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Activities - the helpful Big Brother

Real Name of Submitter: 
Ivan Čukić
Company or Project Affiliation: 
Short Bio: 

He is a Free/Libre software enthusiast and promoter. Joined the KDE community in 2006 to work on KDE Plasma Workspace. Recently got interested in semantic desktop and Nepomuk.

Currently, teaches OpenGL and C++/Qt at the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade, where he is also a Ph.D. student.

Talk Abstract: 

When working on different tasks, people tend to use different sets of tools, communicate with different groups of people etc. The classic desktop environments are not suitable for this behaviour, since they provide the same interface for all different activities people are involved with.

With KDE's activities, we are trying to make it possible for the system to act differently depending on a task at hand.

For example, when Alice is in 'Studying cryptology' activity, she doesn't need to have Inkscape and Krita in her application launcher's 'Favourites' section. She needs to have the literature for the course easily reachable, a development environment and example programs she wrote.

After studying, Brad comes for a film night they planned. Alice switches to 'Watching films' activity and the system automatically hides everything she was doing until then, and shows her film collection in a media player. It also blocks all less important pop-ups and notifications so that they can enjoy the film without interruptions.

Apart from the environment itself, applications can benefit from the concept as well. The e-mail client would be able to show only mails relevant to the current activity, file managers to show places that are tied to it, etc.

Along with the technologies like Zeitgeist and Nepomuk, this concept allows to better predict user's behaviours since it provides those systems with a vital contextual information.

This talk is meant for both users and developers.