Switching a Tmux client to read-only

October 02, 2014

Today I was talking to some members of my team about pomodoro, ping-pong pairing and ping-pong pomodoro (which is where the driver would switch after a given time limit). One suggestion was to automate the driver switching, like an automatic chess clock. I thought that was an interesting idea so I did a quick experiment with tmux.

I was able to use the command tmux switch-client -c $CLIENTID -r, where $CLIENTID would be the tmux client name, to toggle tmux clients in and out of read only mode. I did a quick spike to see if I could toggle it so that only one person could drive at a time while the other could only watch. It seems to be possible, so that might be something I actually flush out into a fully functional plugin.

Here is a demo of what my proof-of-concept looked like:

Chess Clock In Action

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. - Confucius