Nepomuk without Strigi

Strigi has always been a large part of Nepomuk. In fact a lot of users still do not understand the difference between the two. It’s quite common to see bug reports saying mentioning “Strigi/Nepomuk”. Lots of blog posts do the same.

Strigi consists of a number of different parts. In Nepomuk we just used to use libstreams and libstreamanalyzer. These were pure C++ libraries. The great thing about Strigi is that it is based on streams, instead of files. So one can theoretically even extract metadata from the album image embedded inside an audio files. It’s very powerful. Unfortunately, everything comes at a price, and this increased “awesomeness” comes with increased complexity. Additionally with it being a pure C++ ( no Qt or KDE ) library, contributing is harder.

For 4.10, We decided to take a very drastic change and move away from Strigi. There are a large number of reasons for doing so. Apart from the technical ones there was also an economic one - A large code base like Strigi is difficult to maintain and comes with a lot of added complexity.

Our own solution is based only on files (not streams) thereby making it a lot simpler. It directly uses the Nepomuk and KDE libraries, thereby making integration very simple. Integrating Strigi in Nepomuk required a lot of code.

This new file indexer currently resides in the nepomuk-core repository and does not have a public interface. I’m currently still debating if it should be public for 4.10. Write about if it gets a public interface, one can theoretically write plugins in other languages.

So far we have 5 indexers -

Writing file indexers for Nepomuk is now very simple. In fact these 5 indexers combined are just 500 lines. Here is the important part of the plain text extractor -

QTextStream ts( &file );
QString contents = ts.readAll();

int characters = contents.length();
int lines = contents.count( QChar('\n') );
int words = contents.count( QRegExp("\\b\\w+\\b") );

SimpleResource fileRes( resUri );
fileRes.addType( NFO::PlainTextDocument() );
fileRes.addProperty( NIE::plainTextContent(), contents );
fileRes.addProperty( NFO::wordCount(), words );
fileRes.addProperty( NFO::lineCount(), lines );
fileRes.addProperty( NFO::characterCount(), characters );

The current file indexers cover most of the commonly used files, but they still need to be polished. So, if you’re interested in contributing to Nepomuk, here is your chance.

I’ve managed to catalog some of the different files that I know we support. Our current indexers support many more formats, they just need to be properly tested.

If you’re interested in helping, you can start by running nepomuk-core, and manually indexing the different file formats and updating this page. If you’re a developer, feel free to checkout nepomuk-core, and start writing extractors. I’ve written a simple guide.

Btw, all of this Nepomuk awesomeness is powered by Blue Systems!