Under the head of freedesktop.org the project Wasabi was formed to create a common and unified specification for desktop search for Unix and Linux systems. The goal is to have a platform and engine independent search API and specification.
The project, which was announced two days ago, aims to provide a bridge between the different search engines on the one hand and between the different desktop environments on the other hand (think of Unix/Linux only). This should be reached by providing one stable API and specification, called Wasabi, which can be integrated by the platforms. The backend – the search engine – will be connected and queried via this API with the freedom to exchange it.
The advantage is clear now: first of all you will be able to use the same search engine cross all platforms (gnome, KDE, Xfce). Also, you will be able to chose the search engine you like best: Beagle, Strigi, Tracker, it doesn’t matter. And even when there is another search machine developed, this doesn’t matter at all, because as long as it is created following the specifications, it can exchange any of the other search machines.
This is definitely a huge step into desktop unification, but also a huge step for desktop search in general because it will obsolete the discussions which search engine should be default. Keep in mind that at the moment Strigi seems to become the KDE default, Beagle the Gnome default, but that also Novell ships with Beagle (KDE and gnome) and Ubuntu with Tracker (don’t know about Kubuntu).
The question for me is now how this will integrate with Nepomuk-KDE, but since the strigi-guys are also working at Wasabi I guess it is taken care of.