Some Quick Emergent Task Tracker Updates

I’ve added a few interim debug console commands for the Emergent Task Tracker Online prototype. You will need to pull up the debug console by typing CTRL-SHIFT-TILDE to pull up the console window.

  • Modifiable Alarm Loop Count — You can now use set alarmloop to specify a number between 1 and 12 for the default chime. Currently, the default count is 7, but for those of you who want a shorter reminder chime, you can set it to 1.

  • Modifiable AlarmURL — You can use the set alarmURL command to specify your own custom MP3 file. I’d use something short. You must host the MP3 file on your own web server or page somewhere.

  • Restart Command — This is more for my own testing, but if you want to start with a fresh day, you can issue the command lso clear followed by restart.

  • Yesterday Command — Another testing command, by typing in yesterday, the day counter is decremented by one day. This is sometimes useful if you want to see the previous day’s data, but it does not update the current date display.


p>I also added another bubble type: the slash (/). I use this to indicate when I’m doing more than one thing in the same time period as my “main” task. This is just something I was goofing with quickly between projects, so it’s likely to change. However, it does lay in the infrastructure to support multiple bubble types like fractional minutes.

Known Bugs

  • There is a data-saving bug related to the order in which Flash is firing events, causing saving to occur only on the next modification you do. So I have to rework the event model a bit to capture this better.

Upcoming Features

The short-term goal is to get data saving / loading to work from a server, so I can access the same data from any browser. I don’t have an ETA on this.

I have basic SOAP communication working with a very simple NuSOAP-based webservice, and have been playing with EZ-SQL (the same database wrapper that WordPress uses). I also have to think now about user authentication and account tracking will work. Rather than roll my own, I’m wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a simple-to-use “user administration” library in PHP. I probably just need to make one up, but if anyone has a recommendation for how to approach this, I’m all ears!

After this are some GUI updates: drag and drop reordering of tasks, easier multi-day navigation of data, adding the “hourly summary” column, and figuring out a way to manage whole classes of tasks. I’ll probably stick with Flash for this in the short term, because the ability to run the Flash projector OUTSIDE of a browser is a capability I’d like to retain.

So that’s where things are right now. Thanks for using the tool, glad that people are finding it useful.


  1. Jim 9 years ago

    Loving this and loving you :)

    Looking forward to the updates and it would be awesome if I could add more tasks (lines) because I keep running out. Cheers


  2. MaryC 9 years ago

    I tried this for the first time today.  I love the concept.  All was going wonderfully until I lost 7 hours of time tracking, but I am going to continue to use it, just printing it every hour or so ( I can reconstruct an hour if need be).  I am so glad there are people like you willing to design tools the rest of us can enjoy.  Thank you so much.  By-the-way, I am excellent at breaking things, so if you want me to have a go at QA, I would be happy to help.  Thanks again, MaryC

  3. Dave Seah 9 years ago

    Jim: Thanks for the love, man! :-) Yes, adding more task lines would be nice…have to make some time to take another go at the next stage.

    MaryC: Sorry to hear you lost 7 hours of time tracking! If you can write down the EXACT steps to reproduce the data loss, that would be very helpful. It’s not enough to know that it breaks, because I need to be able to reproduce the behavior here first before I know what to analyze. I’m glad you like it!

  4. Cornelius 9 years ago

    This is great, I’m loving it! I’ve tried other types of time trackers and this system works best.

    Thanks a lot!

  5. Garth Kidd 9 years ago

    Control-Shift-Tilde doesn’t work for me. I’m not sure whether that’s because of Firefox, or some other tool on my XP-based computer. Would it be possible to have a button for it?

  6. Dave Seah 9 years ago

    Cornelius: Thanks for the feedback!

    Garth: You might have to click on the app before you type CTRL-SHIFT-TILDE. I’m using Firefox 1.5 and Windows XP, and am not having any problems. I seem to recall some apps interfere with CTRL-SHIFT sequences. Eventually the console will go away and be replaced by real UI. I’m really itching to get back to this.

  7. Roshan 9 years ago

    Great Tool!!! Can you extend (or add a command) the # of hours to 16 on a single screen?

  8. David 8 years ago

    I like the program…any chance of making the flash work on Pocket PC?

  9. Dave Seah 8 years ago

    Roshan: That will have to wait until I get the program put into a more modifiable form (it’s prototype concept stage right now, not expandable code). No ETA on that, unfortunately.

    David: Pretty unlikely right now, as I’d have to reformat it to work for PocketPC and small screen sizes. Maybe some day if I start developing serious software products.

A message from Dave:

I really believe we all benefit when we share our own perspectives on common experiences. It would be great if you added your own anecdotes and comments, even if you don't necessarily agree with the premise of the post; that's just good conversation in my book. The house rules are "treat each other with kindness and respect" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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