Thoughts on Rails

Riding the Train of Thought

Software: Getting Things Done – Stack

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Back in 2008, when working with a startup building team, I realized that my work was getting hampered because of the numerous distractions taking my focus away from whatever I was doing, and once I was finished addressing the distraction, I found it hard to recall what exactly was I doing… and usually, there were multiple levels of distractions.

For example, while testing a function, I found a bug that needed immediate fix, from there I realized another supporting function had a similar bug, turned out both bugs were caused by another function that was miscalculating something and sending back unexpected information. Now I had to fix the culprit function, add error handling in both affected functions and then get back to testing.

This can be represented very well in a stack. You add new items to the top of the list, and remove the topmost first (address the distraction) and get back to next in list. Of course, in real life, we have to prioritize, and pick a previously added task to be completed first. The following application, written in Python runs in shell, presents a simple shell of itself and lets you manage the stack of tasks. It is fairly easy to use, has very simple and intuitive commands.

Also, it automatically saves and loads the list of tasks (provided you run the command from the same working directory every time)

You can get the latest source code from here: https://bitbucket.org/hiway/gtdstack

Here’s a demo/screenshot:

Screen_shot_2011-03-21_at_1

As for the ‘same working directory’ issue, create a shell script like this;

cd ~/.gtdstack
python gtdstack.py

Name it gtd, chmod a+x it and put it in /usr/bin/

Create a folder named .gtdstack and put the gtdstack.py file in it.

That should solve the issues for now.

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Written by hiway

March 21, 2011 at 2:20 am

Posted in software

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