Dev Diary 13 (2016-06-06)

by | Jun 6, 2016 | Dev Diary | 9 comments

Hi hacknplanners!
A new update of your sexy game project management tool is here! This time, we added two interesting new features: a search engine that will ease your life when you need to locate a task, and also task dependencies, a way of preventing changing the status of a task until the tasks it depends on are finished. Our roadmap to the official release is getting smaller and smaller! We also fixed a good amount of bugs and added a few improvements will be very useful to you, I hope.

Let’s dive in!

Features and improvementspromo123

  • Search engine: If your projects have started to get big I’m pretty sure you already missed this feature. Sometimes you want to open a task but you don’t remember in which milestone it is, or if it’s in the backlog. Before you had to navigate through the boards to find what you were looking for, but now you just have to click on the magnifier icon at the top right corner of the application. This will open a panel where you can just type in your search terms and it will find a list of tasks that match your criteria, in order of relevance. The search is performed over the title and the description of the task and, in case the entered text is a number, it will also try to match it with the task id (#).
  • Task dependencies: This new feature allows you to define one or more tasks the current one depends on, which means the current one can’t be started until the dependencies are completed. The task editor contains now a new tab called Dependencies which displays two lists: the blocking tasks (the ones preventing the current one to be started), and the blocked ones (the ones that can’t be started until the current one is finished). There you can add new dependencies by clicking on the button next to the list title (if you are admin or have writing permissions over the category of the task). We reused our brand new search engine to look for the tasks you want to add as dependencies. Once a task is blocked, it will be grayed out in the board and moving it to another status column won’t be allowed. In next iterations, we’ll add dependency related notifications, so you will know when a blocked task becomes available.
  • Product site renewed: As you probably noticed already, we took some time to polish our landing page, trying to make it more attractive and more clear about what is HacknPlan. We also moved the site from an old hosting to our new Azure servers.promo124
  • Task editor improvements: We made some improvements to the task editor panel, mainly to the task details page. We relocated the assigned users from a central column to a horizontal list below the task title, making then some more space for the sub-tasks. The creator of the task went to the bottom of the page. We also aligned all the creation buttons to the left, which makes them more intuitive.
  • Default milestone: When a new project is created, we add a milestone automatically for you. We believe this is more intuitive for newbies, as we have found people who feel a bit lost after being redirected to an empty backlog.
  • Edition of the global board:  By design, only admins were allowed to update the order and status of the tasks in the “All tasks” board. Now, we have made it available for everyone, which is far more intuitive. Each non-admin user will be able to update the tasks they have writing permissions over.

Bug fixes

  • Milestones without due date couldn’t be created.
  • The cache of the board panels was not updated after deleting a category or subcategory.
  • The back and forward buttons of the browser were not working in the game model page.
  • It was not possible to send a task to the backlog using the right click menu on the game model page.
  • The subtask wasn’t being updated when the change was only in text casing.
  • The enter and escape keys were not working on modals.
  • Subtasks were not editable when the task was in the backlog.
  • The edition of the game model name was throwing an error, although the value was being correctly saved.

What’s next?

We won’t release any new major feature in the next update, we will rather focus on improvements over the existing functionality, including new notifications, game model usability, mobile, bugs… Our next releases will also become smaller and smaller as we will be working more and more on features for the official release that will take place after the summer, including our first premium features. We’ll give you more details about this very soon.

Happy planning!


  1. Dave Coleman

    I love these new features. Is there a limit to sub-task nesting depth? (This was one of my biggest complaints with JIRA; you can only subtask 1-deep).

    • Dave Coleman

      Nevermind the subtask question. I misunderstood something.

      Still, glad to see the blocking/blocked mechanic in place. That’s huge.

      • Chris Estevez

        I think the dependency system adds a new level of clarity to the boards, it’s now easier to spot possible bottlenecks. Thanks for reading!

  2. Miro

    Great release, you guys suprise me every now and then. Love task dependencies feature (btw I hope one day we get graph view of all dependent tasks 🙂 )

    • Chris Estevez

      Sure! That’s a natural iteration of the feature, of course. We have other priorities now but it’s in our backlog.

  3. Scott Richmond

    I would love to see another iteration on the visuals of the task view – Each task takes up too much room and you have some lazy text wrapping in each task there. See if you can move as much information as you can into either context sensitive (mouse over, etc) or iconify/colorify information. For example, ‘0/2 hours’ could be ‘x%’. The task type could use the icon and/or color. You could move the feature/bug/etc type to simply banding a green/red color on the left side of the task (Like JIRA).

    Finally, I think too much text is bolded. Seems like the priority of information is a bit off.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Chris Estevez

      You’ll see more than one iteration, we have a lot to do and very few resources, that’s why there are things that can be improved but we couldn’t work on them yet. We will provide a configuration panel for the board where you will be able to decide which info you want to display and what you don’t, and also add more icons and colors to categories and subcategories. We are aware the task card is a bit crowded at the moment.

  4. Nulo

    Perfect!!! The task dependencies are a great idea!

  5. Lenny

    First this tool is amazing. Second. Currently when I go to my board it tries to load the backlog which is empty. I was wondering is there a way to make my board not load the backlog by default?
    Thank you so very much



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