Identifying applications from windows to .desktop files

Francois Gouget fgouget at
Wed Feb 25 07:26:13 PST 2009

Milan Bouchet-Valat a écrit :
> Le mercredi 25 février 2009 à 11:23 +0100, Francois Gouget a écrit :
>> But then that raises another question. Why not simply track the
>> clicks on these entries in the Start Menu? This would tell you
>> precisely how many times a given entry has been used.
> Sure, that's a traditional way of measuring it. But for several
> reasons it seems more accurate to make stats based on actual time
> usage., one of which being that, as you say below, XEmacs should be
> taken into account too.

If your goal is to make the most often used Start Menu entries more
accessible, then this line of reasoning is flawed.

First the 'time usage': let's say there's only one spot in the most
often used list and two applications for it. Application 1 is usually
started in the morning and then is left running for 8 hours straight. In
my case this could be Firefox: I usually leave it running for weeks at a
time. Application 2 is started 10 times every day but its total run time
does not exceed 2 hours. Which of the two should be the easiest to fire
off in the Start Menu? By your reasoning it should be application 1
because it accumulated more 'window time' although its menu entry is
used only once per day, and not application 2 although it is used 10
times a day.

The other missing criterion you mention is my XEmacs example. You say
that because it gets a lot of 'window time' it should be given a
prominent place in the Start Menu. Yet I never ever start it from the
Start Menu. How does this justify it evicting some other application
that I might start from the Start Menu more often?

'window time' tells you how much the user interacts with a given
application. It tells nothing about how much the user interacts with its
corresponding desktop menu entry. These are two completely different

So I think tracking menu entry clicks is as good as it gets for what 
you're trying to achieve (assuming I got that part right).

Francois Gouget
fgouget at

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