One annoyance of the free desktop at present is the use of incompatible systems for storing sensitive user data such as passwords. Every web browser may have its own password store and anyone using both KDE and Gnome applications will likely have to open both KWallet and Gnome Keyring in every desktop session.
Michael Leupold presented a collaboration between KDE and Gnome to develop a unified standard for storing secrets. The aim is that KDE and Gnome applications will both be able to share a common secrets architecture but still have separate graphical interfaces.
A KDE user will be presented with a KDE interface if they need to unlock an account in Empathy (the Gnome instant messaging application) while a Gnome user will see a Gnome interface for password management even if they prefer to chat using KDE’s Kopete. It is also hoped that the standard will attract the support of other vendors, such as Mozilla.
After having hinted at it now and then, I can finally gladly announced that we (GNOME Keyring + KDE Wallet) managed to kick off a joint freedesktop.org project with the goal of creating a common infrastructure (or more technically: protocol) for managing passwords and other secret values.