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Present Perfect

Better living through technology

Filed under: couchdb,Hacking,maemo,Python — Thomas @ 14:30


Sweet. After a bunch of hacking, packaging, tweaking, and cheating, I was able to do the following:

  • add stuff to my shopping list on my desktop, with the command-line client
  • without doing anything manual to sync my phone, take it with me to the store
  • at the store, do 'gtd search @shop' (from a terminal, currently) to get the list of things to shop for, including my recent additions
  • come back with my stuff from the store, and mark those items as done on my desktop
  • do the same search again on my phone, and see those two items gone

Now of course, this needs some improvement, like a dedicated app to view my things on the phone, plus a way to mark them as done. Also, my code needs optimizing, because out of 2500 things in the couchdb database it takes a good 10 seconds to list these ten. But it's such an awesome glimpse of my future.

Now one has to wonder if the balance of doing all of this technology stuff to implement something as simple as an indestructible shopping list is worth it in the end... But as technologists I'm sure we all know that feeling, and delude ourselves into thinking this is sensible.


  1. Hello Thomas,

    This usecase is exactly one we want to adress in Getting Things GNOME! (including phone synchronization). It’s not for today but we want to achieve that. Our DBUS interface already allows you to add task from the command line, a CouchDB backend is already nearly finished and our backend infrastructure will soon allow us to sync. Not to mention that Bertrand, GTG developer, is highly interested in porting the application to Maemo.

    Comment by Ploum — 2009-12-08 @ 14:50

  2. I remember taking a look at GTG in the beginning last year. I’ll take another look, but I might be too anal-retentive to switch to something that doesn’t match my approach. We’ll see :)

    About the DarkLooks theme, what are you talking about ? Your desktop theme ?

    Comment by Thomas — 2009-12-08 @ 15:03

  3. BTW : it’s barely impossible to post a comment in your blog with the DarkLooks theme.

    Comment by Ploum — 2009-12-08 @ 14:50

  4. Yep, I’m talking about my desktop Theme. It seems that your CSS define background-color for imput fields without defining foreground-color. So, if default foreground-color is white in your browser (and in GNOME, Firefox inherits it from the desktop theme), you have to write white on white. Just a detail but worth mention it ;-)

    Comment by Ploum — 2009-12-09 @ 09:42

  5. Thomas, as I am quite fed up with all the have baked GTD solutions for the Mac (Things, Omni Focus, Hit List), I am currently investigating to roll my own. I also landed on Couchdb as backend for easy sync between clients and python as implementation. GTG is a faulty approach imho, because it starts from a UI perspective, while I want to rather start from a database perspective and make rolling individual UIs easy by providing a client library. I do not want to implement this, I want to use it. So I am very interested in your approach which seem to be aiming into my direction. Have you open sourced this someplace?

    Comment by SirVer — 2010-04-15 @ 14:08

  6. Yep, it’s all open!


    Let me know if you need help getting it running, but I’ve been using it full time for a while now. I hack on it once in a while. Next things is to get better persistent replication and desktopcouch integration.

    Comment by Thomas — 2010-04-15 @ 14:39

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