Idea: user monitoring

Avery Pennarun apenwarr at
Sat Jun 4 00:48:35 EEST 2005

On Fri, Jun 03, 2005 at 05:16:17PM -0400, Michael George wrote:

> I imagine this being implemented as a service which makes an educated 
> guess as to what task the user is focusing on, and then records the time 
> spent on each task.  There would also be an API that allows applications 
> to provide more information (for example, a web browser might say what 
> page is being visited (perhaps via a plugin), or an xterm would tell the 
> system that the user is really using emacs).  In addition, an API would 
> be provided for querying this information, or to be notified when 
> certain events occured.

I'm not sure you absolutely need to start by standardizing anything or
asking for support from apps.  If it were me, I would probably just write a
program to monitor the "currently focused window" with its class and title. 
I think you can extract the current URL from most web browsers using window
properties.  If you really must, you could use the extension people have
added for the Ximian "dashboard" project to get even more stuff.  Then you
can use all this information to make whatever decisions you want.

I suppose all these pre-existing methods are just the "desktop-neutral
standards" that you're asking for.  It's just convenient that they already
exist :)

Have fun,


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