Recently I have started evaluating the Pomodoro Technique which I found quite interesting. I am still evaluating the technique and not yet concluded on whether I should continue using it.
To implement pomodoro technique, you need a kitchen timer or egg timer. Since I use pomodoro for my programming work, I obviously don’t want to use a physical timer. I couldn’t find a decent timer for linux especially one that works well with Xfce. In this blog post, I will explain building a kitchen timer with basic linux programming techniques. This also gives an idea about how simple linux tools can be combined to do useful stuff.
Things that are used
- Shell scripting
- Notification mechanisms on popular desktops like Gnome and Xfce. (I use Xfce in this example)
The shell script is actually a modified version of the one published here (http://mostlylinux.wordpress.com/commandline/eggtimer/).
#!/bin/bash counter=0 limit=$1 summary=$2 startmessage=$3 endmessage=$4 notify-send -u critical -i appointment -t 600 "$summary" "$startmessage" echo while [ $counter != $limit ]; do echo "$counter minutes so far..."; sleep 60 let "counter = $counter + 1" done if [ $counter = $limit ]; then echo notify-send -u critical -i appointment "$summary" "$endmessage" echo -e '\a' >&2 exit 0 fi
All it does is wait until the limit reaches. It uses the sleep(1) command to sleep for a minute. notify-send is used for sending notifications to the desktop environment.
This script can be invoked using,
If you use bash, you can add an alias for convenience.
alias begin-pomodoro='sh ~/utils/p-timer.sh 25 "Pomodoro" "Pomodoro started, you have 25 minutes left" "Pomodoro ended. Please stop the work and take short break"'
This post is written on one pomodoro!