Dev Diary 7 (2016-02-13)

Hi hacknplanners!

We have a pretty interesting update here. Finally, we implemented one of the most requested features: file attachments! Many of you have requested this feature tons of times, in order to upload your screenshots instead of having to link them from external storage services. Now your files can be contained in HacknPlan and, most importantly, under the privacy and permission rules applied by our system.  We also added another important feature: task cloning, which comes along with context menus using right click for task cards. Let’s take a look!

Features and improvements

  • File attachments: We added the possibility to attach files to tasks, what will simplify the connection between the task and pictures and other documents. The files can be attached from the task detail page and, once they are uploaded to our servers, will be displayed as a list including the file name, the size and, in the case of pictures, a thumbnail. Clicking on the attachments will open or download them, depending on the file type. As an important note, there is no storage limit for files in our system (at least for now), but the maximum file size is 5MB. We believe this is a fair limitation for the purpose of the attachments, which is to provide extra details and context to the task, not being a primary storage for your project files.

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  • Task card pictures: Now that you can upload your own pictures to the tasks, we added the possibility of setting a picture as “cover” of the task card, making your boards more visual and appealing. We recommend not to make an excessive use of this feature, as it could make the loading time of your board grow and reduce how much content you can see on screen. Use lightweight pictures with landscape orientation for optimal results.

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  • Task cloning: When you are planning it’s quite common that you have similar tasks that share a big part of their content. Now you can clone these tasks to simplify the creation of new ones. The cloned task contain the same description, planned cost, category, subcategory, game model, sub-tasks, assigned users… What is not cloned is the total cost, the comments and the attachments, as they are considered part of the “state” of the task and, therefore, more likely to change. A task can be cloned from the board panel or the task detail page.

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  • Context menu for task cards: In order to improve the usability of the boards, we are now displaying the task action menu on right click. We also keep the gear icon as you know it, as it is very useful for touch devices.
  • Switch for open/closed milestones: When your milestone list starts to grow it’s more and more slow to load and difficult to keep organized. In order to make your list cleaner and more usable, we have divided the open and closed tasks into different lists. Because most of the time you don’t need to see what you already closed, do you?
  • Game model element creation: We received many complaints about how the game model elements were created. The system was not very intuitive and didn’t work well. In order to make this cleaner and more consistent with the rest of the application, you now have a “+” button in the top menu that will add a new element to the root of the game model tree, and another button at element level that will add a new child element.

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Bug fixes

The following bug was fixed:

  • When your name or the names of your selected project/milestone were very long, this caused the top menu bar to expand, hiding other elements of the UI. In order to prevent this, we removed the user name from the menu (we display only the avatar picture now) and put a limit on the display of project and milestone names. If the name is too long, it’s now truncated and ellipsis is added.

What’s next?

We will keep doing some backend work for our extension system, and will also work on more notifications and game model improvements.

Happy planning!

Chris Estevez

HacknPlan Founder

This entry has 4 replies

  1. Oscar Cruz says:

    Good work! This platform is constantly improving 🙂
    But I would like to address the problem with the comments on tasks as they always get bigger than the explorer window and images come as big as they are.

    With nothing more to say, I’m very happy to see this growing!

    • Chris Estevez says:

      Thanks for your words!

      Yes, we know about the issue of the pictures in the comments. The problem is the rich text editor we are currently using is a third party component, so we have less control about how it behaves. We will try to touch the source code to improve it, but our final goal is to create our own text editor, which will support markdown (like Trello, Jira and others) and integration functions, like user reference (using @), task reference (using # and the id) and attached images.

  2. felinearts says:

    amazing!! thanks for the updates!!!

  3. Alik says:

    Amazing project, nice to see it improving.

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