Thursday, December 9, 2010

Alpha V2 - The Mouse Strikes Back

I'm happy to announce v2 of the Alpha is live. If you're already registered you can see what's new in the tutorialHere are the highlights.

Connections between remote items

Often your plan needs to show that a task from project A is blocking an otherwise unrelated project B. Instead of stretching long and winding lines between them, Gigantt visualizes such connections with mini-arrows that let you jump back and forth.

Collapsing sub-graphs

When a part of the plan gets out of hand and becomes too complex you can collapse a selection of items into a single new item. This simplifies the appearance of the plan.

Crude time estimate

If all you're interested in is counting how many days are left for each part of the plan, then you got it. Gigantt lets you estimate each task and sums up complex items for you. 
  • If you estimate an item and then add sub-items inside it, the initial (parent's) estimate is ignored. This nudges you to spend a few more seconds thinking about the actual sub-items instead of giving a rough buffered estimate to it all.
  • Estimates are intentionally discrete and range from 15 minutes to 1 week. Higher resolution is unimportant for effort estimates. It's more important to be able to flush out the different parts of the plan quickly than to be able to estimate any particular part at 18 rather than 19 minutes. 
  • More complex time estimates (and deadlines, start/finish-times, etc.) will come in later versions.

Planning backwards

This may be my favorite feature of this whole application. Sometimes it's easier to think of an end goal and then work your way back. Gigantt now lets you do this by making it just as easy to create a "predecessor" item (Ctrl+Enter) as it is to create a "successor" item (Insert).

The mouse strikes back

Lots more shiny new buttons and other features that you're going to have to discover for yourself. In particular, the last release was all about the keyboard. This release focuses on the mouse and lets you achieve with it anything you could do with a keyboard shortcut. The keyboard is still the fastest way to edit a plan (can use more fingers..), but sometimes you just need to get by with the mouse, and now you can.

If you're not seeing the new UI when you log in, then try to clear the browser cache. I might have used the wrong caching configuration in the previous release. Please let me know if this happens to you.

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