Personal Status Logger (stl)

Legacy Implementation

The following documentation reflects the prior implementation of stl, and remains for historical and archival reasons.


The latest version of this manual is also available for download in ePub and PDF formats:


stl (i.e. “status logger”) is a tool for managing, maintaining, and logging work for writers. With stl you can track the aggregate word count of multi-file writing projects. Furthermore, stl include tools to build a more complete and more automated log of personal work and activity.

The initial implementation (circa Fall/Winter 2011) of stl was an over-complex shell script that was neither easy to maintain or particularly robust, that code, is still available in the git repository. The second implementation, in Python, is more modular, and significantly more flexible.

stl may be exactly the tool you need to:

  • Record, manage, and view the output of your build tools (i.e. build reports.)
  • Track word counts automatically to provide an overview of your progress both as you work and as you’re attempting to track daily and hourly progress.
  • Wrap your build tools to provide a more consistent interface.

This site documents both the use and the internal operation of stl, including the initial implementation for posterity and the current implementation.

Future Development

  • Better validation of inputs.
  • More clear interface for configuring outputs.
  • Distribution in the Python Package Index.
  • A daemon mode.
  • More granular caching, potentially caching word counts on a per-file basis rather than forcing repeated wc. Potentially using make or ninja.
  • Further decouple and create a more modular notification system. Currently you can use stl to send notifications to the command-line, to log files, and/or to Emacs, via sauron-mode.

Personal Status Logger (stl)

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Cyborg Institute is a collective free software/open source publishing, consulting, and services umbrella. The Institute supports individuals working on projects that address technological issues from a cyborg perspective.