Meta Tracker: The Ultimate File Organiser?
I just stumbled upon the software [Meta Tracker] and I'm quite excited by it. On the surface it's a cross-desktop (GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc) desktop search engine. Looking at the features, though, is what makes me want to give it a more thorough inspection.
First off, it's written in C and is designed for memory-limited systems, stating typical RAM usage of 3 – 9MB. Awesome! It also indexes in real time as the filesystem changes (using inotify? I'll need to look into it). Another nicety is that it can create thumbnails for files as it indexes them (done after they're added/modified) which means no more waiting for thumbnails to be created when you go looking in new directories. These things are cool, but they're not what I'm excited about.
The really impressive feature of Meta Tracker, for me, is the tagging system. Any file can be assigned single word tags to describe it and files can be sorted based on tags. So even if you have some files with a tag that are in different folders, you can view all of them at the same time.
Another impressive sounding features, that I'm not quite sure about the details of yet, is the object store or metadata database. This seems to allow things stored in the database to have as much metadata attached to them as you like. So you'd be able to add all kinds of funky things, even if the file format itself doesn't support it. There's plenty of things I wish were better about the ID3 tags found in MP3s, for example. Meta Tracker supports RDF queries so all this metadata would be searchable and sortable.
Interestingly, both of these features are things that I've been wanting to have built-in directly to a filesystem for some time. I came up with the idea a while back, after reading about semantic filesystems. I think being able to store arbitrary metadata about files and assigning tags to files would hugely impact the way we go about managing our files. I am puzzled as to why tags can only be one word in Meta Tracker but I'm sure there was a reason for it.
Now, I haven't tried all this out yet, so I'll give another report when I have. (Apparently it's available in the Ubuntu repositories, which makes things easier.) It's still in development so I'm eager to what's been achieved so far. Hell, even if it's just an efficient search engine I'll be impressed.