Riter Release v0.17 - Agile Blog - Riter

Riter Release v0.17

2018-11-18T15:40:00Z
Hi, guys! As we promised in the previous post, today’s release is distinguished by many significant updates in different parts of Riter application. First of all, we’re ready to introduce you an entirely new feature — story history bot — which will let you always stay aware of the latest changes in the project. Another feature with the same goal is a new ability to subscribe to a story and quickly know about all related updates. Some other changes have affected sprint and story management, search and filtering, Riter API, and project settings. Read the post to know more and use new functionality to the maximum.

Story history bot

Story history bot is your team assistant when working with Riter. This is a special program running in the background and tracking your actions with stories. When something within a particular story is updated, the bot reports this in a new annotation to the story. Here’re some examples:

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Thus, you can see by whom a story was created, who assigned new developers to a story, which topics and by whom were set, who and how changed story states and estimates, and so on. As with any other annotation, you can see when it was created, that is when a particular action took place.

The feature is now at the initial stage of development and will be certainly changed and expanded in the near future. However, it can already significantly simplify your teamwork with tasks and let you avoid additional questions, misunderstandings, and meetings with your colleagues.

Sprint management

Starting with one of the recent Riter updates, everybody in a team could manage project sprints from the “Settings” page, on its “Sprints” tab. There you could create a new sprint, edit an existing one, archive and activate sprints when necessary. Now a sprint can be archived from the main (“Stories”) page as well. Hover the mouse pointer over a particular sprint name to see a menu icon on the right of it. Click on the icon appeared and choose a necessary action from the drop-down menu.

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Story management

You could notice that the appearance of story cards looks different. We hope that you will find a new interface much more attractive, however, we’d be happy to hear your feedback on it, whatever those opinions might be.

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Story creation

Some changes have also affected “Quick story creation” feature. As you know, previously you could create a new story right on the main page of stories by clicking on a special icon at the bottom right of a story card. However, we’ve noticed that this feature isn’t in demand amongst users, that’s why we’ve got it out of the application. However, you should always remember that we are listening to your desires and requests with great interest. If your team was previously using this Riter functionality, please let us know and we will return it to the software.

Also, the last thing regarding story management. When working with a group of projects and creating a new story, you used to specify which project a new task had to belong to on the new story page, while filling its title and other fields. And you can still choose a necessary project on this stage. However, now you can also choose it at once from the drop-down list when clicking on the “New story” submenu item. Just select a project in which a new story should appear. For instance, on the image below a user is working with a group of two projects: “The Night’s Watch” and “Beyond the Wall”.

new-story.png

Improved search and filtering

We have worked on the Riter search engine and now it lets you find stories faster thanks to a full-text semantic search throughout all tasks and comments to them. Small mistakes and misprints in your seacrch query are a problem for it: it is looking for not only complete matches, but also words and phrases which are close in spelling.

Also, we have added new filtering options which may be useful in work. Unlike previously available filters and aliases, you don’t have to remember these ones. Just put the cursor inside the search bar and you will see a drop-down menu with all new search queries available:

  • Stories assigned to me: this filter makes Riter display only the stories to which you are assigned.
  • Stories I’ve created: show only stories created by you.
  • Followed stories: display only stories which you are subscribed to (read “Subscription to stories” section below to know more).
  • Stories require attention: show only stories which are marked with an attention mark (“This story is unclear and requires attention” checkbox on a story page).
  • Without assignee: display stories to which no user is assigned yet.
  • New stories: show all draft stories.
  • All stories

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You can quickly notice that many of these options were available before — you just had to remember necessary filters and type them yourself without hints. For example, “New stories” menu item is similar to the “!draft” filter, “Stories assigned to me” is similar to “@username” filter. You can use the drop-down menu if you don’t remember all the filters or enter a necessary search query yourself in the search bar.

You can about other hints in the documentation.

Story description and comments

The new Riter version became closer to developers thanks to this update. We have modified story description part by moving it lower on the page, just above the comments and under the timeinterval section. If it doesn’t look familiar to you, look at the Github issue pages and you will see the similarity. This is just the first step. In the future, we’re going to make a story page even more similar to a messenger space. At Riter, we see a story first of all as a chat room, a place for discussion and teamwork. You should not use dozens of different applications like Slack, Telegram, Skype and so on to work on tasks and keep an eye on the progress. Riter is designed to organize a single place to keep all your data together and collaborate without interrupting your workflow.

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So, a description to a task is placed on the top of the comments section. But otherwise everything remained as before. Story creation looks as usual, and everybody can edit a description field of a story. And don’t forget that Riter comments and description fields support markdown.

new story.png

Subscription to stories

We have finally added a possibility to subscribe to story. Open any story page and find a necessary button in the “Notifications” section on the right, under the “Topics” section. By the way, here you can also notice that we have updated interface of some other sections (“Estimates” and “Assignees”) on this page. Click on the button to subscribe to a story.

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What does it mean? Go back to the main page (“Stories”) and look at the story which you have just subscribed to. You can see a small circle (with a point inside) in the upper left corner. When a circle is light, that means that nothing was changed in the story. When it is dark, something in the story was updated. Open it to see the changes. After that, the circle will become light again.

updated stories.png

Updated GraphQL API: generating tokens

Riter provides a simple but full-featured API based on GraphQL standard for managing your application data and extending capabilities of the software. The API suggests the token-based authentication so you need to add your own token to a request header. As you probably know, all Riter users are able to generate tokens from the “My Profile” page that can be found in your drop-down profile menu. Go to the “Access tokens” tab to manage your tokens.

So, it looks like nothing was changed there. However, one thing is different. If previously you had to choose projects to which you want to have access via API, now all projects available to you will be included by default. You need just to select a “Description” and an “Expired at” values to generate a new personal access token. If you later get access to another project and want to manage its data as well via API, you have to generate a new token for all your currently available projects.

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New project settings for managers

All users with managers rights have got one more essential feature. Switch to the “Manage company” mode to test it. Then choose one of the available projects and go to its “Settings” tab. Here you can find several new sections:

  • “General information” section with some basic data about the project. In this section, you can update its name, shortname, and choose another customer of the project. Also, here you’ll find a slug of the project — this value can be used to access the project via API.

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  • “Display overdue” section. It allows you to set up the behavior of unapproved stories when a sprint which they belong to is archived.

How does it work? Previously, when a particular sprint was archived, all approved stories included got into “Archived stories”. The rest of the tasks which were scheduled on this sprint but were not approved yet got into the “Overdue” section. They were archived only after somebody completed and approved them. If this behavior is exactly what you need, leave the checkbox “Display overdue stories” ticked.

If you clear the checkbox, stories won’t get into the “Overdue” section even when you archive a sprint with unfinished tasks. All stories will fall into “Archived stories” at once. You will be able to find all the stories there and continue working on them when necessary.

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Bug fixes

We have also worked on several bugs found in the previous version. Here’s a list of the most significant fixes:

  • An issue with caching and access to certain stories
  • New project creation form fix
  • Layout fix for mobile devices
  • Fix GraphQL project URL generation

If you know about any other bugs which are not listed above, please let us know and we’ll fix them immediately.

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