French Linux distributor Mandriva SA has announced that its Edge-IT subsidiary has been chosen to participate in a European Union-backed project to create the next generation of desktop computing software.
The Paris, France-based company is involved in the NEPOMUK Social Semantic Domestic project to extend the desktop computer into a collaboration environment that supports personal computing and information sharing.
The 17m euro ($20m) project is 50% funded by the European Union’s Sixth Framework Programme and also involves IBM Corp, Hewlett Packard Co, SAP AG, Thales SA and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, among others.
Mandriva’s Edge-IT support and services subsidiary, which was acquired in July 2004, has been awarded 1.8m euros ($2.1m) to help fund its various roles in the project. The company said it will participate in the definition of the infrastructure tools necessary for the NEPOMUK project, as well as helping to organize and lead community engineering and establish community support.
The company will also take over the submission of NEPOMUK application programming interfaces to standards organizations, such as the World Wide Web Consortium, as well as implementing NEPOMUK technologies on its Mandriva Club website, creating a community help-desk platform with peer-to-peer capabilities to provide one of the first real-world applications.
The NEPOMUK project aims to create the framework for the Social Semantic Desktop, which will bring three major changes to desktop computing: the availability of contextual information, the shift from hierarchical to semantic storage, and advanced methods of assisting users through collaboration and more effective search.
NEPOMUK will result in revolutionary applications, explained Francois Bancilhon, Mandriva’s CEO. Social Semantic Desktop represents a big opportunity to further extend the knowledge sharing functions offered by current technologies.
The NEPOMUK framework is expected to integrate with existing desktop tools and environments, such as the KDE and Gnome Linux graphical interfaces, the Mozilla browser, and the Eclipse development environment and tool set.