Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Interview: Roberto Cappuccio of KAT

Filed under
KDE
Interviews
-s

Kat Desktop Search Environment is an open source framework designed to allow KDE applications to index and retrieve files; loosely speaking, a search tool. Tuxmachines has had the rare opportunity to speak with Roberto Cappuccio, wonderfully talented developer of KAT.

Roberto is a 38 year old student in Bolzano, Italy, working on his Master of Science degree. Previously a software consultant for his own company, he is now the System Administrator of the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Bozen-Bolzano. He's not married, but he is in a committed relationship, gals.

According to the website, Kat is similar to the Windows applications WhereIsIt and Google Desktop Search. Metadata, fulltext and thumbnails are extracted from documents, images, mp3 and other media allowing quick and accurate information retrieval.

Also being featured on kde-apps.org, one can find a quick howto, brief changelog and more screenshots of this wonderful utility there. svn is available here.

As you might recall, KAT now ships with MandrivaLinux and the index tool is present by default in the system tray on their 2006 desktops. In addition, Roberto states that Kubuntu ships with KAT and "Debian is evaluating the possibility of including Kat in Etch."

        



TM: I notice a few distros are shipping with Beagle, how is yours different? better?

Roberto: From a technical point of view:
Beagle is a Gnome application, written in C# (and another 2 or 3 languages), using the MONO library and lucene. Kat is a KDE application, written in C++, using KDE and KIO libraries, using and extending the KDE architecture.

From a functional point of view:
Beagle is only a Desktop Search engine, like Google desktop search. Kat technology will be used as a base for the Context Linking engine of KDE called Tenor. This means that we index files and content like Beagle, but then we go beyond this and link the items based on their context.

The result is: better and more accurate search.

TM: What distro do you run most of the time? favorite distro?

Roberto: Debian SID, but right now I'm using Kubuntu, which is more user friendly.

TM: When did you first start using linux, what was your first experience, why when what etc?

Roberto: I have always been a Windows power user. I tried Linux a lot of times during the past years but I found it terribly unstable and mostly unusable. Six months ago I had to do an assignment for a course in Data Mining and it had to be done in C++ in Linux. So I armed myself with patience and discovered Debian. That project has become Kat.

TM: Are you actively involved in other open source projects, what if any, are some of your other projects?

Roberto: Yes, I will collaborate with the Tenor team in order to create the new Search Engine for KDE, which will incorporate also Contextual Linking.

TM: Why KAT?

Roberto: It is a word joke. It creates catalogs, it is developed for KDE (and you know that almost all KDE apps have a name beginning with K), so it should have been called Katalog, but an application with that name already exists... So I contracted it to Kat. I love cats (I have always had cats around), so the similarity between Kat and cat made the rest. I also designed Kat logo.

TM: What's in the future for KAT?

Roberto: Kat will remain an application on its own as long as we manage to merge it with Tenor. Then it will survive inside of Tenor, as the Content Search layer.

TM: Would you like to say hi or anything to anyone? Or do you have a message you'd like published?

Roberto: I'm searching for a sponsorship from a big software company, like the one Trolltech offered to Aaron Seigo. I need to work a lot to Kat and Tenor, but I also have to work for my university. If I could get a sponsorship, the evolution of Kat could be much more quick.

Tuxmachines found Roberto to be an extremely nice and accessible developer, and very much enjoyed doing the research on this wonderful application for this article. I encourage everyone who desires a comprehensive search utility to install and use Kat. Visit the home of Kat and look for Kat in the upcoming release of Mandriva 2006.

More in Tux Machines

LibreOffice Office Suite Celebrates 6 Years of Activity with LibreOffice 5.2.2

Today, September 29, 2016, Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation informs Softpedia via an email announcement about the general availability of the first point release of the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite. On September 28, the LibreOffice project celebrated its 6th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than to push a new update of the popular open source and cross-platform office suite used by millions of computer users worldwide. Therefore, we would like to inform our readers about the general availability of LibreOffice 5.2.2, which comes just three weeks after the release of LibreOffice 5.2.1. "Just one day after the project 6th anniversary, The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.2.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family," says Italo Vignoli. "LibreOffice 5.2.2, targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users, provides a number of fixes over the major release announced in August." Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD
    Most of the open source questioners come from larger organisations. Banks very rarely pop up here, and governments have long been hip to using open source. Both have ancient, proprietary systems in place here and there that are finally crumbling to dust and need replacing fast. Their concerns are more oft around risk management and picking the right projects. It’s usually organisations whose business is dealing with actual three dimensional objects that ask about open source. Manufacturing, industrials, oil and gas, mining, and others who have typically looked at IT as, at best, a helper for their business rather than a core product enabler. These industries are witnessing the lighting fast injection of software into their products - that whole “Internet of Things” jag we keep hearing about. Companies here are being forced to look at both using open source in their products and shipping open source as part of their business. The technical and pricing requirements for IoT scale software is a perfect fit for open source, especially that pricing bit. On the other end - peddling open source themselves - companies that are looking to build and sell software-driven “platforms” are finding that partners and developers are not so keen to join closed source ecosystems. These two pulls create some weird clunking in the heads of management at these companies who aren’t used to working with a sandles and rainbow frame of mind. They have a scepticism born of their inexperience with open source. Let’s address some of their trepidation.
  • Real business innovation begins with open practices
    To business leaders, "open source" often sounds too altruistic—and altruism is in short supply on the average balance sheet. But using and contributing to open source makes hard-nosed business sense, particularly as a way of increasing innovation. Today's firms all face increased competition and dynamic markets. Yesterday's big bang can easily become today's cautionary tale. Strategically, the only viable response to this disruption is constantly striving to serve customers better through sustained and continuous innovation. But delivering innovation is hard; the key is to embrace open and collaborative innovation across organizational walls—open innovation. Open source communities' values and practices generate open innovation, and working in open source is a practical, pragmatic way of delivering innovation. To avoid the all-too-real risk of buzzword bingo we can consider two definitions of "innovation": creating value (that serves customer needs) to sell for a profit; or reducing what a firm pays for services.
  • This Week In Servo 79
    In the last week, we landed 96 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories. Promise support has arrived in Servo, thanks to hard work by jdm, dati91, and mmatyas! This does not fully implement microtasks, but unblocks the uses of Promises in many places (e.g., the WebBluetooth test suite). Emilio rewrote the bindings generation code for rust-bindgen, dramatically improving the flow of the code and output generated when producing Rust bindings for C and C++ code. The TPAC WebBluetooth standards meeting talked a bit about the great progress by the team at the University of Szeged in the context of Servo.
  • Servo Web Engine Now Supports Promises, Continues Churning Along
    It's been nearly two months since last writing about Mozilla's Servo web layout engine (in early August, back when WebRender2 landed) but development has kept up and they continue enabling more features for this next-generation alternative to Gecko. The latest is that Servo now supports JavaScript promises. If you are unfamiliar with the promise support, see this guide. The latest Servo code has improvements around its Rust binding generator for C and C++ code plus other changes.
  • Riak TS for time series analysis at scale
    Until recently, doing time series analysis at scale was expensive and almost exclusively the domain of large enterprises. What made time series a hard and expensive problem to tackle? Until the advent of the NoSQL database, scaling up to meet increasing velocity and volumes of data generally meant scaling hardware vertically by adding CPUs, memory, or additional hard drives. When combined with database licensing models that charged per processor core, the cost of scaling was simply out of reach for most. Fortunately, the open source community is democratising large scale data analysis rapidly, and I am lucky enough to work at a company making contributions in this space. In my talk at All Things Open this year, I'll introduce Riak TS, a key-value database optimized to store and retrieve time series data for massive data sets, and demonstrate how to use it in conjunction with three other open source tools—Python, Pandas, and Jupyter—to build a completely open source time series analysis platform. And it doesn't take all that long.
  • Free Software Directory meeting recap for September 23rd, 2016

Security News

  • security things in Linux v4.5
  • Time to Kill Security Questions—or Answer Them With Lies
    The notion of using robust, random passwords has become all but mainstream—by now anyone with an inkling of security sense knows that “password1” and “1234567” aren’t doing them any favors. But even as password security improves, there’s something even more problematic that underlies them: security questions. Last week Yahoo revealed that it had been massively hacked, with at least 500 million of its users’ data compromised by state sponsored intruders. And included in the company’s list of breached data weren’t just the usual hashed passwords and email addresses, but the security questions and answers that victims had chosen as a backup means of resetting their passwords—supposedly secret information like your favorite place to vacation or the street you grew up on. Yahoo’s data debacle highlights how those innocuous-seeming questions remain a weak link in our online authentication systems. Ask the security community about security questions, and they’ll tell you that they should be abolished—and that until they are, you should never answer them honestly. From their dangerous guessability to the difficulty of changing them after a major breach like Yahoo’s, security questions have proven to be deeply inadequate as contingency mechanisms for passwords. They’re meant to be a reliable last-ditch recovery feature: Even if you forget a complicated password, the thinking goes, you won’t forget your mother’s maiden name or the city you were born in. But by relying on factual data that was never meant to be kept secret in the first place—web and social media searches can often reveal where someone grew up or what the make of their first car was—the approach puts accounts at risk. And since your first pet’s name never changes, your answers to security questions can be instantly compromised across many digital services if they are revealed through digital snooping or a data breach.
  • LibreSSL and the latest OpenSSL security advisory
    Just a quick note that LibreSSL is not impacted by either of the issues mentioned in the latest OpenSSL security advisory - both of the issues exist in code that was added to OpenSSL in the last release, which is not present in LibreSSL.
  • Record-breaking DDoS reportedly delivered by >145k hacked cameras
    Last week, security news site KrebsOnSecurity went dark for more than 24 hours following what was believed to be a record 620 gigabit-per-second denial of service attack brought on by an ensemble of routers, security cameras, or other so-called Internet of Things devices. Now, there's word of a similar attack on a French Web host that peaked at a staggering 1.1 terabits per second, more than 60 percent bigger. The attacks were first reported on September 19 by Octave Klaba, the founder and CTO of OVH. The first one reached 1.1 Tbps while a follow-on was 901 Gbps. Then, last Friday, he reported more attacks that were in the same almost incomprehensible range. He said the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were delivered through a collection of hacked Internet-connected cameras and digital video recorders. With each one having the ability to bombard targets with 1 Mbps to 30 Mbps, he estimated the botnet had a capacity of 1.5 Tbps. On Monday, Klaba reported that more than 6,800 new cameras had joined the botnet and said further that over the previous 48 hours the hosting service was subjected to dozens of attacks, some ranging from 100 Gbps to 800 Gbps. On Wednesday, he said more than 15,000 new devices had participated in attacks over the past 48 hours.

Android Leftovers