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Thanks for the prog + suggestions

2008-10-27
2013-04-06
  • Peter Roosen
    Peter Roosen
    2008-10-27

    Hello developers,

    I found the TimeSlotTracker just some weeks ago and had the chance of giving it some testing not sooner than today.

    I think it is a very nice small footprint program that is IMHO definitely better than the Gnotime tool in some Linux Distros.

    Nevertheless there is always chance to improve ...  :)

    My suggestion:

    # Add an (optional) timeout, with reminding dialog box, if no keyboard (or mouse movement?) has been observed for N minutes. So "forgotten" timers would not create long-lasting entries unobservedly.

    Additionally I'd like to ask if I can help with a translation into German.

    Kind regards,

    Peter

     
    • Dear Peter,
      thanks for your opinion, it's very important for me.

      1. About your suggestion - I know that would be nice, but as for now I don't know any universal way (portable across platforms) to monitor user key/mouse activities. Some solution maybe a native libraries, but I haven't time to look at it yet. If you have any experience and want to contribute - great!

      2. Translation to German - Sure, you can help and your help is welcome :)
      Have a look at document:
      https://sourceforge.net/docman/display_doc.php?docid=29174&group_id=132880
      The new (German) files put as a patch or send it directly to me if you prefer.
      If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask it :) I will try to answer them :)
      --
      best regards, zgibek

       
      • Peter Roosen
        Peter Roosen
        2008-10-27

        Hello Zgibek,

        the two smaller resource files are already translated, but the largest one will still take an hour or two still.  :)  I hope you won't have any problems with German umlauts in the translation, but I fear they cannot be avoided.

        I'll send the translation directly to you in order not to damage anything in the existing tree.

        With respect to the keyboard supervision I fear I am not of any help to the project, not having programmed in Java so far at all.

        But even if there is no real OS spanning method to do that, the number of OS's is somewhat limited if you just want to support about 98% of the prospective users. I would estimate it to about 3 - 4.  Btw, I am working on Linux ...  :)

        Kind regards,

        Peter

         
        • There shouldn't be problems with national characters - we have translation in Polish as well as in Russian.
          The most important for this is to save it as an UTF-8 file.

          According to user activities - I know that there are at most three (linux, mac and windows) systems, but they are :)
          But I remember about that issue - it IS important.
          --
          best regards, zgibek

           
        • glazachev
          glazachev
          2008-10-30

          Hi, Peter.

          Thanks for your translation.

           
      • Alex Kotchnev
        Alex Kotchnev
        2008-10-27

        A good model for some of the features that I'd like to have in TST is the oDesk time tracking application. Basically, it has a customizable interval at which it pops a dialog message and asks you to enter a task you're working on. At first, it sounds like a really annoying feature, but after using it for a while I find it invaluable to have decent updates on what I'm doing at the time. What ends up happening is that when the dialog pops, I take 5 seconds to jot down what I'm doing "exactly now", and then I move on.

        A similar approach would probably work with the issue that Peter describes : when the "reminder dialog" pops up, it can pause the task in question (to prevent forgotten tasks from turning into days), and if you respond with a status, continue the task. A while back I had contributed something similar (https://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1939085&group_id=132880&atid=725541, https://sourceforge.net/forum/message.php?msg_id=4896174\), but I never heard back whether Zgibek liked the idea or not or whether the patch was incorporated into the app). In addition to the reminder popups, the patch also took screenshots of the desktop and timestamped them (which was VERY useful as both a reminder to myself when I needed to remember what I was doing at a particular time, and also as an excellent point of control for remote consulting clients who needed more control over the interaction )

         
        • Dear Alex,
          Thanks for remember about your patch - I know, I have seen it some time ago, but for the first I was very busy last months, and for the second - I don't know why, but I thought that it works only on windows...
          I have checked the code now and found that you used the java.awt.Robot class, which should works well on most platforms.
          I am very sorry that you didn't get any response for your contribution. I will try to add it to sources and if it will work well - commit it - it will then available in next release. Thanks Alex for your contribution, and again - I am sorry I didn't answer on your post.

          BTW: I know a few (at least) methods of remembering what the user is doing - asking from time to time is one of them. Capturing screen shots are also a good idea. The other is hooking on user input (at least mouse and keyboard). Another one is monitoring your phone via bluetooth (if it absent for configured time TST should as "what were you doing so long... :)".
          So, my idea is to create a configurable subsystem when user can enable some methods and disable the others - I don't want to concentrate on only one method.

          I hope I will find some more time to develop such subsystem and if some will find another method it will be much simpler to implement it.
          --
          best regards, zgibek

           
          • Alex Kotchnev
            Alex Kotchnev
            2008-10-27

            Zgibek,
               not a problem on the delay w/ your response, I fully understand that many other things in life probably have higher priority :-)

               Regarding my patch : it indeed is not windows only, as I used the patched up version on Linux. As you indicated, java.awt.Robot should work on Windows as well (although I haven't tested it)

               Regarding adding a better designed subsystem that would allow the user to select what they want : it certainly sounds like a good idea, but if you're quite busy as is, I'd be quite happy to just have the not-so-well-designed-but-working app as well. My secondary idea was to capture images from the camera (e.g. by adding an option to execute a cmd line every so often - then, a user would specify a command that would grab an image from the web cam), but I don't think I got around to adding that option.

               The final feature that I was toying with in my head was to add a little web frontend that would (import the TST entries and) allow users to log in and see the time entries, together w/ screenshots & mugshots (from the webcam) :-) That would the the "enterprise" feature that would get the developers of TST some big service and support contracts :-)

            Cheers,

            Alex K
             

             
            • Dear Alex,

              You are right, there are a lot of activities all around :)

              Anyway, I have added your patch into current version (but not committed yet). It looks nice. I have checked it also on windows - it works too.
              I would like to add/modify some things in this solution and then I will commit it. I will let you know.
              --
              regards, zgibek

               
        • glazachev
          glazachev
          2008-10-30

          Hi, Alex.

          Now i'm implemention "current day view" and my next step will be adding reminder activity in "current day view". I'll check your patch in some days.

           
          • Andrei,
            I have got this patch already. This is nice feature, but it needs some additional work to use it widely.

            Nowadays I am doing many changes in tray icon, and activity monitoring, so let's don't double this work for now.
            --
            best regards, zgibek

             
            • glazachev
              glazachev
              2008-10-31

              Hi, Zgibek.

              Ok.