ActivityWatch too ambitious for me? (aka I don't understand a word about installing watchers)

Hi everyone,

I’ve installed the app and it’s working well. Now, as the docs describe I can add watchers to harvest data about what file I work on etc… That should be aw-watcher-vim if I understand correctly.

The Activity docs don’t explain how to install watchers, so I’m checking Github but from there I’m just lost. :sweat_smile:

“This plugin depends on curl, so make sure that it’s installed and available in your PATH.
It is recommended to have a vim runtime manager to make it easier to install (such as Pathogen or Vundle)”

Checking out Vundle…
" Installation requires Git… "

It’s like a rabbithole full of stuff I need and need to understand. I can do 3D work with nodes and that kind of ‘visual’ tech but my understanding of code stops at CSS. Databases, programming and things like that is just too much for me.

Is there a literal step by step source that explains how to do this, or should I just drop it and get a paid service somewhere? And do I really need all those things to add a watcher?

In the end it’s about tracking my doings, and possibly save some time. If I have spend a lot of time understanding the technical stuff first I think it’s not the right application for me.

Thanks for any help :slight_smile:

1 Like

I agree, this stuff can seem confusing for someone who isn’t used to the whole thing. I don’t really know how to add a watcher either, and agree there should be better documentation on it.

By the way, the PATH in computers is basically a list of where executables are located, so you can type the name of the executable in terminal without having to specify where it’s located every time.

Git is version control software invented by the same man who made Linux. Its not super complicated and there are many tutorials on how to use it. It really is neat!

So sorry I wasn’t much help, but hopefully this comment will bump your question up to the top again so people can see it!

Thanks @dill I appreciate what you say.

I really like the concept of the app. Yet, until there’s a step by step guide how to add these watchers, I will just use it as in comes in the box, without any extra watchers. I have no time to go into Github and figure out stuff.

But if I’m completely honest, I just hope the installation will carry more of these watchers in the future, that we then can turn on or off. This will certainly increase popularity and make it a better paid alternative for many.

You probably don’t need extra watchers! The defaults are pretty good, and extra watchers aren’t that well integrated into the Activity dashboard anyway.

aw-watcher-vim is only for the vim text editor (which I assume is what leads to the confusion, vim-users are notoriously not afraid of getting their hands dirty, so the README assumes so from its users).

Is there anything that we could/ should do as users, in the spirit of contributing to the users’ community; the larger picture, in terms of feedback, or system integration?

E.g. I install apps as “portable” in some instances, and keep a dedicated container for them (regular Win folder, not as in Docker container). E.g. Perhaps some apps aren’t recognized by default – i suspect that’s what is a “watcher”.

I don’t really want to spend a ton of time in configuration, but perhaps there may be a long term benefit to investing some amount of time in it.
Thoughts? Feedback.

Cheers, thank you, and Best regards!

I am still lost. I don’t know how to turn on any watchers and none seem to be running.

On my MacPro High Sierra, :5600 > Browser tab, I see:

“Top Browser Domains…No Data”
“Top Browser URLs…No Data”

In Editor tab, I see

Top Editor Files > This feature is missing data from a required watcher. You can find a list of all watchers in the documentation…No data

Top Editor Projects > This feature is missing data from a required watcher. You can find a list of all watchers in the documentation…No data

On my laptop, which is an M2 MacBook Pro running Ventura, I also installed the MacOS .dmg.

I see the stopwatch items I started, but also the other tabs have only blank entries.

What am I missing?