tictric AT jabber.ccc.de if you really need to contact me directly :)
Having two kids, I discovered that they tend to spend more then sufficient time in front of our computer. Not that I don't appreciate their efforts to learn to use this complex worktool, but I think there's other important things to learn too.
In short, I want to give them sufficient time per week or month to make themselves even more familiar with our workstation but I don't want to stay guard all the time that they don't sit in front of it longer than allowed (and good for them). Unfortunately there's no tool with GUI on Linux, that I could get hold of that would assist me managing the time my kids may spend with processing data.
Therefore I propose (or rather put up to discussion) the development of Nanny.
Nanny is a frontend and a deamon that controls the overall time and access of human users to their user accounts.
Kim: Kim doesn't care too much about computers. She just want it to work for her. She expects something that enables her to control for how long and when her children are allowed to use the computer to be easy to find and use without actually knowing how it works.
Joe: He got a Linux distribution installed with the help of a friend and likes it quite a lot. Now he's not that technical freak but he likes to play around and learn to know his new system better. Yet, setting access restrictions like he and Kim agreed would be necessary is a bit to heavy for him. From his experiences he first'd try and look into systemsettings if access control for his children would be available.
Jil: Jil likes to find childrens games in the internet or plays locally installed games from the games section of the KDE install her daddy set up for her. She finds it pretty annoying that she's not allowed to play for how long she'd like to and sometimes plain refuses to logout when her dad tells her to because she's in the middle of that game and it's not bed time yet, actually.
Use Scenario: Kim and Joe've got two children. Jil and Moe. Jil goes to primary, Moe to secondary school. They, like their parents, love to work (play) with the computer in their home office. They show a tendency to sit rather longer than shorter in front of the screen and this causes trouble because Kim and Joe think their minds are too immature for a constant exposition to this technique. And also there's more important skills for children to master and be it only to jump and run and cycle and what not.
So Kim fires up the workstation and logs into her account on a KDE-Desktop.
Use Case: In system-settings, on the advanced tab she finds a button for Nanny. She opens the settings dialog, activates administrator mode and selects Jils user account.
Now she can set a time limit for Jil in hours and a time period the time credit is valid for in days, weeks or months. Since Jil almost only uses the computer only for playing rather silly games, like Kim thinks, Kim decides that Jil shouldn't spend more than 2 hours a week in front of the computer and restricts the time per session to 30 minutes.
Moe, being older, not only plays games but also uses the computer for his homework and emails with his friends. So Kim and Joe think that he should have more time, like 1 hour a day maximum on the average. Now that Moe is already a big kid, he should also learn to household with his time credit as he sees fit and so he gets 30 hours per month which he has to
Users that are members of group nanny are allowed to edit the access rules placed in NANNYCONFIGDIR/rules.xml
nannyd is the deamon that starts on bootup if there's a valid user, uid pair with rules in CONFIGDIR
NANNYCONFIGDIR = /etc/nanny/