Timekpr-NEXT is around the corner (sort of)

Written for timekpr-revived by Eduards Bezverhijs on 2019-01-05

Today I would like to share news about timekpr-NEXT.
I got to the state that timekpr can be tested by tech savvy users, which means that engine & stuff + client app is working, now I just need to develop the rest of user friendly stuff - to program the administration part.

My son and one user from ArchLinux community is beta testing it for some time already, son for about 2 months and ArchLinux user for about two weeks. So far it's looking good :)

If some of You want to participate in beta testing, shoot me an email, conditions are simple: You send me an e-mail with OS details (OS, OS version, DE) and I'll send You new timekpr package, You test it, report the results/bugs and DO NOT share to anyone else (not that I want to hide smth, but I don't want to frustrate non-tech-savvy ppl, because at current state, config for users must be edited manually in config files!, I really do not want to release a software to public that's hard to use for a regular folk, meaning no GUI for basic admin).

In previous announcement I wanted to ask Your opinion about what to include, I even tried to contact couple of Linux friendly web sites and it seems that my questions and e-mails went to spam/trash, so I made decision myself! :)

Supported OS/DE:
At least 16.04 (+ all distros based on it) is a minimum!
Anything prior - not supported, sorry (this is not smth I would not like to support, but when testing them, crazy bugs appeared out of the blue with gtk and dbus, I don't know how to deal with them and I do not want to deal with them, plus anything below 16.04 is legacy anyway :) )
Gnome Shell is supported only via extensions while they last, because they want to take away the "notification area" completely, check out TopIcons or similar extensions, when time comes I'll see what to do with sad state of G3 "notification area" issue

Feature summary (w/o boring technical stuff, because technically it was complete long complex rewrite from scratch):
Basically it will be time limiting app (at the moment) - let's say streamlined and very enhanced legacy timekpr:
By default time accounting interval is 3 secs (compared to approx 30 secs in legacy version)
Now there's timekpr server and client, they work synchronous (before it was asynchronous "dance"), so there will be no more "you'll be logged about in about 2 minuten", time reporting is very precise, user will be accounted and logged out at exactly the second it has to be
Time can be specified in minute intervals, for example, from 16:27 - 16:56 (as one wishes)
There can be more time intervals per day, for instance 7:00-11:30 + 13:00-18:00 + 19:15-22:37 (Your exact choice)
One can specify which week days are allowed for user (like Mon through Fri not allowed, but Sat-Sun is)
Time intervals can cross the midnight (if configured so), there will be no logout at midnight even the day changes (limits per day still apply)
There will be no time accounting for inactive sessions (if configured so), this means that if user is switched away (but still logged on) or screen is locked or similar, time will not be accounted. This is based on login1 (systemd) "session manager" which most of the distros use.

Please note that time accounting when screen is locked might not work for You, because "Linux is about choice and stuff", so not every DE supports it (or have bugs or behave differently for some reason or other) :), my testing shows very mixed results:
  Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon - works
  Ubuntu Unity 16.04 - works
  Linux Mint 19 MATE - works
  Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome Shell - works
  Linux Mint 17 XFCE - DOES NOT work
  Ubuntu 18.04 KDE5 - DOES NOT work
  Ubuntu 18.04 Unity - DOES NOT work
  Linux Mint 19 XFCE - DOES NOT work
It's possible to account only certain session types, like graphical (x11, wayland) and NOT tty (terminal) via ctrl+alt+fx or remote ssh sessions (configurable)
It's possible to account only users which have to be accounted, timekpr treats all users the same, but one can make exclusions via configuration
Since timekpr-NEXT is controled by DBUS, any developer can use it to integrate into control panel or so.
I'll develop GUI as well as CLI clients for administration, GUI for regular folk and CLI for remote administration.
Legacy version of timekpr tried to interact with pam system in linux to control allowed time intervals which ended not very nice from users perspective, like when account is locked, a user who tries to log in is presented with message "Invalid username or password". This really frustrates the user in general, because, FFS, everything they enter is correct.
New version does not integrate to pam, instead it gives a message about insufficient time and 15 seconds later user is kicked out, kick-out is "very nice", there is a real-time countdown from 5-0 (configurable) seconds ;)

So, here are a few screenshots of timekpr-NEXT in action (NO mock-ups, real WORKING stuff):
*) icon for timekpr in Ubuntu 16.04 Unity: http://tinypic.com/r/3322u0o/9
*) timekpr action while it awaits DBUS connection in Ubuntu 16.04 Unity: http://tinypic.com/r/2m6s8if/9
*) icon of timekpr in ArchLinux KDE5: http://tinypic.com/r/izrigz/9
*) menu of timekpr in ArchLinux KDE5: http://tinypic.com/r/25a58av/9
*) about dialog of timekpr in ArchLinux KDE5: http://tinypic.com/r/2qitz42/9
*) user limits page of timekpr in ArchLinux KDE5: http://tinypic.com/r/2e1eqf5/9
*) user limits page (hint) of timekpr in ArchLinux KDE5: http://tinypic.com/r/21b2adj/9
*) user client configuration page of timekpr in ArchLinux KDE5: http://tinypic.com/r/1m2v4/9

If one is technical and want to see a little more, You're welcome:
*) timekpr user config file: http://tinypic.com/r/20afknq/9
*) timekpr config file: http://tinypic.com/r/oavtaf/9
*) timekpr DBUS services: http://tinypic.com/r/124v4mw/9

The rest of my "plans" or ideas will have to wait and if there are no public opinions on what to include, it's hard for me to dedicate time for features no-one may use, this software is not used broadly and it seems that ppl who use them do not speak up or are simple regular folk who don't know/want to know the details or so, so I'll see what I can do myself based on my needs or observations.

If You appreciate my work, You can spread the word about incoming version and/or help as per original announcement "If You think I deserve a cup of coffee, glass of rum or just want to contribute, please do so: https://tinyurl.com/yc9x85v2 ."

Hopefully, I'll be able to release all this in several months time.


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