Usage

To use hamsterlib in a project:

import hamsterlib

The main point of entry is hamsterlib.HamsterControl. Your friendly timetracking controler. All that is required to initialize it is that you pass it a dict with basic configuration information. Right now, all that is needed are the following key/value pairs:

'work_dir': ``path``; Where to store any temporary data
'store': 'sqlalchemy'; refer to ``hamsterlib.lib.REGISTERED_BACKENDS``
'db_path': ``sqlalchemy db path``,
'tmpfile_name': filename; under which any 'ongoing fact' will be saved
'fact_min_delta': integer; Amount of seconds under which fact creation will be prohibited.

hamsterlib.HamsterControl initializes the store and provides a general logger. Besides that HamsterControl.categories, HamsterControl.activities and HamsterControl.facts are the main interfaces to communicate with the storage backend.

The second cornerstone are the dedicated classes Category, Activity and Fact which, for convinience, can be imported right from hamsterlib. In particular Fact.create_from_raw_fact might be of insterest They provide easy and consistent facilities to create, store and manage data relevant to your timetracking needs. Of particular interest is hamsterlib.Fact.create_from_raw which allows you to pass a raw_fact string and reciceve a fully populated Fact instance in return. The class will take care of all the tedious parsing and normalizing of data present in the raw_fact.

For clients aiming to utilize the new and sanitized backend API a look into hamsterlib.storage may be worthwile. These classes describe our baseline API that is to be implemented by any valid backend of ours. Note that some general methods are provided on this level already, so backend developers don’t have to each time anew. Of cause they are always free to overload them in order to implement solutions optimized to their concrete backend infrastructure.

Besides this general controler hamsterlib.helpers provides convinience functions that help with normalization and general intermediate computation clients may have need for.

Basic Terminology

The following is intended as a rough description of the basic semantics of terminology used as part of this project. For technical details please refer to the module reference, in particular hamsterlib.objects.

Category
What it says on the tin. A user friendly way to group accitities that relate to each other. Their names are unique.
Activity
‘What you are doing’. This is a brief and easy to remember describtion of the (you guessed it) ‘activity’ you want to track. An activity can be filed under a category in order to provide some structure or just stay uncategrized. While one ‘activity name’ can be used with multiple categories it will be considered as a different thing all together as far as we are concerned. E.g. an activity called ‘meeting’ filed under the ‘private’ category will be absolutly seperate from an activity named ‘meeting’ filed under ‘bussiness’. Within each category, activitynames will be unique.
Fact
An actually timetracked activity. That is, an entry about ‘what did you do from start to end’. As such it connects an general Activity with timetracking information as well as additional optional context infos (tags and description). A fact is usually what you are ultimativly interested in. What shows up in your report and allows you to see what you did when.
Ongoing fact
Legacy hamster allowed for facts without an end to be saved to the database. We do not. However, to address the common use case that a client may want to start tracking an activity, but does not know its end, we provide a convinient solution so clients don’t have to implement this each by anew. We provide an API for creating one and only one persistent ongoing fact. A fact without specified end. This fact is treated seperatly the others in almost any regard internaly. As far as the client is concerned it is however just a regular fact without specified end. Fact manager methods relevant to this carry tmp_fact in their name.

This documentation need to be expanded, but hopefully it is enough for now to get you started. For detail please see the module reference and tests.

Assumptions and Premisses

As any software, we make assumptions and work on premises. Here we try to make them transparent.

  • There can be only one fact any given point in time. We do not support multiple concurrent facts.