Punctuating Clocks

by graham

In Laurie Anderson’s performance piece The End of the Moon she suggests that instead of ending sentences with periods, we might end them with clocks, signaling how long was spent on each.

I thought, "Emacs!", with the idea of making a gimmicky blog toy. Luke convinced me we might work to make it more generic, so it could be used as a program analysis tool as well.

The first version is rough, inserts directly into the text, and doesn’t account for edits.

Future versions will have the following characteristics:
1. Instead of using keystrokes, will take advantage of emacs’ structure of generic coding-text systems. It already knows where the statements begin and end.
2. Represent the time-stamps in some hidden form in the text, perhaps like glyphs or text properties. This would imply a separate render command. Luke points out that we’ll need accompanying files with these annotations for the source code case.
3. Come up with more clever renderings.
4. Can turn the system off.

The first draft is at ravelite.org/code/clocks/.

Leave a Reply