Thanks for the feedback. Every day I learn that I know even less about the architecture of OpenACS than I thought. I did not think this would be as hard to solve as I now fear it will be.
The site in question is an intranet used for training and information distribution to 250+ people in 10+ cities. Every user must log in. The site's foundation is OpenACS. The client's idea is rather Orwellian(sp?) in nature, as they want to know who has read what, done what, etc. (I know these systems often create a false picture, but it is not my money.)
One thought I had was to add code to every module/content section that tracks users entry/exit by some "user:module:topic:date:time" id stamp. Another is to Quiz people, but that idea did not fly. I was hoping, that built somewhere in the infra-struture of the USER/GROUP core of ACS, was the code that "monitors/records" the activities of the users.
Marketing would love to know what their registered users were doing. Phil, in his book, talks to the ability to know what community members have done, so as to suggest the correct path of action for online support. Customer Service would love to know what a registered customer has done to resolve a given problem, before they take the call... lots of applications for user tracking. I (incorrectly?) thought the ACS solution would be a significant improvement over the traditional web-traffic-analysis programs. (Which are already in use.)
I see two possible solutions: 1) create a tracker that "dogs" the user's every action and records the history combined with a tool that provides an analysis and report (not unlike current web access tracker systems). This would not be tied to a particular module or content section, rather it would be a part of the ACS Core. OR 2) modify each module/content section to log activity for every legit access.
Actual time spent would be little more than a value to show "trends" of behavior, as we know the specific "she spent 13.5 minutes doing X" is not realistic for the Internet. But trends are good, as is a log tracking "hits" to key pages by User. The way Phil G. talks about the importance of user tracking and why the conline community is the only real answer, I figured the programming was all but done.
As always, I appreciate your thoughts. -nate