Over the years I have, like most of you I'm sure, amassed a personal collection of many thousands of files, which for just as long I've either been meaning to organize or have in a very rudimentary way already organized via one scheme or another (Examples of said schemes are: arranging various files under various directories on my desktop, periodically archiving them offline, and utilizing a CD cataloging utility (DiscLib) to index all my offline files) to compound the problem, said files are now in quite a few disparate types of archive (ZIP and Tar files as well as mountable files) on disparate types of media, CD's, DVDs, internet servers, etc.

All that said, however, the time has finally come to completely organize my entire collection!

The concept of 'File Management'

Now what have I been needing all these years beyond a simple indexing capability and a filemanager or shell prompt? Very simple.. and this is the crux of my question.. What I really and truly lack are:

  1. the ability to quickly and comfortably attach custom metadata to my files (i.e. tags).
  2. An indexing and search capability that's tightly integrated with the shell (that's the way they used to term it in windows... what they meant was 'windows explorer integration' what I'm looking for here is integration with GNOME/Nautilus:)
    I do not necessarily need a way to attach custom metadata directly to the file itself on the filesystem, but rather a locally maintained (meaning on my personal desktop) index of all my files, with all metadata there. Attributes I most want are tags and notes on each file, directory and archive, and also I need each file to have a digest, a hash of some sort to more-or-less uniquely identify it. This index must ideally be automatically updatable. If not, though, then at least it should be easily updatable.
  3. I need the ability to run custom queries on this index.
  4. Given the above infrastructure, A framework that will give me the ability to generate and handle custom file-related events (examples: if a file on my desktop has been there for over two months then an alert should offer to put it in an archive and send it to fileserver X, or if a file exists on the desktop with a digest which does not exist offline, alert me that it needs to be put in an archive and put on CD).

So my question is this: I need a 'File Management Framework'. Does such a thing exist at a higher level of abstraction than GNOME?


To me, you are referring to tools like Google Desktop, Beagle, or Tracker. As far as I can remember, the last one is the closest to your requirements: there is a daemon for the indexing part which is pretty light, you can query the index on the command line, there is nice integration with Nautilus and the Deskbar, it supports tags... The 4th point might be missing though. Have a look at it, you may like it.

alt text

| improve this answer | |
  • I don't like it, Thivent, I love it! what I'm looking to find out is if such a thing as what I want exists, and if not, what's the closest to it that I can find right now... I will accept your answer as being definitive! One thing though, are you SURE my question doesn't belong here with other programming, framework and API questions? I'm not looking for the implementation of the examples I gave in point 4, just as many tools with which I can implement them myself on as high a level as possible.. – Phil Nov 2 '09 at 4:09
  • As I said, this is the closest thing I'm aware of so I can't give you a better answer. Then, regarding the place your question belongs to, I didn't vote to close your question and didn't retag it so I don't know why you're asking this question to me :) I actually think it's programming related. – Pascal Thivent Nov 2 '09 at 10:52
  • Oh my gosh! It was moved before I could say anything more! If I decide to make the code I think I'm about to write public then I think I have a name for the project.. Anyway, back to the topic... – Phil Nov 3 '09 at 19:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.