Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site November 01, 2014, 02:47:27 AM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Read the Practical Guide to DonationCoder.com Forum Search Features
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 Next   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: NANY 2010 Idea: A 'polite' reminder/diary system  (Read 34693 times)
doctorfrog
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 134


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: November 05, 2009, 03:27:07 AM »

I'm looking for something fairly basic, but very specific: A rotating, automatic-prompting personal text log.

  • The following happens at a user-defined interval: once every hour, half hour, five minutes, 3600 seconds, whatever.
  • A small note window shows (but does not steal focus, unless the user specifies it should). It has a titlebar with a timestamp, a user-defined message, and enough editing room on it for a line or two of text. Hitting ENTER makes the window go away. No other interaction is necessary.
  • The line of user-entered text is appended to a text file. A time/date stamp is affixed to the entry. As the day continues, the list of datestamped entries grows: a diary.
  • The text file itself is also named with a datestamp and a user-configurable string. (ie. personal_log_11052009.txt. If the proper text file doesn't exist, it is automatically created.
  • The text file is rotated into an archive folder every day, or every user-definable interval (be it seconds, minutes, days, years).
  • An archive of simple text files slowly grows. A personal .log.

MOST IMPORTANT THING: POLITENESS

A reminder/diary system should never, ever, EVER steal focus away from what I'm working on. EVER! Something like this should help with workflow, not interfere with it.

Example: I love EssentialPIM's features list. I hate how it steals my attention and my keyboard focus when I'm working. Of course, it refuses to respect TweakUI's "don't steal focus" setting. I'm on XP, and will continue to be in the foreseeable future (I'm broke), so I can't make use of W7's enhanced focus stealing prevention feature.

Thus, nearly any solution I can cobble together on my own won't work, because all reminder applications I've tried ALWAYS insist upon stealing focus, no matter what I do.

Barring that, I'd still be happy to accept any light, portable software capable of the bullet list above. (.NET and JAVA apps need not apply.)

I already know I can use Notepad to do this in conjunction with basic reminder software, but that option lacks the rotating backups and the 'politeness' feature.
Logged
skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 03:34:42 AM »

This would actually be pretty easy to write in AHK.  Let me see what I can come up with.
Logged

tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,630



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 05:38:54 AM »

great idea doctorfrog  Thmbsup

a couple of thoughts:

A reminder/diary system should never, ever, EVER steal focus away from what I'm working on. EVER! Something like this should help with workflow, not interfere with it.
I would suggest that it stay on top though (that's maybe presumed - but just in case!)

Quote
Hitting ENTER makes the window go away. No other interaction is necessary.
If the window shows on top without focus - you'd then have to give it focus & then press enter - that would work. Otherwise I'd suggest not using ENTER - in my experience (with App103's "Instant Boss" app) hitting the Enter key at the 'wrong' time sends the reminder window away unintentionally, sometimes before I even see it. Could be done via a hotkey or maybe even with the mouse?
Logged

Tom
skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2009, 06:10:15 AM »

I can make it pop up on top of all windows but not activated/focused.  Also, I have a working prototype of this Frog Diary almost ready to go.
Logged

tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,630



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2009, 06:12:34 AM »

I can make it pop up on top of all windows but not activated/focused.  Also, I have a working prototype of this Frog Diary almost ready to go.
Grin Grin
tester here Wink
Logged

Tom
skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2009, 06:49:38 AM »

Hang tight...just finished implementing the archiving routine.
Logged

yksyks
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 474


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2009, 06:51:53 AM »

Try Stickies. I'm not sure if it fulfills all your requirements, but at least it doesn't steal focus, which is much appreciated.
Logged
skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2009, 07:34:21 AM »

Give this a shot:  FrogDiary

Notes:
  • Put the executable in its own folder since it will create an "archive" folder on first run.
  • Press ctrl-enter in a diary note window for a newline.  Simply pressing Enter will save the note and close the window.
  • Right-click the tray icon to bring the Options window back up.
  • This is a quick prototype.  If it's close to what you had in mind, I'll flesh it out like my other apps.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 03:58:38 PM by skwire » Logged

tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,630



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 11:06:42 AM »

well, awaiting a response from dr.frog...
I gotta say it's very nice Kiss  - I'll chance a couple of requests :-)

  • one request would be that it stay on top until properly dismissed - currently can get lost behind other apps
  • It would be nice if one could call it up manually to add a note
  • oh yeah, it uses a 12 hr clock?
    e.g. the saved text file says 20091105 05:53:35:
    Windows time said 17:53

[edit] maybe that's bad manners - to make requests before drfrog approves - apologies if so [/edit]
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 11:19:42 AM by tomos » Logged

Tom
doctorfrog
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 134


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2009, 11:23:46 AM »

great idea doctorfrog  Thmbsup

a couple of thoughts:

A reminder/diary system should never, ever, EVER steal focus away from what I'm working on. EVER! Something like this should help with workflow, not interfere with it.
I would suggest that it stay on top though (that's maybe presumed - but just in case!)

Quote
Hitting ENTER makes the window go away. No other interaction is necessary.
If the window shows on top without focus - you'd then have to give it focus & then press enter - that would work. Otherwise I'd suggest not using ENTER - in my experience (with App103's "Instant Boss" app) hitting the Enter key at the 'wrong' time sends the reminder window away unintentionally, sometimes before I even see it. Could be done via a hotkey or maybe even with the mouse?
  • Yes, I should have put that in my list. Behavior should be on-top, unfocused, and ENTER dismisses only if it's in focus.
  • Given that one might want to enter a diary entry at any time, or may have accidentally dismissed a popup before creating an entry,
  • I should have also said: the app should live in the system tray, but the popup should appear in the task bar and be visible during ALT+TAB.
Give this a shot:  FrogDiary

Notes:
  • Put the executable in its own folder since it will create an "archive" folder on first run.
  • Press ctrl-enter in a diary note window for a newline.  Simply pressing Enter will save the note and close the window.
  • Right-click the tray icon to bring the Options window back up.
  • This is a quick prototype.  If it's close to what you had in mind, I'll flesh it out like my other apps.

Skwire to the rescue. I'll be giving this a run-through over the next hour or two. Thanks!

In the meantime, tomos, thanks for testing this out with me. If you find that this proggie is also useful, your input is just as valid as mine is.
Logged
doctorfrog
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 134


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2009, 02:04:19 PM »

Ok, feedback time!

First of all, this is really good. I've been wanting something like this for a while. Nice and simple, no proprietary formats or ridiculous runtimes. I also see that on certain minor details, you anticipated things I was looking for, but did not explicitly state. Thank you and well done!

Here is my feedback. All items are feature requests, unless otherwise stated. Please let me know if anything needs clearer explanation, doesn't seem worth the effort, or just flat out isn't doable. I might be able to plead my case either way.  Wink

Bold: Very important
Normal: moderately important
Italicized: nice to have, but can live without

Feature Requests:

Popup:
  • user-configurable sound on popup event (this can be included in the options dialog, or can default to .\alert.wav)
  • toggle: taskbar blink on popup event (blink/no blink)
  • toggle:
    a: (default and current) ENTER dismisses popup and creates entry, CTRL-ENTER creates new line in popup text field
    b: (alternative setting) ENTER creates new line in popup text field, CTRL-ENTER dismisses popup and creates entry
  • remember last position
  • stay on top if lose focus
   

Logfile:
  • user-configurable carriage return in between logfile entries (1,2,3 (or n) carriage returns, 1 is default)
  • toggle: ENTER on popup with no text creates/doesn't create an empty entry in the log (doesn't create is default)
  • user-configurable file extension (.txt is default)
  • MINOR BUG: Currently, if there is no empty line to write an entry to, the entry is written to the previous line. (this happens if the log is opened and edited, and no carriage return is inserted at the end of the document). Desired behavior: automatically insert carriage return as necessary when writing a new entry.

Tray icon:
  • right-click menu on systray icon: Diary entry, Options, About, Exit
  • double-click on systray icon: popup shows, no event sound
  • user-configurable tray icon, provide default (can use creepy frog icon at http://turbomilk.com/downloads/zoom_eyed/)

Timestamps (affects popup, logfile, and logfile entries):
  • user-configurable timestamp in logfile entry
  • user-configurable timestamp in logfile name
  • user-configurable timestamp in popup titlebar
  • user-configurable timestamp format can be UNIX style string, ie. %a_%d_%H%M (see http://bb4win.sourceforge...ails.htm#Clock_Formatting)
  • all three of the above can feed off of one setting, or off of individual settings for each.

Hotkey:
  • user-configurable hotkey to bring up popup
  • user-configurable hotkey to bring up options dialog

Me:
  • I can assist with writing a readme.txt if necessary, and finding a suitable application icon.
  • I can also attempt to compose a FrogDiary icon with my horribly limited GIMP skills and access to some clip art.
  • Using sfxr (http://gog.is/sfxr), I've created a few sample alert sounds for the app (attached).

* sounds.7z (191.36 KB - downloaded 300 times.)
Logged
rgdot
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 1,653


View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2009, 02:05:02 PM »

This is great and nice idea too, thanx. May be just a small tweak, the popup position be configurable, not important obviously.

EDIT: Any chance, much like the Icon Menu Launcher for example, ExitApp can be incorporated into it? Even though this needs to start at intervals of course

(I am already thinking of using the log or data collected over time and importing them into a richer format for future browsing)

« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 02:09:58 PM by rgdot » Logged
doctorfrog
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 134


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2009, 04:49:17 PM »

Two more minor requirements:
  • Need an option to detect and block multiple instances of FrogDiary. (Though I could see how multiple instances might be desirable.)
  • Need an option to toggle whether FrogDiary asks for new options at startup. (Currently asks every time.)
Logged
skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2009, 12:49:27 AM »

Wow...lots of replies and requests.  I'll try to answer them all.  That initial build only represented about an hour of work so, obviously, there is plenty of room for improvement.

  • one request would be that it stay on top until properly dismissed - currently can get lost behind other apps
  • It would be nice if one could call it up manually to add a note
  • oh yeah, it uses a 12 hr clock?
    e.g. the saved text file says 20091105 05:53:35:
    Windows time said 17:53

1) Already implemented.
2) Yes, I'll add a hotkey as well as an option to the tray menu.
3) Hmmmm...it should have shown as:  20091105 11:12:02 PM: <entry text here>
Personally, I'd like to use military time (24hr clock) but not everybody likes that.

  • Yes, I should have put that in my list. Behavior should be on-top, unfocused, and ENTER dismisses only if it's in focus.
  • Given that one might want to enter a diary entry at any time, or may have accidentally dismissed a popup before creating an entry,
  • I should have also said: the app should live in the system tray, but the popup should appear in the task bar and be visible during ALT+TAB.

1) In my latest build, it pops up as AOT and un-focused.  In other words, it should work how you like now.
2) [Skipped]
3) Hmmm...the app does live in the tray and the popup is visible in the taskbar and via alt-tab.  Or, were you making a general statement here and not a request?

Ok, feedback time!
First of all, this is really good. I've been wanting something like this for a while. Nice and simple, no proprietary formats or ridiculous runtimes. I also see that on certain minor details, you anticipated things I was looking for, but did not explicitly state. Thank you and well done!

Thanks for the kind words.

Popup:
  • user-configurable sound on popup event (this can be included in the options dialog, or can default to .\alert.wav)
  • toggle: taskbar blink on popup event (blink/no blink)
  • toggle:
    a: (default and current) ENTER dismisses popup and creates entry, CTRL-ENTER creates new line in popup text field
    b: (alternative setting) ENTER creates new line in popup text field, CTRL-ENTER dismisses popup and creates entry
  • remember last position
  • stay on top if lose focus

1) Sound...sure, can do.
2) Taskbar blinking...how many times?  Configurable?
3) Enter/Ctrl-Enter functionality.  Sure.
4) Position saving.  Absolutely.
5) In the latest build, it stays on top regardless.

Logfile:
  • user-configurable carriage return in between logfile entries (1,2,3 (or n) carriage returns, 1 is default)
  • toggle: ENTER on popup with no text creates/doesn't create an empty entry in the log (doesn't create is default)
  • user-configurable file extension (.txt is default)
  • MINOR BUG: Currently, if there is no empty line to write an entry to, the entry is written to the previous line. (this happens if the log is opened and edited, and no carriage return is inserted at the end of the document). Desired behavior: automatically insert carriage return as necessary when writing a new entry.

1) CRs between entries.  Hmmm...kludgy.  What I'd rather do is, eventually, build a viewer that would display the entries.
2) Blank entries.  Fixed in the current build.
3) I'd rather not make this user-configurable.  I'd rather choose a new extension and go with that.
4) Missing CR bug: This is better solved by coming up with a simple format to the actual diary files.  This would also allow for the aforementioned viewer to be built.

Tray icon:
  • right-click menu on systray icon: Diary entry, Options, About, Exit
  • double-click on systray icon: popup shows, no event sound
  • user-configurable tray icon, provide default (can use creepy frog icon at http://turbomilk.com/downloads/zoom_eyed/)

1) Sure, had planned to if this prototype was what you had in mind.
2) Can do.
3) Can do.

Timestamps (affects popup, logfile, and logfile entries):
  • user-configurable timestamp in logfile entry
  • user-configurable timestamp in logfile name
  • user-configurable timestamp in popup titlebar
  • user-configurable timestamp format can be UNIX style string, ie. %a_%d_%H%M (see http://bb4win.sourceforge...ails.htm#Clock_Formatting)
  • all three of the above can feed off of one setting, or off of individual settings for each.

I underestimated the response regarding this app so, with that in mind, I would say:
1) Entry timestamp: I'd rather move to create a simple standard format for the entries and build a viewer for them.  Your thoughts.
2) Logfile timestamp: If we can agree on a permanent file extension, I would agree to this.  Otherwise, it adds needless complexity to the app, IMHO.
3) Titlebar timestamp: Can do.
4) Any reason for this?  I mean, AHK has all the tokens necessary already.

Hotkey:
  • user-configurable hotkey to bring up popup
  • user-configurable hotkey to bring up options dialog

1 & 2) Can do.

Me:
  • I can assist with writing a readme.txt if necessary, and finding a suitable application icon.
  • I can also attempt to compose a FrogDiary icon with my horribly limited GIMP skills and access to some clip art.
  • Using sfxr (http://gog.is/sfxr), I've created a few sample alert sounds for the app (attached).

I think the frog icon you mentioned above is a great choice for the application icon.  Also, some names we could call this in sticking with the whole amphibian theme cheesy :

  • Frog Diary
  • Diary Frog
  • Ribbit
  • Croaker
  • Anuran  <-- Good one.
  • Tadpole
  • Polliwog

I'm sure Cranioscopical will chime in on this...he can't resist.
Logged

skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2009, 02:49:00 AM »

EDIT: Any chance, much like the Icon Menu Launcher for example, ExitApp can be incorporated into it? Even though this needs to start at intervals of course

Are you asking for a File, Exit menu bar on the popup?
Logged

rgdot
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 1,653


View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2009, 02:58:53 AM »

Are you asking for a File, Exit menu bar on the popup?

No, I meant the following:
When pressing enter not only does the window go away but the program closes too (doesn't remain in tray)
Logged
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,630



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2009, 04:20:02 AM »

not sure if this has been requested
(but I'll chance repeating it Wink I dont have time to reread all those requests lol):

Option for systemwide hotkey (customisable if possible) to close the window for when I dont want to interact with the app (I have it set to come up very often)
Logged

Tom
skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2009, 04:23:50 AM »

No, I meant the following:
When pressing enter not only does the window go away but the program closes too (doesn't remain in tray)

Hmmm...the application has to continue running in order to keep popping up the window at the specified times.  Or, am I misunderstanding you again?   huh
Logged

skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2009, 04:24:34 AM »

not sure if this has been requested
(but I'll chance repeating it Wink I dont have time to reread all those requests lol):
Option for systemwide hotkey (customisable if possible) to close the window for when I dont want to interact with the app (I have it set to come up very often)

Can do.
Logged

rgdot
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 1,653


View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2009, 09:44:14 AM »

Hmmm...the application has to continue running in order to keep popping up the window at the specified times.  Or, am I misunderstanding you again?   huh

No, you didn't misunderstand. In my first post above I did say that I understand that this needs to pop up at the specified times.
I was only thinking out loud, trying to find a way to not have this open all the time.
Logged
doctorfrog
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 134


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2009, 11:07:25 AM »

Wow...lots of replies and requests.  I'll try to answer them all.  That initial build only represented about an hour of work so, obviously, there is plenty of room for improvement.
Thanks for taking the time to make the additions. I really like what we have so far.

To save time and sanity, I'll directly address your questions and clarifications, skipping over unimportant things:
  • (Nice to have) Taskbar blinking: user-configurable, with a default of 9 blinks (with 20 maximum). 0 no blinks, -1 is blink forever.
  • (Nice to have) Missing CR bug: This is very minor, and doesn't bug me much. I'm just being thorough. See my thoughts on a viewer below.
  • File extension (rejected): this is fine, we can figure out the file extension after the program name is settled. TXT works for me, anyway.
  • Timestamp in entries: If we do move to a viewer format, I vote we keep the date human-friendly, so the logfile itself can still be read separately from the viewer. That said, it can be a little friendlier than it is now. See my thoughts below.
  • Timestamp in filename: Currently, the log filename only has the date affixed to it. If FrogDiary creates more than one log in a day, this means that they have the following name structure: logfile_for_20091105.txt, logfile_for_20091105[1].txt, logfile_for_20091105[2].txt. It's not terrible, but a the option for a configurable timestamp would be better.
  • Timestamp feeds off of one setting/individual settings: If it's easy enough to create individual settings for logfile entry, logfile name, and popup titlebar, let's do it. smiley
  • Application name: Anuran is the best of those you list, and it's unique enough. And Frog Diary very quickly turns into "Frog Dairy" if you type it enough times, the implications of which are mildly disturbing. Alternatives: Anura, Ainu, EndOfLine, EndLine, Fritter. (Fritter? Frog+Twitter? Yes, this is like a personal offline Twitter feed of a sort. *shudder*)

Feature request (yes, more):
User-configurable location for log files. Archive will continue to be a subfolder of this location.

Possible bug:
I left my PC running overnight, whereupon it went into Standby. I started it again today and notice that FrogDiary did create a new logfile, but did not move the old one into archive. Not a big deal as-is, but once we get a viewer the expectation for smarter automation will be greater.

A general curmudgeony statement about a viewer:

I like text files. They're simple, portable, and viewable a year from now or a hundred years from now. I'm not opposed to a viewer at all (indeed, I could definitely see a use for it), but I do request:
  • that the log files remain in a human-readable text format, whether seen through the viewer or notepad.exe. For me, this is vital.
  • that we retain the user-configurable rotating archive model (avoiding cramming a whole bunch of data into a single fat database).
Why: The last thing I want is to cram all this personal info into a database or an XML file (not that this is necessarily where this is headed). With Firefox, EssentialPIM, Outlook, Thunderbird, Pidgin, etc., I have plenty of non-human-readable databases holding my personal data. I barely can be arsed to dig through their individual data viewers, and I'm up a creek if the database file becomes corrupted. This selfish little software request of mine started out as a means to escape the tyranny of other bloated, proprietary productivity software. (Rant ends here.)

That said, I still consider this app to be the work of another (if not a community) and will not complain if it evolves accordingly. If other features makes it useful to others, I'm happier for it!

I'm going to do some brainstorming on the file format and the viewer, and get back to you later in the day. I'll see if I can't get a sketch up as well.

--frog
Logged
doctorfrog
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 134


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2009, 01:03:57 PM »

Hey look I wrote another impenetrable wall of text.  tellme

Viewer paper prototype (see notes at end):



File format and viewer brainstorm:

Requirements:
  • Keep format human-readable, but meaningful for an external viewer.
  • Sufficient information stored so that the viewer can organize the data in a meaningful, interesting, and useful way.

Logfile Sample:
[copy or print]
[[[[What are you doing?]]]]
[[[personal_log]]]
[[20091106 09:03:00 AM]]
[20091106 09:07:00 AM] - Eating a sandwich []
[20091106 09:35:00 AM] - Working on TPS reports []

Format:
External viewer should be smart enough to only need six bits of data:
1. Title
2. Logfile Name
3. Logfile Timestamp
4. Entry Timestamp
5. Entry Content (following the timestamp)
6. EOL Marker (following Entry Content)
That's it.

Elements:
Title
  • Comes from: "Pop-up note title text" setting
  • Format: text string enclosed in quadruple brackets, ie. [[[[What are you doing?]]]]
  • Viewer: sees the quad-brackets and knows it is looking at the title
  • User: title is presented to user in title bar and/or subtitlebar. Depending on how the user is using FrogDiary, this title may change (ie. What are you doing?, Write a creative sentence!, etc.)

Logfile Name
  • Comes from: "Archive note prefix text" setting
  • Format: text string enclosed in triple brackets, ie. [[[personal_log]]]
  • Viewer: sees the triple-brackets and knows it is looking at the logfile name prefix
  • User: sees the logfile name in a titlebar and/or sub-titlebar

Logfile Timestamp
  • Comes from: timestamp automatically affixed to the logfile title when it is created
  • Format: time/date enclosed in double brackets. actual time/date format TBD.
  • Viewer: sees the double brackets knows it's looking at the logfile's creation date/time. Expects a specifically formatted time/date.
  • User: is presented the logfile timestamp when viewing the logfile in the viewer, likely in a titlebar (see the attached illustration).

Entry Timestamp
  • Comes from: obvious
  • Format: time/date enclosed in single brackets. actual time/date format TBD.
  • Viewer: sees the single brackets and knows it is looking at the beginning of a logfile entry, and knows the timestamp of the entry. Expects a specifically formatted time/date.
  • User: is presented the timestamp (less the date), along with the entry, in the logfile viewer. (Date already should appear in the subtitlebar as previously described.)

Entry Content
  • Comes from: obvious
  • Format: user text string
  • Viewer: sees string in between Entry Timestamp and EOL Marker and knows it is looking at a user entry.
  • User: is presented the Entry Content in the viewer, along with the Entry Timestamp, visually separated from other Entry Content.

EOL Marker
  • Comes from: automatically put in after each entry to demarcate the entry's end
  • Format: empty bracket, ie. []
  • Viewer: sees the empty bracket pair and assumes an entry has concluded
  • User: doesn't see this unless he opens the log file with a text viewer. The EOL marker should be minimal and not interfere with plaintext readability.

Viewer Example:
Viewer sees the data in the logfile sample (way up at the top of this post) and presents it as follows:
  • [[[[What are you doing?]]]] - becomes the titlebar and subtitlebar text in the viewer
  • [[[personal_log]]] - becomes subtitlebar text in the viewer.
  • [[20091106 09:03:00 AM]] - demarcates the beginning of an entry. Time and/or date is used as the beginning part of an entry as presented to the user.
  • Eating a sandwich - becomes the 'body' of a log entry
  • [] - the viewer sees this and marks it as the end of the entry. No visual cue to user, except that the next entry, if any, is appropriately placed further down on the timescale.
  • AND SO ON.

Notes:
  • My use of brackets can obviously be substituted with other computer-friendly markup, but it's still vital that the file be human-readable.
  • Having both title and logfile name in the same title or subtitlebar may be confusing, but I don't want to dispense with one or the other.

Illustration notes:
  • Look and function is somewhat similar to Outlook, Palm Desktop, EssentialPIM, etc.
  • Log viewer presents data in the form of a vertical timescale. Each entry is timestamped and the relevant text is shown.
  • Timescale automatically lengthens vertically based on the density of entries.
  • Clicking on a date in the calendar causes viewer to search through all logfiles specific to that date and compile that information in chronological order in the Log viewer pane.
  • Clicking on an individual logfile in the file browser causes the viewer to present data for that logfile only.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 01:06:15 PM by doctorfrog » Logged
skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2009, 01:06:46 PM »

Points:

When I mentioned file format, I was just thinking something VERY simple.  As in, no more complex than it needs to be to parse reliably.  Maybe something like:
§ 2009-11-06 14:30:56
<Entry - 1st line>
<Entry - 2nd line>
<Entry - 3rd line>
§ 2009-11-06 15:30:56
<Entry - 1st line>
<Entry - 2nd line>


I like the name Anuran as well so feel free to come up with an extension.  anu/ana/anr/ann...whatever.

Regarding your concerns about a viewer...don't fret.  I love straight up text files as well.  I wasn't thinking of anything more than a simple listview for the entries and an edit field to display the text.  The neat thing about a viewer is that I can parse and display ALL the log files' entries at once in the listview.  Maybe add a simple search functionality and call it done.  Very simple.

So far today, I've implemented the following:

    + Made popup window always-on-top.  (Thanks, tomos)
    + Made application single-instance.  (Thanks, doctorfrog)
    + Added option for wave file play on popup.  (Thanks, doctorfrog)
    + Added option to flash the taskbar on popup.  (Thanks, doctorfrog)
    + Added Enter/Ctrl-Enter options to popup.  (Thanks, doctorfrog)
    * Popup window now remembers its last position.
    ! Blank entries are no longer saved.

Also, I've spoken with Mouser and, due to the interest and ideas, I'm going to make this my NANY 2010 entry.  I hope nobody minds.
Logged

skwire
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,120



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2009, 01:12:11 PM »

Hey look I wrote another impenetrable wall of text.  tellme
Viewer paper prototype (see notes at end):

Holy moly.  ohmy  I wasn't thinking anything nearly that complex.  Again, I was just thinking of a simple listview and edit field.  Perhaps a search option.  Maybe an option to display all the text from all the logs in one shot.  So, trying to keep this simple but still useful.
Logged

doctorfrog
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 134


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2009, 02:40:16 PM »

It sounds like we want the same thing in terms of simplicity, so please just take my spec as suggestion and the fleshing out of an idea, nothing more. I've written for some pretty persnickety folks, so being extremely specific is a force of habit.

In the end, I'm happy with a polite popup, and automatically archived text files.

The .anu extension works for me.

I'm also totally stoked that you're using my idea for NANY. Let me know if I can help out with any drudgery.

Looking forward to a snapshot!
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 Next   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.073s | Server load: 0.01 ]