On the Web we are faced with isolated islands of data provided by numerous Web applications and there is not yet a standardized approach for finding and interacting between these applications. Therefore the W3C proposes the Semantic Web as a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries.
On the user's desktop we are faced with a similar problem. The data is distributed and isolated within several desktop applications; each specialized on a specific domain, such as email, calendar, and contacts. Although this data is distributed and isolated, the data is highly interlinked form the user's perspective: Calendar entries are used to schedule meetings; meetings respond to projects; documents are developed within projects; emails are used to arrange meetings or to discuss documents; and so on. This mental model of the user is not yet appropriately represented by the desktop of current operating systems.
The Semantic Desktop paradigm adopts the ideas of the Semantic Web paradigm, which offers a solution for the Web. Formal ontologies capture both a shared conceptualization of desktop data and personal mental models. RDF (Resource Description Format) serves as a common data representation format. These Semantic Web technologies are used to associate data from individual desktop applications and enable new views on the user's data better conforming to the user's mental model.
Although the problem on the Web is similar to the one on the desktop, the architectural issues for the Semantic Desktop are not well investigated. A novel architecture is needed that integrates the services in an open framework; Services such as lifting proprietary application data to semantic structures, routing data based on semantic information, semantic inter-process communication, and storing, retrieval, and linking of extracted meta-data. Therefore the Semantic Web community as well as the Software Engineering community are challenged to investigate this field and to come up with an architecture and middleware support for the Semantic Desktop. These challenges comprise, i.e.:
Using Ontologies in the Software Architecture shifts the engineering from the software design to ontology design. Significant behavior within the system might be modeled by ontologies. What is an appropriate methodology and tool support for such an ontology driven architecture? What will be the core set of services which denotes a social semantic desktop? A Semantic Desktop will define methods that might use RDF graphs as parameters or return values. How to describe the RDF data (or ontological concepts) in the interface description?
Together, these technologies provide a means to build the semantic bridges necessary for data exchange and application integration. The Social Semantic Desktop will transform the conventional desktop into a seamless, networked working environment, by loosening the borders between individual applications and the physical workspace of different users.
The workshop intends to bring together researchers and practitioner from the semantic web, semantic desktop, the software engineering and the open-source communities to discuss various aspects of architecture, design, development and implementation issues of the SDD.
Potential topics include but are not limited to: