Panoply: Console-based TODO list manager

That’s right, yet another todo list manager. I am calling it Panoply, for no other reason than the fact that I like that word. Well, it is a learning project. I wanted something that does not depend on having an Internet connection all the time (e.g. Wunderlist and Teux Deux) (it is possible that those awesome products have offline modes, but still), and something that is free (unlike Things). More importantly, I wanted to check the feasibility of Python for building, testing and maintaining a relatively larger project. It certainly doesn’t have the graphical finesse of the apps mentioned above, but if I ever decide to go in that direction with it, it will be yet another learning adventure. As it stands right now though, Panoply remains a CLI app.

It’s still very much in a pre-alpha stage, but I have something running and working that I can now keep tweaking and enhancing. I am trying to follow Test Driven Development in this project as faithfully as I can (though I guess I could be better). The goal is essentially to write a command line tool in Python that helps with deadlines and in managing personal tasks. It is supposed to be an app that automatically adjusts itself somehow, based on current deadlines, future deadlines, and past overdue deadlines, so that it is better than a plain text todo list. I am the sole developer, user experience designer, user interaction designer and the tester of all things for now. I am hoping that that would change at some point. The data model that Panoply is currently using consists of simple CSV files. This aspect of the project might very well change in the future if I feel the need for a better data structure.

My idea is to keep the scope minimal, and enhance it one feature at a time. As it stands right now, if you were to test the app as of the day of writing this blog entry, it lets you start a task collection, add a task to the collection with a user name, and let you save and load the entire list of tasks. I am currently also supporting the functionality to selectively check off items so that you can mark them as ‘done’ and they no longer show in the list when you view it. Last but not least, I support the ability to scan the list of tasks and tasks collections and prompt the user that they need to hustle if they have a task listed that has a deadline past the current date (termed ‘overdue’ in the Panoply universe).

I am having a lot of fun with this project, trying to hack on it for 10 minutes every other day. My full time job and other obligations don’t allow for more at this point, but Panoply will certainly grow with time.


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