undistract-me: Quashing your ADHD

I fear this little utility might be usable only for a discrete set of fans. Technically speaking it’s a text-based application, but … well, I’ll let you take a look and see what you think.


In principle, it’s rather simple: undistract-me simply takes note if a shell command takes longer than 10 seconds to execute. If it does, it waits until the program finishes, then throws up the alert message you see in the screenshot above. Kind of cool, in an odd way.

Strictly speaking though, you’ll need all the underpinnings of a graphical desktop, plus whatever alert system is in use there, before you’ll get close to that kind of behavior. On my semi-graphical Arch system with just Openbox, I ended up adding gtk3, polkit, dconf, json-glib and a mess of themes and libraries before the git version was close to running.

So I don’t know if I’m being fair by including it. Don’t expect to suddenly plop this into place on your 400Mhz Celeron running screen, because you’re going to need a lot more to get close.

I won’t deny that I like the idea though, and if something comparable could be implemented in a text only environment, it might be worth trying. For my own part, I used to append long-running commands with aplay yoo-hoo.ogg so I would get an audible when something finished.

So in that way, I can sympathize. But unless you use a lot of terminal commands on a Linux Mint desktop and need some sort of blinky reminder when one finishes … well, like I said, it will probably only appeal to a slim range of fans.:\

6 thoughts on “undistract-me: Quashing your ADHD

  1. Theodore

    Too much dependencies to have some damn notify-send executed when a bash hack gets triggered anytime a command takes too long to get executed. Why is that, in your opinion?

    Working only in some crazy code injection aside as it seems, it’s a very excellent idea. Should hack on it to have something which relies only on notify-send and a tmux lookalike!

    Nice to be there again, have a good life when you’re going to shut down business in Linux blogging, dear K. It’s a good ride, while it’s lasting.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      If you could come up with something that only relied on text-based dependencies, I think you’d have a hit. This is … clever … but like you said, pulls in way too much stuff to be useful outside a Gnome-esque desktop. Something more like the way notifyme behaves would be ideal.

      Thanks for all the comments over the years. It has been fun!😀

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