[rt-devel] RT 4.4.0rc1 released

Shawn Moore shawn at bestpractical.com
Mon Nov 9 17:24:10 EST 2015

Hi Chris,

On 2015年11月4日 at 6:06:46, Christian Loos (cloos at netcologne.de) wrote:
> Am 04.11.2015 um 10:51 schrieb Emmanuel Lacour:
> >> * We've added a popout ticket timer for helping you track time inside RT.
> >> > The timer is associated with a ticket and will add the time to to it for
> >> > you.
> >> >
> > very nice idea, helpfull here. Thought the popup is a window with all
> > navigator window decorations, isn't it possible to have something lighter?
> Maybe it is better to display the timer inline in the ticket.
> There seams to be enough space under the ticket timer icon.
> If you go to another browser tab and then go back to the browser tab
> with the ticket, you don't see that there is an ticket timer running.

When I was initially implementing this feature, I did exactly as you suggested: I embedded the timer right into the page. But that caused friction every step of the way of development. For one, what if you navigate away from the page? If you're just navigating between ticket display, ticket update, ticket modify, etc., the timer should keep counting up. If the time is just thrown away, or if RT nags you that you have a timer running before letting you leave the page, then that’s annoying. After all, what’s the point of having a timer if you have to keep manually dealing with it? And if you navigate away from RT entirely, what happens to the timer? Do we remember it when you come back and just add the time? How do we know whether you were on another website doing your work, or that you were just reading Facebook? If we remember the timer, what if you open RT up in a second tab, do you now have two copies of the timer running? If we throw the timer away, then people lose the time they were tracking.

There are so many somewhat arbitrary decisions to make that I worry people wouldn’t use the timer because they wouldn't develop an intuition about how the feature works with all these scenarios.

The popout approach is so much simpler both to understand and to implement, and I think is way more flexible than any in-page approach. Open it when you start working. Pause it when you pause working. Resume it when you resume working. Submit it when you’re done working. The timer’s state directly corresponds to whether you’re working. :) The timer even tells you when it was originally opened (for when you work then get distracted, to help you figure out how much real work you had done). And expert multitaskers (if there is such a thing) can have multiple timers open at once.

In short, I tried to make the feature as practical and approachable as possible.

> Also, if you stop (submit) the timer, the ticket page isn't refreshed,
> so you don't see the time worked changes without manually reloading the
> ticket.

You’re right, that is something we can’t really have with a popout timer. We can’t easily refresh the originating page once you submit the timer. And even if we could I don’t think we would want to. (What if you’re in the middle of typing a message? or reading a long message? etc etc)

What would be nice is if when you’re looking at a ticket and someone else updates it (or you update it in a different tab, like submitting the popout timer), RT displays a little notification that the ticket was updated so you might want to refresh to get the latest information. But we’re not quite there yet. :)

So it’s not an entirely new problem.

> Chris


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