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Re: [Orgmode] Re: Feature idea: Automatic clocking

From: Carsten Dominik
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Re: Feature idea: Automatic clocking
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:38:09 +0100


I am also very skeptical to automate something like this.  This is
a typical are where it is all about the discipline to establish a habit.
May experience is that if you cannot find the discipline to do it,
an automatic process might does *something* for you, but you are
not going to make any use of the collected data.


- Carsten

On Aug 21, 2009, at 8:26 PM, Bernt Hansen wrote:

PT <address@hidden> writes:

I just started using clocking and it seems really useful. It
occured me it could also be done automatically for certain tasks
which are performed in the org buffer.

For example, I work on some text which I keep in an org subtree,
the branches of the subtree hold the chapters, etc.

If the main subtree which is the root of the document has a CLOCK
property (put there by a previous manual clocking) and also an
AUTOCLOCK or similar property then it could monitor if I modify
the text within the subtree and start the clock automatically. If
I stop modifying the subtree then after a while (say, 30 seconds,
configurable) it would stop the clock automatically.

So for subtrees explicitly marked for automatic clocking the user
wouldn't have to start/stop the clock manually at all, org could
do it itself.

What do you think?

Hi PT,

I've been using org-mode clocking since 2006-08-29 Tue 11:44 and I am
skeptical about how useful this would really be in the general case.

Most of my tasks involve *thinking* not just typing so stopping the
clock when I'm working on solving a problem would be bad. I also clock
tasks while working on another machine which org-mode knows nothing
about so stopping the clock due to inactivity isn't appropriate.

I don't like the idea of automatic clocking for a number of reasons:

- It lets you be sloppy about starting and stopping the clock -- which
   means the clock won't be running for some task you are working on
   (say one that is not marked for automatic clocking).  This means
   you're going to work on stuff and not have it clocked when you need
   it to be at some point.  I bill based on clock time and it needs to
   be correct.

 - Clocking stuff in and out rigorously is a good habit to learn if
   clock data is really important to you.  Automatic clocking defeats
   this goal.

 - If you're clocking some important project task and you happen to
   touch the task marked for automatic clocking you'll clock out the
project task and clock in the new task... and a short time later the
   clock stops when you move back to the project task but you're still
   really working on that original project task.

Clocking the right task usually takes more intelligence than just what
part of an org-file changes.

I have org-clock-out-when-done set to nil so that org-mode does not stop
the clock when a task is marked DONE.  This makes me responsible for
when the clock starts and stops for all tasks - I clock in and out for
everything that matters.  I change the clock when I switch tasks and I
think it's really hard to get that right automatically.

So there's my two cents :)


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