I’m typing this up toward the end of Akademy 2010‘s day 1 in beautiful Tampere, Finland, so please forgive any signs of weariness.
The day began with Valtteri Halla promoting Meego and demonstrating how the project has already benefitted KDE, Akademy’s coordinating organization, with upstream development for KOffice and other applications. From there came talks along the tracks of community and mobility, including mine on user engagement (presentation on slideshare; project site here). Even Maemo was mentioned!
I was nervous about my talk but while it didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, it wasn’t the disaster I feared either. I’ll take that.
I was encouraged by Henri Bergius’ presentation on GeoClue, a low-level MeeGo architecture component supporting location services by a variety of means. Since part of the MeeGo User Engagement Framework (MUEF) wishes for location-sensitive feedback and input mechanisms for mobile devices, seeing that this was already embedded into MeeGo offers some hope. I’ll update our wiki appropriately soon.
But back to my speech. There was only one question afterward, which I hope was not an indication of the interest level. The gentleman asked if we were constructing an ontology for feedback, and what about the repercussions of that.
In computer science and information science, an ontology is a formal representation of the knowledge by a set of concepts within a domain and the relationships between those concepts. It is used to reason about the properties of that domain, and may be used to describe the domain.
This was a good question. I don’t know if I answered well enough at the time so I want to expand here.
Right now we’re not as much concerned with ontologies as we are with enabling them. Specifically, we want to promote the creation and improvement of feedback mechanisms first. There are already ontologies in place, i.e., the designs behind metadata implementations, and the plan is to eventually leverage and perhaps expand those. So maybe that manifests in a meta-ontology that pulls currently disparate parts into a whole. But not yet.
And it’s possible I misled the questioner, because I did touch on the topic when I mentioned ratings systems. There is a great need for consistency within any feedback ecosystem, so there’s the value of having an ontology in place.
But again, first the functional framework parts, then of course domains and relationships.
Tomorrow, Sebastian Kügler of Project Silk gives a presentation, and there’s one on the open gaming project Gluon as well from Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen. We see synergies between MUEF and these efforts so I am eager to learn more!