Thread: Smart Contexts
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Originally Posted by sriggins View Post
I would like to offer the concept of "Smart Contexts"

Use Case:

User has to research Flash integration, likely through google

* Create project for researching flash integration
* Context is Work
* Add a new concept, sub-context, which would be a Smart Context "Web"

Now, when I switch to any web browser, a widget will let me know I have things to do in the browser, either by showing contexts, or all, etc, similar to how the filtering works now. One example might be a menu widget that slides out, scrolls some text, and shrinks back to an icon.

Another example would be integrating with Growl to supply these notifications.

So I switch to Safari and I see "Research Flash Player"
There aren't exactly a ton of details about this yet, but it kind of sounds like this is at least partially implemented in OmniFocus for iPhone--the whole "GPS-enabled location-sensitive action lists" feature which is kind of a physical version of what you're proposing.

As far as doing that in software based on what apps are currently in focus, that's a lot harder than you might think to actually implement. Monitoring user activity at that level can be pretty resource intensive (run 'top' from the command line and take notice that 'top' tends to be one of the most processor intensive apps on the list). Having a background process that's constantly tracking what's in focus can cause problems. I'm not even sure that the OS X system architecture would allow a developer to do this without serious limitations.

Perhaps this idea would be better served with a plugin architecture for OF and a series of plugins for other applications--like a Safari plugin that can read the OF database and display things in your @Web context. I think that would be significantly easier to develop and probably have a much lower impact on system resource usage.

You could probably kluge up a quick and dirty version of this using OF's applescript support.