Taskfile: A Tasklist Compiler

Taskfile is aggregates task information from text files using GNU Make. Taskfile supports task tracking for a diverse collection of workflows and tools.


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Taskfile, using GNU Make, compiles a tasklist from one or more directories of files, using keywords (i.e. “TODO”, “FIXME”, “FROZEN”) to identify tasks and then generate a task list. Basically, you focus on your own work, create tasks as you need to, and run “make” every now and then. While the approach is exceedingly simple, there are a number of practical advantages that this approach provides:

  • Task planning can transpire in-parallel with actual work on code or writing, without needing to switch to a task management systems.
  • Complete interoperation with number of existing tools and systems, including:
    • Ikiwki
    • Sphinx
    • Git
    • File systems and text files.
    • Emacs’ markdown mode, occur, and deft.
    • Pretty much anything else you want.
  • Using GNU Make, makes it possible for the aggregation operation to be very efficient and robust, so you can use it against large collections of files.
  • The implementation of Taskfile is nearly trivial. Dozens of make/shell lines do everything that you need, so it’s easy to improve, extend, and tweak how the system works.

In truth this “project,” if I may be so bold, is more about the text and documentation that surrounds the code than the other way around. Thus, consider this documentation set a primmer on creating your own Taskfile-based system.

Taskfile: A Tasklist Compiler

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