Arbtt: Time Tracker in Debian Sid

Nov 24, 2009

Joachim Breitner wanted to know how much time he was spending on his system, so he wrote Automatic Rule-Based Time Tracker, or Arbtt. The program is now installable from the Debian unstable archive.

Arbtt runs as a desktop daemon and stores minute-by-minute the open and active windows, their titles and the programs they're running. Interesting is how the collected data is evaluated: because Arbtt has "rule-based" in its name, users can apply rule tags to the raw data. Breitner describes how this works in his blog. Statistics can be derived, for example, on how much time goes into viewing YouTube videos or reading mailing lists.

Breitner points out, "This program will record a lot of very sensitive information about you" and recommends purging ~/.arbtt/capture.log from time to time.

Arbtt is written in Haskell and is available in version 0.4.3 on the hackageDB site as a Cabal source package. The source code is in the Darcs repository.

Those foreign to Haskell can still install Arbtt as GPL software from a recently available package in the Debian sid (unstable) repository.

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