Page last modified: July 19 2010 02:36:01.


Specto among other applications

Freedesktop and HIG-compliant

We strive to adhere to standards as much as possible. As such, your data is saved in directories according to the Freedesktop XDG directory specification, and the user interface is entirely built with the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines in mind.

Beautifully designed and sits neatly on your workspace

Designed with elegance in mind, Specto can be left running on your desktop, on a separate virtual workspace, or hidden into a notification area icon*, without looking like a baboon's ass among the rest of your applications.

Specto also integrates in your GNOME desktop's look and feel by matching its language (if a translation is available), icon themes, GTK+ themes, etc.

*: This is not the default behavior, however.

Integration with GNOME technologies

Though not mandatory, Specto will automatically use libnotify notification toasts and encrypt passwords using GNOME Keyring. Your default browser, mail client and file browser will be used when opening watches.

Award-winning piece of awesomeness

Specto has been talked about on various places of the Web, was picked by Softpedia's editorial staff and given a 5 stars award, and was featured on UptoDown as well.

Easy to modify and learn from

Specto being Free (libre) and Open Source software, you are encouraged to adapt it to your needs, learn from it, and contribute back your improvements. Creating a new watch type is simply a matter of creating a new plugin file. Specto is written in well-commented and highly-readable Python code, and follows the PEP-8 style guidelines.

Example use cases


Or so the legend goes

... that Kiddo woke up one day and restored his last 30 tabs browser session and started opening new tabs and windows to check for updates in his geeky life. No, there has to be a better way !

«I am a computer user, I spend 15 hours a day on it, I need to get out more often instead of downloading my life, and my computer should allow me to do it instead of addicting me to refreshing outdated content !».

And so the new penguinista thought that it was time for a change in the way we use computer. Now he would have the time for attending those amazing events since he knew that his computer would wait for his valiant return and say, "Hi ! You got 4 emails from Apple's lawyers, 3 new dupes were posted on Slashdot, and you lost your internet connection 4 times while you were gone". The project was then an idea, and was posted on two forums: ubuntu's official boards and LinuxQuestions. Better than nothing, right ? While some developers were attracted at first, the project did not really move, and so the kiddo began learning parseltongue. Now, the project is gaining more and more popularity among world-domination-hungry geeks, and is progressing nicely.

Quit storytelling already, what is it ?

Specto aims to ease the way you check for repetitive (or not-so-repetitive) events. Actually, kiddo's main motivation was to be notified when iFolder's website would finally be updated to say "we have workgroup functionality working!". Yes, he really did check at least twice a day. But once that feature is fully working in Specto, why stop there? Why not create a full-fledge application that can notify you about pretty much anything under the sun? You want to be alerted when your friend's blog is updated ? No problem ! Specto will tell you. But only once it is updated, otherwise, it will stay the hell out of your way ! You want to know when you received new spam ? When someone just dropped a new file on your web server ? When your hard drive is getting too full because of all that anime you are watching ? Specto can, or will, do all that. Plus more. Sounds a lot like a laundry soap commercial right? Yeah, well I don't watch TV anyways, I'm busy waiting for specto events...

Why is it called "Specto" ?

At first, the rather long name for the project was "While You Were Out", or WYWO, but that was rather ugly. In the planning stages, a few minutes were spent on choosing an unique name. We chose "Specto", because it is the latin word for "watch". It sounded better than "servo" or "vigilo". Besides, "specto" is pronounced the same way in most languages, at least in French [spɛkto], English [spɛkto], and leet [sp3c+0].

specto :
to look at, watch, see.
Specto is ©2005-2018 Jean-François Fortin Tam and Wout Clymans, licensed under the GNU GPL 2.0