documents for documentation. However, Gnome Activity Journal doesn't report these files as ones that I've worked with. Is there a way to add an application that will be included as part of the Gnome Activity Journal indexing process?

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Siegfried Gevatter
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Siegfried Gevatter (rainct) said :

Zeitgeist currently only logs events from GtkRecentlyUsed (however, it's better if applications insert the information themselves directly to Zeitgeist as they can provide more details; just to give one out of many examples, events for when a document is closed, and not only opened, which gives room for some fancy stuff).

For applications that don't insert information into GtkRecentlyUsed, or from which we want more information, we have started a project to write plugins for them: . Additionally, it is possible to write external data-sources (see "man zeitgeist-datahub"), but we would like to avoid going this way if possible.

We currently have no plans for creating a data-source for XML Copy Editor ourselves (there are already enough other applications we need to take care of), but if it has support for extensions you could write one yourself; see and particularly the "InsertEvents" method. Even better, you could convince XML Copy Editor's author(s) to support Zeitgeist directly or, until we stabilize our API with the upcoming 0.4 release, at least add support for GtkRecentlyUsed.

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Jim Campbell (jwcampbell) said :

Thanks for the quick response. Without understanding the framework initially, I must say that I'm a bit dismayed by the response. Telling a user that their application of choice can't be supported by this new program until a change is made upstream isn't exactly the most user-friendly approach.

I can understand how you wouldn't want to automatically register any .xml file in a user's home directory - you would wind up registering a ton of config files. On the other hand, it would be great if there was a UI that allowed me to "register" the application, or even a command I could enter to do the same.

I will file a bug report upstream to see if they can support this feature.

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Best Siegfried Gevatter (rainct) said :

Well, we are not an indexer, but an event logging framework, and we can't know what is happening unless the programs give us that information. If what you want is just an index of documents you can search, that's what Tracker is for (and I must say, the new 0.7 version they are currently working on is really nice, in terms of performance).

We understand that it is important to get as much coverage amongst programs as possible, which is why we plug into GtkRecentlyUsed (and are currently working on a GIO patch to get even more coverage amongst GTK+ applications). However, there is no such solution working with all possible applications (we can get some basic support for KDE applications like with the GtkRecentlyUsed/GIO approach, but not much more).

In any case, using those methods we can only get very limited information about what happened. We use them because they are useful, but without direct support from the applications this is more like an advanced version of GtkRecentlyUsed than what Zeitgeist is really about. They don't work for anything else other than files, think websites, conversations, music, etc., don't tell us why something happened, only give us a very limited set of events (Opened/Saved).

I hope this helps understand why we need application support.

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Jim Campbell (jwcampbell) said :

Thanks for your reply. This is very helpful.