KDE, Gnome, and other Linux desktop environments, as well as applications in general require some fundamental open data to operate. The primary areas are:
- ISO Codes - Codes representing Language, Country, Script, Currency and other entities, and their names and translations, for example for use in locales, geolocation, file metadata, pick-lists, web APIs etc.
- Flags - Icons, images or vector files for the national and regional flags, for example for use in pick-lists, educational apps, etc.
- Holidays - Observance calculation rules and translations for holidays.
There are existing projects internal and external to KDE that try to address these requirements and often duplicate each other in doing so, but they either have known issues or are deprecated in KDE Frameworks 5 (see individual areas detailed below).
It is proposed to develop a set of KDE Open Data file formats and Qt libraries to support these requirements. Rather than collating and curating our own data sources, we will use Wikidata as the primary source for all the required data and simply repackaged it into a format suitable for offline usage in a Linux distribution or standalone application installer. Where Wikidata lacks some data fields we require we will add these ourselves, but will work with Wikidata to have them incorporated upstream.
There will be two separate parts to this project:
- The data files in json format and translation files available in multiple formats.
- The Qt/KDE C++ libraries that wrap the use the OpenData files in a convenient api.
This separation will allow distros to package the data separately and allow other desktop projects or applications not written using Qt/C++ to utilise the data without having to install the Qt libraries. It is hoped for these data files to become a shared common resource and so reduce duplication of effort and file space.
The initial products are proposed as:
- OpenCodes - A repository of json format files for each ISO Country, Language, and Currency code entity with important data fields extracted from Wikidata and their translations.
- OpenFlags - A repository of national and regional flags extracted from Wikidata / Wiki Commons that are installed as a freedesktop.org standard icon set and a collection of svg files.
- OpenHolidays - A repository of holiday data files, initially generated from the exisiting KHolidays files.
- QCodes - A Qt/C++ library for accessing the OpenCodes data.
- QHolidays - A Qt/C++ library for accessing the OpenHolidays data.
OpenFlags is kept separate from OpenCodes to reduce the size of dependencies for most use cases. The OpenFlags data will mostly be accessed directly by apps using the standard icon theme facilities or loading an SVG directly from disk, but QCodes may provide API to return a QImage or a QPath.
In the future KDE may wish to offer a generic KWikiData library to allow applications such as Marble or KGeography to dynamically access a wider set of data, but this is outside the scope of this project.