Übersicht widget: Time Since

Übersicht is a desktop widgets app for OS X. Its free, open source, and has a pretty good widgets library to download and play with. A widget is a small app or feature that embeds into the desktop and displays some simple information. It can tell you what song is currently playing, a weather forecast, disk space remaining, etc. The widgets are written in CoffeeScript, which is a variant of JavaScript.

When I started using Übersicht I began playing with the widgets, changing their appearance and their position on the screen. Some of the widgets are too complicated to mess with without specific programming knowledge, but others are surprisingly simple and intuitive.

By trial and error, I began to customize widgets to my preferences. One widget I wanted to have but couldn't simply download was a timer to tell me exactly how much time had elapsed since a specific past event.

By combining the display attributes of one widget and the calculation method of another, I was able to mash together a foundation for a new widget. I then added some extra features including:

  • Optional text before and after the elapsed time
  • Choice of expanded or abbreviated display styles
  • Flexible formatting to remove and zero amounts

The widget is called "Time Since" and is in the Übersicht widgets gallery.