Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
This year, a new dimension is appearing on the Linux desktop. It's geolocation: the capability to detect and record where you and other people are, and to use the information to enhance the desktop. Potentially affecting everything from the metadata stored with files to the mechanics of social networking, geolocation is already starting to arrive in GNOME and KDE. But the first implementations are only a hint of the features that geolocation might soon provide.
Why add geolocation now (other, of course, than because developers can)? The main reason, according to KDE developer Aaron Seigo, is that many computers are no longer stationary. "These days, we pack around phones and PDAs, and laptops are continually slung over our shoulders. We're an increasingly mobile society where we carry our computers with us. So computers now have a new set of requirements that just emerged in the last ten years, and they are now expected to work equally well in multiple human contexts."
For example, Seigo says, "At work, we may not Web-surf or [use] Facebook. At home or in a train station, sure, that's what we want to do, but probably the last thing we want to do is look over that spreadsheet from work. That's why geolocation is increasingly important: It's trying to make computers respond to the human context, instead of the other way around." He suggests that, in the near future, geolocation could be used to change desktops and icons sets automatically as your location changes.