FlexTime 1.0 Beta

December 31st, 2005

Perhaps my New-Years resolution has been to tie up loose ends in the personal coding projects department. Having recently finished an update to FastScripts, and putting Clarion 2.0 in the “beta cooker” for a little while, I turned my attentions to a little piece of work I use specifically for practicing yoga, but which should have practical applications across a wide range of timed physical activities.

FlexTime makes it easy to put together an ordered “routine” of separate activities, each of which may last for an arbitrary length of time and possess an arbitrary number of periodic cues. While FlexTime runs through the routine, you are cued by “activity start” and “periodic repeat” cue sounds, each customizable for the particular activity (currently limited to standard alert sounds). For example, I find it useful in yoga to hear a certain sound for the start of a pose and then for the various minor changes within that pose.

FlexTime 1.0 Beta is a very simple application with a few rough edges, but I hope you’ll find it useful for something. If you have feedback about how it could be made more appealing, please let me know.

I anticipate enhancing the complexity of the “routine” concept as well as the complexity of individual “activities” within the routine. Also high on the list of priorities is a feature to “export” the routine as a plain audio file so it could be taken to the gym on your iPod, for instance.

The download archive contains two example documents. If you have other ideas for novel uses, please put together an example document and send it to me!

3 Responses to “FlexTime 1.0 Beta”

  1. Michael McCracken Says:

    I really like this idea – I tried using it to time a web-browsing sidetrack from work, but I couldn’t quite understand what was going on. I wasn’t sure what the double-click action on the activity list does, and it isn’t clear which activity is currently running. Putting the spinner in the tableview might solve that problem.

    I’d also vote for Growl support and the ability to add speaking text to an action, so you can find out what you’re supposed to be doing next without switching over to FlexTime.

    Thanks for sharing it, and keep it up, I think the possibility of using this for ad-hoc timing of work and rest/slack periods could be really nice.

  2. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Michael. I have gotten a few private responses to this and, like yours, they surprise me with the innovative ways people are trying to use the very simple utility. I never would have considered it as a “diversion timer,” but now that you mention it, something like a repeating routine of “50 minutes on”, “10 minutes off” could be good for the body and soul :)

    I appreciate the feedback about the confusing UI. Right now, in the table view representing activities, being the “selected row” means it’s active and either is running or will be run when the routine starts.

    One thing I’m planning on adding soon is a “Run AppleScript…” cue feature. That should take care of a lot of items like speakable text and Growl notifications (for the record FastScripts also supports a modest Growl-like functionality). Over time the ones that are most popular could be included as standard cue types.

  3. Red Sweater Blog - FlexTime Nearing 1.0 Says:

    […] Over the past several months I have been putting a lot of work into FlexTime, the project I first announced here back in late December. […]

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