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You deserve a break

Natural break detection bug?

Howdy, I'm a new user/supporter (used to WorkRave) and I don't think my natural breaks are working.
Part of the problem is that detection takes 30 seconds...?
Is this normal/intentional?
It means my micro-break (6s break every 4m) never sees any idles, even as a spend 1-29s reading things and not typing.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Natural break detection bug?

Even if you are really busy and in need of a break, everyone would often pause for a few seconds between keystrokes or mousing. To avoid pushing back breaks unnecessarily for such trivial pauses, it only counts if you are idle for a reasonable amount of time.

As you observed, it only treats you as taking a natural break if you are idle for at least 30 seconds. At that point it will pause the countdown. After another 30 seconds, it will count backwards (by default, though you can change that).

In theory I could add another preference to enable specifying a shorter threshold, but I'm reluctant to add preferences unless really needed, to avoid making the app more complex.

Re: Natural break detection bug?

Once I grok the logic I might be able to change my time-outs to accommodate---I'm still confused about breaks occurring relative to last break (what I expect) vs absolute. However, in this case there are two very different scenarios:
1. typing intensively for 4 minutes.
2. reading a Web page and hitting the PAGEDOWN key every twenty seconds.

In the later case, I find it especially weird when I'm reading and haven't touched the keyboard in 10 seconds to be told to take a break. Can T-O distinguish this?

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Natural break detection bug?

I am thinking about adding an option to reset lower priority breaks (e.g. Micro) after a higher priority one (e.g. Normal), so they are relative instead of absolute. A few people have asked for this, and it does make sense.

As I said, I could add a preference for the idle detection time, but I'm not sure that is worthwhile. I'd appreciate others thoughts on this.