CHANGELOG: January 28 (2021) / Entity History, Integromat, Better Smart Folders setup, New Infrastructure

Sorry, there were no releases from us for a full month, but here we go:

Entity History/Activity

Finally, you can track what was changed in every entity (not Document so far, sorry). Navigate to any entity and find the View Activity icon in the top right:

History shows all who changed what and when. Note that Rich Edit field changes are not tracked yet, this is another story to support documents history as well.

Integromat Integration

Integromat is more powerful in Zapier for some cases, so we added Fibery-Integromat integration. Here is the detailed article that explains everything:

Better Smart Folder setup

Smart Folders setup is streamlined, and it is easier to create deeper hierarchies. Here we create a Smart Folder that shows Products and nested Epics in left menu:

New Infrastructure

This is an invisible thing for you, but as a side effect, you may see better Fibery performance and expect more stability. We also have full control over our infrastructure and do not depend on third-party expertise, so we can fix problems faster as well.

In a nutshell, we’ve migrated from Softlayer to AWS and are pretty happy with the results so far.

:snowflake: Improvements

  • Allow Editors to create and edit docs and whiteboards (previously only Creators were able to do that).
  • Now when you share an App or the whole Workspace, it is possible to create a new Account following the link.
  • Do not suggest deactivated Users in @mentions.
  • Unlink Docs & Whiteboards from entity to App-level. When unlinked, a Doc or Whiteboard appears as the last View in the App.
  • Back navigation for Documents and Whiteboards linked to entities is there.
  • Integration setup is simplified: there are fewer steps now and some options are preselected by default.

:shrimp: Fixed bugs

  • Newly installed Apps should be placed below the current ones
  • Calendar View: browser hanging on not-configured calendar
5 Likes

Wooohooo, activity history! Very happy to see this. Also the new nested smart folders, I didn’t really imagine how that might work, but conceptually I like this implementation a lot. Have yet to experiment with it, but it’s definitely promising. Glad to see you’re back to releases, and hopefully back to a regular cadence from here. :slight_smile:

Very happy with the activity history, thanks :clap:

Oh this made me laugh… Haha…

1 Like

Hi guys,

Could you let me know if you have a v2 planned? I think the Activity Log in this iteration is pretty sparse, I’m missing:

  • Info on the specific comments. Most good Activity Streams I’ve used actually include comments, don’t just say “somebody commented.” Even a snippet of the comment would be helpful, otherwise you have to go down to the comment stream, which at times if you have reference and a lot of Collections is WAY down the page, to see what was actually commented. This is very important context, for example if a state is changed due to something written in a comment, you should be able to see that context right in the Activity Stream

  • Activity on the Entity/Type build out: This is a key aspect of Fibery. Granted, it happens on the Type level, not Entity, but it would be very good to know when a field is added. This is particularly relevant given the lack of ability to move Entities between Types, so it’s useful to be able to see when you’ve added a field or removed one, or edited one. This gets into more Fibery-wide Streams, like App history as well, and “entire workspace” Stream, but without these additional pieces, this Entity-only history is limited for my needs at least

  • References history. This is very relevant. Given how much of a key part of Fibery References/Highlights are, and the fact that you do a great job in the References area actually show who created a reference and when, I would really like to see that info in the Activity feed too, just like comments.

  • specific time of activity: Sorry I continue to have difficulty with “1M ago” as this forces you to mouse over the date, which brings a few issues: You can’t see that info at a glance, so you have to work more to get context, and 2) I’m not sure a growing team will figure this out on their own, so you force the admin to do work to train them on something they should be able to just simply “see”

Glad to see this is in motion, but I hope this isn’t all we get for the next year or so, as it’s a very minimal amount of information for what I was expecting, and what I am used to in other apps I’m comparing to Fibery…

Thanks.

1 Like

cool! Waited for Entity History! Do you have any plans for Document History? If you support this, it will be more perfect!

@haydnhkim Yes, we will work on History till completion, this is just the first useful release.

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@B_Sp Indeed we are going to improve History till completion. All you mentioned will be added, however, I am not sure about time UI. The exact time is quite cluttered and not sure you really want to see the exact date for 1 month old events.

3 Likes

Personally I would be fine if the time disappeared after ~1 week, but I always want to have the full date displayed. Always. I have never found the “shorthand” for dates to be as helpful as it promises to be.

1 Like

Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but I personally can’t imagine needing to know the exact date for a month-old comment. I mean, where I work, a lot of comments become stale after less than a week. I’d hate to think there were comments I hadn’t taken on board after more than a month.

I just feel better knowing the date than some (to me) vague “number of months ago, however the system decides to round or count things” type of thing. It’s black box behavior that raises too many questions/concerns for me. Does it count actual months? Or 30 day increments? When does it consider it “another month”, at 15, 16, or 17 days beyond the previous, or what? Does this vary for shorter months like February? What about leap years?

For example I have a comment that was entered on October 21st of last year. If you asked me to tell you how long ago that was, I would not have said 3 months, because it’s February now, it’s almost 1.5 weeks since it was “3 months ago”, and it’s arguably now closer to “3.5 months ago”. But no, of course I don’t want it to say “3.5 months”. I just want it to show the date, because why not have the date? Is “3m” better? Or just “not worse”? If it’s “not worse” for you, and for me and some others it is worse, then probably the full date display is better. :grin:

This uncertainty may not have significant business consequences on a regular basis, but it - and the occasional times when I do have to hover to get the exact date - do create “friction” which makes a tool feel less pleasant to use. The more points of friction you have, the more unpleasant the tool is to use, it’s cumulative (if not multiplicative).

While we’re on the subject, I don’t think I - or probably anyone - needs the time to the second for changes. To the minute seems good enough, so that can clean up the time/date stamp a bit.

1 Like

I know we’re all different, but for me, ‘3m’ is better :slight_smile:
I think it’s because my brain doesn’t ‘see’ dates intuitively.
I just looked at a comment by a colleague that was made on ‘January 30 2021, 11:05:45 pm’.
There are 12 digits in that piece of text.
If I have to do a mental calculation to work out how ‘old’ that comment is, my brain just couldn’t get to the rough answer as quickly as if I just read (‘3 days ago’).

I suppose it’s a bit like someone telling me that their house is “7 furlongs, 232 yards, 2 feet and 4 inches away” when they could have just said “about a mile away”.

Anyway, I don’t write this to try and convince anyone, but just to say that the current implementation matches my needs brilliantly. Of course, the world would be a dull place if we all liked the same things :wink:

1 Like

Fair enough, but… is it the detail/specificity that is the issue, or friction in doing mental calculations on dates? I ask because I do think there is probably still a place for the on-hover functionality, I just think it should work differently. I would like to see:

  • The time and “Today” or “Yesterday” for anything in the last 24hrs. I can very easily know the date for today or yesterday.
  • The specific date with no time for any date prior to that. Time would only show on-hover.

I realize of course that then there is a lack of “consistency” between how recent and older things are displayed. I’d be fine too with the time only showing for things “today” and date showing for everything else. But I think some people may want time for “yesterday”.

Anyway, would something like this approach still trip you up in understanding how long ago something was? Or is it simply some amount of information overload with the current very detailed timestamps? Because I do agree that the current timestamps are overkill! Especially being down to the second (as I mentioned).

1 Like

Yeah, you’re right. I think there’s probably two things at play here:

One is the way in which the information conveys meaning to the reader. For me, the comment/activity dates are only meaningful as a time delta from now. Just like that the timings within a NASA space mission are referenced to the point of launch (“T minus 10 seconds”, etc.) I only care about how the info relates to ‘now’.

The second is the various preferences people might have for non-linear granularity settings (when to show seconds, when to show time of day, when to show just the date, etc.)
In this context, I may actually be quite closely aligned with you on when the step changes in granularity should occur (I don’t ever need to know seconds :slight_smile: ) but for the first point, I’ll always be a ‘delta-T’ guy :slight_smile:

1 Like

Gotcha. Yeah, that helps, and it makes total sense. And certainly I don’t want to suggest the Fibery team spend time implementing a bunch of customization for this or anything. But if there is a way to address the needs of most people with a hybrid approach, then it might be worth doing so IMO. I do note at least that there is clear friction for some people with the “imprecise” date display “from now”. And that the inclusion of seconds in the time display is probably unnecessary, generally speaking…

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Hey guys and @Chr1sG as you as well. On this I am squarely with Oshyan, as is probably pretty obvious since I mentioned this as a shortcoming way up the thread!

So my vote is for showing the when, not “how long ago” - and I might add @Oshyan I really agree here:

This is a big annoyance of Youtube I’ve found. I have seen “a year ago” refer to something as old as 23 months, while “this year” referring to something 11 months old! But when you click in deeper, you get the actual time - and this is why I know those are incorrect statements about “how long ago.” So although you have to click extra to get it with YouTube, you can see that. And I know that you can hover over the dates in Fibery and get the exact time - so thankfully that’s available.

But I wonder how hard would it be from a UI standpoint to offer both? Let me provide the example of Navigation Systems. I really that in early days of GPS, car manufacturers would either offer a countdown to arrival, or a time, but not both at once. Just about all now have both at once, though. Could we not have that as a solution to satisfy all?

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Thanks Michael for confirming you guys agree these would be sensible improvements, when you have the chance to build them!

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Interesting. I’d have to see a mockup of this. I just feel like it could be cluttered. But it’s possible it could be done in a way that’s not…

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Yes good point! So good challenge for a UI designer - Fibery has done some good stuff here so perhaps they can pull it off, given the desire for both variants around here!

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Just another comment here and suggestion - I would really love if we could see the actual comments, perhaps via a reduced text, or maybe toggle so you could toggle them open to read, but they would not show as default. As I use the Activity Log and see that somebody “commented” it really takes some discipline not to get frustrated by not seeing the actual comment itself, which is paramount to the history or any entity.

Would love to hear if you guys might implement this small improvement earlier than bigger things like Fibery-wide Activity Stream and other more ambitious improvements.

Thanks and very glad we have this initial history now available!

1 Like