Task order by drag and drop has disappeared

#1

We have recently updated to the latest version of phabricator, and much to our surprise, the drag and drop task ordering functionality no longer exists. We also not been able to locate mention of this in the change log, or any discussion about the feature being removed. Has this feature been removed? Is it possible that there is some way to configure this feature to work that we are just not seeing? The version we were running previously was from Sep 17 2018.

#2

This feature was removed in https://secure.phabricator.com/D20263. See that revision for some discussion and rationale.

#3

Wow. this is a major disappointment. This feature was a major part of our team’s workflow. This allowed us to easily manage task prioritization on a global level. And the fact that these prioritizations would trickle down to custom queries and different ways of viewing the tasks across all projects, was a major benefit of this feature. Looks like i’ve got some workboard learning to do. Thanks epriestley.

#4

Also, for what it’s worth, there may be other users using this feature that have not yet upgraded, and are not actively following or unaware. The discussion did have a hint of ambivalence, maybe we could try to make a case for keeping this functionality?

#5

From https://secure.phabricator.com/D20263

It’s possible I’m wrong about this and a bunch of users love this feature, but we can re-evaluate if we get feedback in this vein.

Could we please open an issue requesting/tracking feedback regarding this removal?

#6

This feature was removed more than two months ago and this is the first feedback we’ve received about anyone missing it.

Although it’s possible that installs simply haven’t upgraded, all our SAAS customers got the change the week it shipped during the normal deployment, and many non-SAAS customers we work with upgrade more frequently than once every two months (they also haven’t provided any feedback about missing this feature).

When we ship features which are poorly received, we typically get a large amount of feedback almost immediately. For example, https://secure.phabricator.com/T13127 accumulated a large amount of feedback from multiple customers within about 4 days.

Removing this feature also enables removal of a fairly large amount of relatively nasty code supporting it (see https://secure.phabricator.com/D20266).

I don’t currently plan to restore this feature. The pathway to restoration would likely require significant customer interest, coupled with a convincing explanation of why this feature is the best approach to solving some problem (e.g., why global task priorities are a better long-term solution to some problem a customer faces than workboards). Although this isn’t impossible, it’s hard for me to imagine a problem which I agree is best solved by restoring this feature.

#7

Thanks for the thoughtful response. It seemed like such a natural and obvious feature I am really surprised nobody has been using it. Honestly, phabricator is hugely less useful for managing tasks for us now. We have a small team, with many projects, and are regularly shuffling the global prioritization for development tasks.

It sounds like workboards can do most of what we need. I have spent some time with workboards today, and am still not quite seeing how they will be very useful for us without some cumbersome work arounds. However, It’s entirely possible that I am missing some important concepts.

I was wondering if you might be available for some paid consulting to help us set up a workflow using workboards. Or if you know anyone who might be?

#8

I was wondering if you might be available for some paid consulting to help us set up a workflow using workboards.

This is in-scope for support pacts (https://admin.phacility.com/book/phacility/article/support_pacts/) but the smallest support plan we offer may be larger than you’re comfortable with. (Although it’s fine to buy one month of support, ask some questions, and then let the pact lapse if you’re comfortable with that.)

I have spent some time with workboards today, and am still not quite seeing how they will be very useful for us without some cumbersome work arounds.

Workboards do not give you a global priority order, but you can select “Group by Priority” from the sort/group dropdown to get local priority order, and then “Save as Default” so anyone viewing the workboard will see this as the default order. This will let you create a single priority order for every task in a given project. (If you don’t want to use columns, you could just leave everything in one big column called “Stuff” and use only the drag-and-drop ordering feature.)

I think that for more-people-than-fit-in-one-room-together-sized organizations, work generally needs to be broken down into projects anyway (since there is too much ongoing work across different people and teams to globally rank it all) and global priorities make relatively less sense. I suspect this is one reason why we’ve seen relatively little feedback about the removal of this feature.

If global priorities are ultimately important to your workflow (and you anticipate that they’ll continue to provide value in the future, i.e. you don’t expect to grow to a point where global priorities stop making sense in the near term, or you believe I’m mistaken about scaling global priorities being difficult), I believe Asana supports global priorities, and it might be worth evaluating as a possible better fit for your workflow.

#9

Yes, Global priorities are important for us in a variety of ways. We all work on various projects, so being able to have an ultimate priority of what everyone is working on is super useful in managing the team. I don’t see that changing for us. Even if we grew larger, I could see this way of managing tasks pretty useful. If anything, the workboards could serve as more project specific task visualization. I think your support pricing is fair, but it doesn’t sound like any amount of support is really going to get us where we want to be with workboards.

Im sure you know better than most what this functionality was capable of, but I feel like showing an example of how we are working might help visualize more clearly, because maybe its a little different and useful for others. But maybe im just obsessing and mourning the loss of a super awesome feature. :slight_smile:

The reason we haven’t explored Asana, and one of the reason we started using phabricator is that we prefer to host our own applications. We are a public health research group who studies adolescent behavior and sexual health related topics that are sometimes controversial and politically sensitive, so we make every attempt to secure and limit who has access to all of our communications and data.

We are considering developing our own application for managing the order of tasks. Either an embedded app for phabricator or a standalone that works with the API that could handle things the way things used to work.