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FB6 Review: Some things I expected to be in FB6 that weren't

There were a few things I expected to be in FB6, and I am surprised they aren't. The list:

1) Edit button on case list. I find it a hassle to have to click on the case, then hit edit. I thought in FB6, with all the new UI stuff, there might be a little glyph that would open and edit the case, all in one throw.

But it ain't there .... waah.

2) More keyboard friendly. Compared to my FB4 use, FB6 is much less keyboard friendly. I use the mouse a lot more, probably more than double what I did in FB4.

3) Speed. I expected the FB6 UI to be as fast or faster than FB4. Rather, it has turned out to be significantly slower.

4) The action buttons in Grid view would be at top and bottom of list. Am I the only dolt who has to scroll down a page or three to get to the @#$@ action buttons?

5) In case view, that the case # and action buttons would 'float' so they are always visible. I find it a constant hassle to have to scroll up to the top of the case to see the case # I am looking at (so I can reference it in another case, or such). I must do this ten times a day. Am I the only one?

6) That the file attachment method would be equivalent or improved on FB4. Turns out to be measurably worse, and makes me kick nearby fixed objects frequently.

Fog Creek, is there any hope for a near term update to FB6 to start tuning some of these issues, or am I stuck with lower personal productivity, compared to FB4 ?
Sam Jones Send private email
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I agree with pretty much everything here, especially the action buttons being out of reach, I've never learnt the FogBugz hot keys so it's a real pain having to scroll to the bottom of the grid view to do anything (even if it's quick to jump to the bottom of the page).

But in (5), you say you need to scroll to the top to see the case number, is it not the first thing displayed in the window or tab title of your browser like it is in mine?
Ian M. Jones (CaseDetective) Send private email
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
1) I agree.  My workaround is to have a second tab open and type the case number in the SEARCH box.  Not very elegant!

(Or right-click and open-in-new-tab/window)

2) I'm a keyboard person, but I'm not unhappy with the amount of mousing I do.  Less would be OK of course, I'm just not sure I'd bother with fairly obscure keystrokes to avoid using the mouse.  Some Alt-LETTER accelerators (with corresponding Underlined Characters in the field-legends) would get used by me for sure. I haven't bothered to learn many of the Fogbugz-accelerator methods

3) I'd like more AJAX.  The things that occur to me are (i.e. I'd like to be able to do these without a round-trip)

Resolve a case from a list
Start-work on a case in a list
Post more content to a case in a list
Change Fix-for for a case in a list

My ideal would be sort sort of clickable icon [the Light-bulb/Bug icon would do] that gave a popup list of possible actions - in a similar manner to the Starred and WorkingOn drop-down lists, then an AJAX form that let me make that change.

I suppose they might be best described as workflow-actions

I rarely want to perform the same action on *multiple* cases (one exception is moving a bunch of stuff to a later Fix-for)

4) Its so far to scroll on my Lists that I rarely bother.  (That may mean my list is longer than average of course, and I should learn to work with a shorter list!!)

5) Its in the Window Title, and also the Tab [in firefox] - if that helps?

I do find I type the case numbers a lot, but I always get them from somewhere (rather than remembering them, I mean).  I *DO* Star cases that are "Current", and that works well for me [I'd like to be reminded to turn the star OFF when a case is resovled, or have an option to auto-un-star at that time].  I then use the "Starred" dropdown to see the case number and then re-type it - e.g. a "See also case NNN" comment.

Maybe add a copy-case-number-to-clipboard method in the Starred dropdown?  Then I could just Paste it to wherever I'm using it.  Might be too trivial to use in practice though.

Your last point:

I haven't understood in all your rants why you think that F.C. should turn-to and fix your issues specifically / urgently.  Its up to them to make a commercial judgment.

My perception is that you seem to have a lot of time to voice your concerns, but very little to have done a thorough evaluation before upgrading, or to check out some 3rd work-arounds which have been suggested.  Just my $0.02
Krispy Send private email
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Thanks for the input.

2) I am very keyboard centric also, and I find I don't use any of the new hot keys. For a week I made a point to use the hot keys in FB. But I found that I was using the mouse so much anyway (because of tab order, layout, etc), that it was more work to use the hot keys and less to use the mouse.

So the new FB hot keys are simply not used by me at all. I would have to ask, but I don't think anyone here is using them.

5) I know the case # is there. But for some reason, I have never trusted that I am seeing the right number there (maybe the url is sometimes cluttered with search terms or other params?).

7) [new] Tagging cases. I think this has been mentioned here on the board before. Say we are working on issue 'Service startup.' It would be nice to be able to tag all the relevant cases with the phrase 'service startup' so that we could pull them all up easily. But we can't. So what do we do? We add keywords to cases so we can search for em later. In fact, we add keywords to discussion posts, cases, etc. just to let us search later. While this works OK, it is cumbersome and clutter-some.

Generally: There seems to be a perception that I have a beef with FC. This is a tad odd, as I have been a happily paying customer of FC for a few years now.

The release cycles of FB are so painfully slow, that it appears noise, early, is needed to get attention from FC. Look at ALL the stuff that went into FB5 and FB6 that customers were not asking for, and look at all the basic usability and functional stuff users have begged for that has never been addressed.

Yes, I have time to talk about FB, as I spend more hours in FB more than any other piece of software. I do not sit in an IDE all day. I manage developers, and I manage all the inbound bug emails from our users and QA, and I manage the flow of most case opens and closes.

FB6 has a few things we simply have to have as a team. There is no choice for us: As a company, FB6 is to the tool to use. However as a user, FB6 is a very odd experience. Some areas are really strong (like search), yet on a minute-to-minute usage basis, it is weaker in a few core areas compared to FB4.

These issues might not affect a developer much. The developers here might touch one to ten cases a day in FB. Their total FB interaction might be 20 - 60 minutes a day. A usability hit to them of a few % is not going to show.

My FB interaction is usually over two hours a day, and over four hours on many days. I spend a lot of time in FB. For some reason, I care about how I spend my time... <g>.

FB4 served me as a user very well, and our company medium-well (we never could roll FB4 to outside our core dev group). FB6 serves the company well, and me OK.

Long live FB!
Sam Jones
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
>>7) [new] Tagging cases

I have wanted that ever since realizing that cases could be assigned to one and only one Area and Fog Creek had no intention of allowing cases to belong to multiple Areas. I understand why (because of auto-sort issues), but I still need a multi-value tagging option. The only solution I've ever heard offered is "embed keywords in your case text and use full-text searching", which--to use your words--is cumbersome and clutter-some. And I'll add "error-prone" since case text can't be edited.
Steve Troxell Send private email
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
No tags - I could not believe it myself. This is 2007. Everything is taggable - photos, documents, emails. Why in hell bug cases are not taggable?
alexu Send private email
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
There are 2 custom free-text fields available for whatever. Unfortunately, that's all we get. I made one of them a Tags field, and the other one a Version field. I'd like more options than that, but that's what I'm stuck with.

And yes, it sucks a lot that no old comments are editable if you want to put keywords in the comments.
Nick Stenz Send private email
Monday, December 17, 2007
You can always add a new comment with keywords (even after the case is closed).

That works OK. It is just sloppy, and a bit too unstructured.

Tagging is the real deal. Because then you could search tags to find the tags of interest, and then select the tag to get all cases with that tag.

Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
Sam Jones
Monday, December 31, 2007
Excuse my ignorance on Tags, but are they structured?

So is the syntax something like:


or are they just a bunch of keywords? - in which case I'm struggling to see much advantage over a plain-text search -  (except that the specific TAGs are presumably identified as such, rather than all descriptive words being included).

Krispy Send private email
Monday, December 31, 2007

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