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Peter Scott

Posted: Aug 14, 2014

I would appreciate a pointer towards documentation that answers the following questions about repeating tasks:

1. When a task is completed, the next one is created. Is this done on the server or is it the responsibility of the client?

2. If the completion box is checked and then unchecked, does the new task created in (1) get removed? Is that removal the responsibility of the server or the client?

3. How are either of the previous two steps affected if the client is offline?

4. When a repeating task has repeating subtasks, does completing a subtask cause the next iteration to be created? Surely this could only be meaningful if it had a parent task, in which case wouldn't it not be created until the parent task was completed?

5. When a repeating parent task is completed, is the next iteration created with all its subtasks? Are those subtasks created in an uncompleted state regardless of their completion state? Or are they created with the same state they had in the parent? Or are only uncompleted subtasks created?

6. Do the answers to the last two questions change if the subtasks are set to repeat with parent?

7. What is the scenario for question (2) when the task has repeating subtasks?

This message was edited Aug 14, 2014.
Peter Scott

Posted: Mar 17, 2014
From Topic: Multi-edit merge tags

Multi-edit on tags does a replace. Obviously that ought to be the default, but it is very desirable to have the option to add a tag. Some syntax in the multi-edit to allow this would be nice (e.g. "+tag" in the tag multi-edit field).

Sorry, just found this was asked a few weeks ago. That post didn't show up on my search and I can't delete this one.

Suggestion: "+tag" means add this tag, "-tag" means remove this tag, otherwise it's a replace. Multiple tags where some have + or - and some don't could be treated as a syntax error.

This message was edited Mar 17, 2014.
Peter Scott

Posted: Dec 22, 2013

How do I make one task a subtask of another on the iPad? Both tasks already exist, and I can do a search that puts them on the same screen. On the web version it would be drag and drop. What is it here?
Peter Scott

Posted: Dec 01, 2013
From Topic: Siri synchronization

I just tried out the Siri interface on my iPad 4, and the task did not show up on another device until I had opened Toodledo on the iPad. Is this expected behavior?

Sequence of events:

On iPad, said, "Siri, remind me to ..."
Siri responded with confirmation dialog.
Accepted confirmation.
On Macbook, opened Toodledo via the web.
Looked for the new task. Not there. Tried for a couple of minutes.
Went back to the iPad, opened Toodledo.
Saw the new task there.
Went back to MacBook, saw the task there.

I have the iPad settings as noted in the FAQ. Question: Do I need to open Toodledo on the same device I add a reminder using Siri before the task is added to the server, as this scenario apparently demonstrated? Just want to know.
Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 28, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

Can we contribute in any way to making subsubtasks happen in Toodledo? What is their position on open sourcing the code?
Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 20, 2013

I agree on the value of this feature. I switch between several canned searches and views by context many times a day, and I want different sort criteria for each view.
Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 18, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

Here is a half-baked proposal. Pretend for a moment that the current subtask functionality doesn't exist. Here's the idea: Outfit every task with a field called Subtasks, which is a list of zero or more IDs of child tasks. When displaying this field in any view, it renders as a list of the subtask titles, one per line, each of which can be clicked/tapped to replace the current task view with the child task. Each task also has a field called parent task, which is populated with zero or one IDs, likewise clickable/tappable.

Interfaces may supply the means to populate those fields. When adding a subtask to a task, the server will throw an exception if any subtask of that subtask is the task it is being added to, or if the subtasks's parent task field is nonempty. When adding a parent to a task, the server will throw an exception if any parent of that parent is the task it is being added to. When a task is added to a subtask field, the server will populate the parent field of that task with the ID of the task it is being added to. When a task is added to a parent field, the ID of the task is added to the subtask list of the task being added. Interfaces may implement the above functionality by drag and drop, each operation according to a different target. Interfaces should provide a means to reorder IDs in a subtask list.

Completing a task causes all the children (recursively) to be marked as completed.

Okay, so far not much different from today other than the arbitrary number of levels. Here's the consequences:

Subtasks are displayed only in the list field. Not indented underneath the parent. Dragging a task will therefore not have to drag children with it. The little "is a parent"/"is a child" icon goes away.

The "repeat with parent" choice for task reoccurrence should probably be removed. I have a suspicion that it already has problems and it would have more. I don't think it's easy enough to tell what it's behavior should be.

I don't think there is any other functionality that would have to be removed. Obviously it would be *theoretically* possible to display the trees and drag them around, but in practice there could be insurmountable headaches with deep trees. Instead, develop a tool designed just to show a task tree, somewhat like the outline view. Not that you have to.

I think this is workable. I don't know whether you could do it without too many people howling about losing the indented display, or whether you could reasonably make the behavior user-selectable with the current behavior being the other option. I do think this is the way to go - get the model right first, make the interfaces whizzier later on instead of letting user interface limitations dictate the model.

Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 14, 2013
From Topic: Sub Sub Tasks

Adjusting status isn't the hard part, and if I wanted to do what you suggested, I could program it through the API. I do GTD, so multilevel projects easily show up in personal life:

Visit relatives for Christmas
--------Get present for mother-in-law
----------------Shop for present
----------------Wrap present
--------Do Christmas cards
----------------Take photo for cards
------------------------Decide on location/theme for card
------------------------Schedule photo

Happens all over the place.

This message was edited Nov 14, 2013.
Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 14, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

Posted by DSM:
Interesting point.

How about this? The problem with sub...tasks that the Toodledo developers seem to be having is display. What if they implemented a field similar to the Tag field called TaskIDs. Then they would have a GUI that would allow one to pick other tasks to add to the current task. The user could create a hierarchy or a DAG or a dependency list or combination as he sees fit. For you, moving a hierarchy from one parent to another would simply be adding the new parent to and removing the old parent from the TaskIDs list. This reduces the functionality from the scripting approach I suggested above in that they'd either have to set some assumption on what happens when a dependent task is COMPLETED or leave that to the user (similar to what they have now), but it stays close to the current Toodledo interface.

After that, using the Toodledo API, someone might be able to come up with a display program (like a mindmap) that would visualize the graph of the tasks. This probably wouldn't be that hard to do with some scripting and the open-source GraphViz/InstaViz program.

Yes, I could live without the indented display if each task had a clickable list of subtasks and I could drag one to onto another to make it a subtask. That would, however, present significant problems for Jake to reconcile with the existing one level of subtask interface and how to make a task link clickable in the mobile version. I know you were only suggesting task ids in the list, but it's no use unless you can rapidly navigate to the corresponding task.
Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 14, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

MyLifeOrganized was looking great until I saw there were no Web, Mac, or Linux versions. Deal breaker.
Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 14, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

Interesting concept, but it wouldn't help me. I have hundreds of tasks that contain subtasks and most of those would have subsubtasks if I could. I regularly drag some of my several thousand tasks in and out of parents. I need to be able to search those parent tasks by folder, context, tag, title, and combination of status and start date. There is no linkage between outlines and tasks that would facilitate that. I could only see outlines helping someone to manage projects if they had no more than a dozen projects and didn't mind copying task titles to outline entries and searching their tasks for the corresponding one for each outline entry.
Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 01, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

Thanks, I missed that thread before. Since it's closed, I'll respond here.

I agree that there are probably edge cases with the current sub tasks that aren't handled properly. But they're working fine for me. If the only stumbling block to multilevel tasks is display, I say go for it. If people have 13 levels of task and the indentation looks weird, then they can choose whether it's worth the hassle; they can accept the weirdness as going with the territory.

Being able to drag subtasks with their children sounds hard, but maybe they can be rolled up before the dragging starts. As long as the semantics can be defined to be self-consistent, display shouldn't be a blocker. I would think that a hard one to figure out would be semantics of repeating "with parent" for a subsubtask, but no one else has brought it up yet so maybe not.
Peter Scott

Posted: Nov 01, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

I for one am neither requesting nor envisaging relationships more complicated than a tree (DAG). A sub task with multiple parents would not map into any use case I have ever had.

What I want to do all the time is take a task with children and put it under another task. Or break a project into sub projects. When you're doing GTD and next action steps have to be at a very low level this is extremely common. I could probably live with just one extra level. The display would show one extra level of indentation.

What is the hardest part about implementing this? I'm not the only customer here who's a developer; we can understand.
Peter Scott

Posted: Oct 26, 2013
From Topic: Re-ordering tasks

I'm with Jake on this one. If you only had one view of tasks, no filtering of any kind, then manual ordering would make sense. As it is, it's not merely a matter of it being hard to figure out the programming; it's hard to figure out what manual sorting even means when you have filtering. Say you filter by all tasks with tag X due in next five days. You manually set their order. Then you filter by all tasks with tag Y and context Q. You manually set their order. Some of those also have tag X and are due in next five days so showed up in the previous search. Then you go back to the previous search. Presumably you expect them to be in the order you previously positioned them... except what about the ones that also showed up in the second search and whose order you changed? This doesn't even start to be meaningful unless you attach to each task its order position in every single search and filter the user ever did on it.

I used to want manual order change too, but I realized that (a) it was never going to happen, and (b) the lists on which I wanted to do that should never have more than a dozen things on anyway, or my process was wrong in the first place, making the issue moot.

That said, it might be worth adding an attribute called, say, "UserSortKey", for the user to populate with anything specifically designed for sorting. Sort in ASCIIbetical order and the creative user can put tasks in any position, e.g. between A and B with AM.
Peter Scott

Posted: Oct 24, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

I've started looking. I have a very dense task list (using half a dozen metadata per task on 7,000+ incomplete tasks) and most tools are optimized for simpler lives. ToDoist has limits on number of projects and tasks per project that I can't live with. I depend on several workflows worked out based on complex searches and do mutual delegation with a partner, so any migration is going to be a big deal in terms of my time. Toodledo has a very good focus on tasks... had... and could easily lead the pack in that respect if it just kept that focus instead of spreading thinner.

Point taken, though. I remember how I once thought that ThinkingRock would do the job with a minor change and offered to help pay for it... that was as you say swimming upstream.

This message was edited Oct 24, 2013.
Peter Scott

Posted: Oct 23, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

What? They're not remotely related. Outlines are a separate data repository with the semantics for arranging strings in a hierarchy and attaching a checked status to them. They're not tasks, they don't have attributes like start and due dates, they can't be filtered by status or tag, they can't be searched by folder or context, they can't be reassigned, they don't count towards the statistics, they can't have alarms attached, they're not accessible via the mobile app or the API, they can't have independent notes or files. What are you talking about? A subsubtask would be a sub task of a sub task.
Peter Scott

Posted: Oct 18, 2013
From Topic: Sub-subtasks

I know, I and others have only been bringing this up for the last five years, but oh Lord, how I need it. Not a day goes by when I don't keenly feel the absence of multilevel tasks now. Yes, I know it's difficult, but it's also really, really useful and important

Would a donation fund help? An extra service level past Gold for people to pay more into and get sub-subtasks before everyone else? I'd consider a serious contribution here if others would pitch in, if it would get this train moving.
Peter Scott

Posted: Oct 14, 2013

I would like it if a URL in. Task title were clickable in the task view (rather than having to click, get the editable box, select and copy). Seem useful to others?
Peter Scott

Posted: Sep 21, 2013

Sadly, I must agree. Sadly, because I will continue using Toodledo and I like its developers, but they appear to have lost their way. I posed a question some days ago: "What do you use outlines for?" and not one person answered. Essentially, outlines add indentation levels to task notes and lists add tables to task notes, and that's it. I can't yet think of a decent use case for either that has anything to do with tasks, which is why I asked.

Whereas I would consider donating money if it accelerated the arrival of more than one level of subtask, and sorting views that attach to custom searches.

I know there's been some development in tasks, like custom searches propagating to iOS, but there's so much more that could be done here - the target I am thinking of is eproductivity - and I don't like seeing the focus diluted.
Peter Scott

Posted: Sep 17, 2013

I'm having a hard time seeing the utility of outlines in their current form. They seem to be restricted to defining a hierarchical list that can be seen in a task attachment. There doesn't seem to be anything there that couldn't have been done with tabs at the beginning of task note lines.

I wonder if I am missing something. I have wanted for a long time sub-sub-task capability for GTD so I could fold projects under larger scale initiatives. I don't need to see multiple levels in one view but I need to define them so I can group parent tasks under another parent. I've also wanted sequencing, where completing one sub-task would move the next one into a different state, although that's less critical (I could write something to do it via the API if I was motivated enough). Both of those things look like outlines might help except they apparently don't.

If nodes in an outline don't have any functionality (like task metadata and actions) then an outline is just a note with indentation. The only functionality is checking completion, but I can't see what use that is if it doesn't integrate with tasks at the node level.

Not trying to gripe here, I just want to know what use cases people have for outlines in case I'm missing something useful.
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