OmniFocus: The Feedback Cometh

by Brian on May 30, 2007

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone participating in the OmniFocus alpha. We're getting tons of good feedback. The graph below shows the number of items we have in our system, broken out by product. See the blue line? That's OmniFocus. Red line? OmniWeb. Green line? OmniPlan. Nothing else even makes it onto the chart right now. If it takes us a while to respond to you, now you know why.



OmniGraffle 4.2 beta 5 is now available

by Joel on May 23, 2007


I've been seeing you around with OmniFocus (well, at least some of you) lately. Look, I'm really sorry about all that crashing I did, I swear I won't do it again. Can you, you know, maybe hang out with me for a little bit instead of Focus? Come on, it'll be like old times! Except, you know, the crashing part.

Oh, did I mention that I got my localizations done? (well, Japanese is still partly done and is underway as we speak)

Yeah anyways, another handy OmniGraffle beta release, fixed a very popular crash when saving, most of the localizations are incorporated.

Informative release notes in their usual location.

Beta download page awaits.


Writing bug reports

by Tim Wood on May 15, 2007

Now that OmniFocus is sticking its toes out the door, this seems like a good time to remind everyone about best practices on reporting problems.  Crash reports are especially important and should receive extra care.

  • Please report every single crash you hit, even if you don't know how to reproduce it yet.  Include any details of what you were doing leading up to the crash.  We can then correlate reports from different users to narrow down the cause, even if no one person can reliably reproduce the problem.

  • If you are comfortable doing so, include your document as a starting point (for OmniFocus, this is in ~/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus).  If you have qualms about sending your data, skipping this is OK.  Another option is to export your file to a backup and then trim down that copy to include only the portions necessary to reproduce the problem.

  • List the exact steps to reproduce the problem, starting from the file you included or from an empty document.  It is hard to be too specific: for example, you might be tempted to say “I deleted the second task of the project 'Foo'”, but this doesn't make it clear whether you used the delete key, a main menu item, a context menu, invoked an AppleScript, or picked up the task and dragged it to the trash.  In some cases, the distinction matters.  When in doubt, describe the physical actions you used (“press key X”, “clicked button Y”).

  • If the proper behavior isn't obvious (“don't crash”), tell us what you expected to happen.  Maybe you have a perspective on a design question we haven't considered or that we should reconsider.

With crash reports in particular, it is important to include reproducible steps.  Sometimes this isn't possible, and that's fine—please report the crash anyway with whatever details you have.  With a large enough pool of people, someone will be able to figure out how to reproduce it.

Crash reports are CC'd directly to the entire OmniFocus engineering team.  If you include reproducible steps, we'll typically stop whatever else we're working to fix it immediately.


Ethan Schoonover's second OmniFocus screencast

by Ken Case on May 15, 2007

Ethan Schoonover has relaunched his Kinkless website, and has posted a second screencast about OmniFocus:

OmniGroup has let Schrödinger's cat out of the bag and put doubts to rest as to whether it exists or not… it definitely exists. With the beta rolling out slowly but surely, I thought it was a good time to release another video showing you some other neat stuff you can do with OmniFocus.

Click below to watch a ten minute video that talks a bit about sub-projects, nesting sequential sub-projects inside parallel parent projects and even briefly demo's how to change styles.

If you're enjoying Ethan's screencasts, be sure to drop him a comment on his site and let him know!  (I know that people here at Omni have been learning new things from watching them.  Thanks again, Ethan!)

For those who are wondering whether or not they've already been sent an invitation and it's just slow in arriving:  the first batch of 100 invitations went out about eleven hours ago, which means that anyone who confirmed their subscription to the OmniFocus beta mailing list before 2am (Pacific) on October 31 should have received it by now.  100 down, 4,100 to go.  Or, um, that's what it was eleven hours ago—it appears we now have 4,874 subscribers, so make that 4,774 to go.  Or, uh, 4,893?  Or…

Hmm, maybe we'd better send out another batch soon.  (Another 100 will bring us up to anyone who confirmed their subscription before 3pm on November 1.  Whew, it's nice to be able to report something about this mailing list that doesn't change every five seconds.)