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  * Gnome Do manual (early draft):



GNOME Do allows you to quickly search for many items present in your GNOME desktop environment (applications, Evolution contacts, Firefox bookmarks, files, artists and albums in Rhythmbox, Pidgin buddies) and perform commonly used actions on those objects (Run, Open, Email, Chat, Play, etc.).

GNOME Do is inspired by Quicksilver ( and GNOME Launch Box (

Formal Project Summary

The typical computer user interacts with a number of different resources and programs on her computer, all of which are accessed by disparate means, including menus, location bars, icons, shortcut keys, etc. We plan to consolidate these interfaces by creating an application that indexes items in the user's desktop environment (documents, contacts, bookmarks, applications, multimedia, etc.) and lets the user search through these items and manipulate these items with commonly performed actions (open, run, email, chat, etc.). Our goals are to optimize our indexing techniques for instantaneous search using, among other techniques, information about items considered as members of type “ontologies” and as individual entities.

Experienced computer users frequently utilize keyboard-driven interfaces such as shortcut keys and command terminals to perform common tasks quickly. Keyboard-driven interfaces such as these allow the user to execute more complex or precise actions more rapidly; however, these interfaces tend to confuse inexperienced users due to poor graphical representations of items—sometimes there is no visual interface, as in the case of shortcut keys. These interfaces also intimidate and alienate novice users due to unfamiliar item identifiers—for example, the shortcut for “paste” is Control-V, and the command-line program to “delete” or “trash” an item is rm.

Our intent is to create an interface that takes advantage of the precision and expressiveness of the keyboard, but is intuitive enough to appeal to novice users, while still remaining powerful enough to appeal to advanced users. We plan to consolidate the disparate interfaces previously mentioned into a single, unified, search-driven interface by creating an application that indexes the items found in one's desktop environment, including documents, contacts, bookmarks, applications, notes, multimedia, etc. We will then present graphical representations of these items to the user, allowing one to search through and interact with these items. Principle technical challenges facing this project include indexing and seemingly instant searching of items in a user's desktop environment, and implementing appropriate techniques for dealing with items of changing relevancy to the user.

GnomeDo (last edited 2014-09-25 12:25:35 by mariano.j)