One of the other projects I’ve worked on, the one I’m not sure I’ve talked about here has been the timetracker tool. What it provides different than others that I have found is that it doesn’t ask what you’re doing, it just reads the window you’re using and files it away for later, along with things like the number of keys pressed and the distance the mouse traversed.

With this you can build a usage pattern of your time on the computer. And honestly, it revealed something that I’ve should’ve known about myself, I switch between windows too often. That is, that I move around so much that my focus suffers, this is a pretty typical ADHD symptom, so nothing unusual there. That and that when I monitor my time and I’m aware of it, I tend to do a bit more work on projects rather than messing around on social media. Is that what people refer to as mindfulness? (please don’t tell me)

But in the process of writing this horribly intrusive program, which monitors every input to your computer, discarding almost all the details, but still requiring membership in the input group.

The web interface is a study of barren styling and minimal svg rendering, but it lets you customize the categories the events it collects are entered as in your nifty little chart, matching by the window title or class of the window. It’s buggy and easily broken by software like kdenlive(due to some specific circumstances in its window classes, but I’ve never found a reason to investigate), but it’s a personal tool so it doesn’t bother me too much.

I guess I don’t really have much of a point here, just that I’m pleased that it works as well as it does, and that, for the moment, I can still use X11 as my display server.

A chart produced for the day I wrote this blog post

The fact of the matter is that this is likely going to go away in Linux at some point. At least in its current incarnation; it will not be able to be made to work with Wayland without a number of backends that I don’t have the interest to develop at this time(I personally use KDE and don’t really feel like messing around on other desktops).

Of course at this point we might as well just have it rip the image from the gpu, run ocr on it and guess at which parts are the window titles, but that sounds odious, infeasible, and even more prone to abuse.

Either way, this project remains in a strange place right now. But then I suppose that fact is entirely of my own making as some of the quandries I face with it are derived from the fact that I don’t believe I should put things out into the world that can be used for evil. People rarely consider themselves to be doing evil, so any promise on their part to abstain from it is unlikely to be effective.






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