Taolin is an open source Web desktop created at the research institute Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK).

The web desktop consists of a personal dashboard customisable by adding micro-applications called widgets. Each widget offers a different service that can be provided as a view over internal services or repositories (e.g. access to papers repository) or as a communication service (e.g. jabber web chat) or as an external resource (e.g. Google search).



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User Interface



Taolin demonstrative version here:

The demo has as users historical characters.

  • login: platone
  • password: platone


This software is distributed under the Affero GPL 3.0 unless otherwise specified.



Taolin relies on a 3-tier architecture: the back-end has been developed using CakePHP (a Model-View-Controller framework) over a PostgreSQL database (chosen for its stability and reliability), while the front-end takes advantage of the usage of JavaScript and AJAX (the framework adopted for the development is ExtJS, integrated with jQuery). JSON (JavaScript Object Notation, a lightweight data-interchange format) is used for the data transmission between back-end and front-end.


  • Marco Frassoni (lead developer)
  • Davide Setti (lead developer)
  • Maurizio Napolitano
  • Paolo Massa
  • Michele Dalla Torre


Please feel free to contact the developers. If you would like to help us in testing the system, provide feedback and give suggestion about new features, please, do send an email to