🔮 Fibery roadmap for July-Dec 2023 + previous roadmap reflection

Oh, on the emoji-side of things: One of the very few things I always LOVED with Confluence, is that it allowed me to quickly add nice matching icons for:

  • yes: (/):white_check_mark:
  • no: (-) → — and (x):x:
  • warning: (!) for :warning:
  • info: (i) for :information_source:
  • question: (?) for :question:

As you can see, emoji are sadly all over the place and I would love to have a consistent set that also entails the both checkbox options (:ballot_box_with_check:|:white_large_square:) in addition to the above. As you already added the icons to your callout, I would LOVE to:

  1. Have a common and matching set
  2. Have a default colouring too (i.e. info is blue, warning is yellow, no is red) for the icon and maybe even for the callout.

Thanks, thanks, thanks!

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mutualizing information among different companies has been instrumental in bringing two new video game studios onboard, who were previously using different solutions

That sounds like an interesting challenge! I certainly would like to understand the context better, would be happy to dive deeper on call — an invitation is on the way via Intercom.

Sure! Would be happy to have a call! :slight_smile:

The whiteboard was a major deciding factor for us to move to Fibery as well. Being able to visualize and work with entities on the canvas is a huge advantage over things like Miro, Whimsical, and FigJam. So any improvements in that area will be a huge benefit to my company.

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Something I miss here (I think Notion had it) is the ability to duplicate a view with a different layout. For instance I start with a Kanban view, setup some fields and filters, and later decide I also need a table view with the same fields and filters. This would save some time !

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@mdubakov, really nice blogpost #52!

In the blog the Product Roadmap is shown.

For us (as partner) it would be really nice to have more insights then the current Public roadmap. Since a lot of information is missing there.

Some of the updates have a huge impact on the workspace that we’re building for our customers and our own go-live with that workspace :slight_smile:

Is there a way to have more insights in what features are plannend in the near future?

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This workaround is brilliant. I’ll be rolling fibery out to a number of teams soon and this mashup will help me avoid a lot complaining!

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I’m curious whether improved search functinality is on the roadmap of July-December 2023. The most common need I have is:

  1. Custom Search Query URLs: One of the frequent tasks I perform involves executing specific search queries. Having the ability to save these as custom URLs would greatly streamline my workflow, allowing me to bookmark these URLs for quick and focused access.
  2. Improved Display of Search Results: I would appreciate if the search results could be displayed in a more manageable format, akin to the ‘Views’ display currently available on Fibery. This would significantly enhance the readability and usability of the search results.
  3. Integration of Search and Views: I believe integrating the search functionality with the views feature would be a key improvement, providing a more cohesive and efficient user experience.
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Can you provide some examples?

Issue 1: We often need to perform spontaneous searches based on recent discussions or sudden requirements.

  • Example: After a team meeting, I want to quickly view bugs related to a newly identified edge case that is not pre-configured as a custom view or entity relationship view.
  • Solution: Custom URLs for consistent access. I can then create a custom search URL for this specific edge case. In future meetings or discussions, I can instantly pull up this data without creating or reconfiguring existing views.

Issue 2: We often need to transition from a broad view to a very specific search or vice versa.

  • Example: I was looking at all enhancements in the project’s repository. Midway, I recalled a specific user feedback and wanted to search for related tasks without altering the broader view.
  • Solution: Seamless integration of search results into views. I can quickly input my specific search while maintaining the context of my broader view, allowing for a more fluid exploration of data.

Issue 3: We need to track contributions from new members to ensure quality and adherence to project guidelines.

  • Example: After onboarding a batch of new contributors, I want to periodically review their code submissions and feedback over the past month, but there isn’t a pre-configured view for this.
  • Solution: Custom URLs for Contributor Tracking.
    • I can create a custom search URL that filters contributions based on the join date of contributors. This way, in our weekly reviews, I can instantly access and assess the contributions of new members without manually setting up filters each time.

Issue 4: We often need to correlate user-reported issues with ongoing development tasks.

  • Example: During a sprint review, while discussing a new feature, I remember a user feedback thread that might have relevance. I want to quickly pull up all user feedback related to this feature without navigating away from our sprint tasks.
  • Solution: Seamless Integration of Feedback into Development Views.
    • While in the “Sprint Tasks” view, I can input a search for the relevant user feedback. The system then overlays or integrates these feedback items into my current view, allowing me to see the correlation between user feedback and our development tasks.

Implementation:

All issues above are solved by integrating search results seamlessly into views. The goal is to make data exploration more intuitive and productive. Suggested implementation:

1. Unified Search Bar - A search bar accessible from any view or entity within Fibery:

  • Example: While I’m reviewing our project’s milestones, I suddenly recall a specific task. Without leaving the milestones view, I can immediately search for that task.
  • Benefit: I can initiate searches directly from my current context, ensuring I don’t lose my place.

2. Dynamic View Overlays - Search results are displayed as an overlay on the current view:

  • Example: While in the “Upcoming Releases” view, I search for a specific feature. The results overlay on my current view, allowing me to compare them with our planned releases.
  • Benefit: I can directly compare the search results with my current data, providing clearer insights.

3. Toggle Between Search & Original View - A mechanism to switch between the search results and the original view:

  • Example: After searching for a contributor’s feedback from the “Team Feedback” view, I can easily toggle back to see all feedback without starting over.
  • Benefit: I can move effortlessly between my search results and the original data.

4. Contextual Filters - The search offers filters based on the current view’s context:

  • Example: In the “Bug Reports” view, when I search for “UI glitches”, the system auto-prioritizes bugs related to UI.
  • Benefit: My search results are tailored to my current context, reducing manual filtering.

5. Dynamic Contextual Relevance:

  • Example: In the “Feature Requests” view, when I search for “UI improvements”, the system automatically prioritizes results related to UI feature requests.
  • Benefit: I get results tailored to feature requests, making it easier to gather insights on UI improvements without manual filtering.

6. Adaptive Search Prioritization:

  • Example: In the “Critical Bugs” view, when I search for an organizational management issue, the system not only shows related bugs but also ranks those reported by top contributors higher.
  • Benefit: I can quickly identify and prioritize critical organizational issues, especially those highlighted by key contributors.

7. Quick Filter Adjustments:

  • Example: In the “Community Discussions” view, after searching for “version compatibility”, I see a toggle option to quickly filter results by “Resolved”, “Unresolved”, or “Ongoing” discussions without leaving the search overlay.
  • Benefit: I can swiftly refine my search to focus on specific discussion statuses, aiding in community management and response.

8. Save Search as a New View - Option to save the search criteria and results as a new view:

  • Example: After searching for tasks related to a new integration, I can save this as a “Integration Tasks” view for future reference.
  • Benefit: I can streamline the creation of new views based on specific search criteria.

9. Link to Original Entity - Each search result includes a direct link to its original entity:

  • Example: When I find a relevant discussion in my search results, I can click on it to view the full discussion details.
  • Benefit: I can quickly navigate to detailed information, enhancing my user experience.

Related: URL Field Limitations:

  • Problems:
    • URL field display in a Bookmark entity type is not configurable, leading to clutter.
    • Internal bookmarks always open in a new window, disrupting workflow.
  • Solution: Enhance the Bookmark entity type for better display and navigation options.

If you’d like, I can elaborate more on this seamless search integration in views in a dedicated topic.

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Are you aware that you can open a search window in a secondary panel, while keeping the original panel open (so not losing context)?
I think it could help in some of these use cases.

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Hope that this will entail resolving the comment fields… right now the only way to get rid of comments is asking the author to delete them, which in case where people are not part of the project anymore leads to comment zombies.

Hope this will still make it. :slightly_smiling_face:

PS: In order to be able to resolve specific comments and not others, we probably would need threaded comments… :pray:

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Late reply, but… overall I’m happy to see your progress, as well as the always-appreciated reflection on your successes and failures. :clap:

That said, I mainly came here to say I am glad to see Whiteboard is still something you are experimenting with. :point_up: I am a little surprised at the lack of priority you put on it given your broader ambitions/long-term plan (insight generation, etc.), but also understand that in reality, despite its potential value (as I’ll try to outline below), actually creating a version of this functionality that becomes a worthwhile selling point is hard (fortunately Obsidian has already partly done it for you, as I’ll also explore a bit below :grin:). It’s also encouraging that you did find an appealing open source component to potentially base an overhaul on.

So, I actually began writing some thoughts about Whiteboard/Canvas-type use cases in reply to your previous roadmap post, but never took the time to finish it. :sweat_smile: In fact I’ve been meaning to write a topic about this ever since Obsidian’s Canvas View came out in December of 2022! Here we go at last, I guess.

In my opinion Obsidian Canvas is already a superb model of what “whiteboard but actually useful for knowledge management and insight generation” could look like. Most other whiteboarding tools I’m aware of - and yes that includes Miro - are useful for “sketching out ideas”, “exploring idea spaces”, etc., but relatively bad at taking that in a more structured (e.g. database) direction and dealing with structured knowledge in a spatial way. This makes them useful but also actually quite fragmenting and unhelpful, in certain respects (this has been echoed by others elsewhere here in the forums in reference to Miro, etc.). When the knowledge generated there cannot easily be connected back to more commonly-used workspaces, views, notifications and tasks, etc., there is a massive loss of context and insight. That is (one of) the critical intersection(s) that need(s) to be mastered.

This also connects with work you’ve already decided to tackle, I think:

Although that work is perhaps a bit more linear/straightforward in some respects, a good Whiteboard/Canvas view could help make more sense of many feature requests that overlap, etc. in a way that simple References, and other Views cannot. For Product Teams Whiteboard is also tremendously useful for brainstorming, but again this often gets disconnected from actual work, and slows down iteration, idea->plan of action, etc.

So for example I should be able to create a whiteboard for research and ideation, add Entities, either as Links or full Embeds (with live editing), potentially even adding things in bulk, add live website links, images/files, etc., do full relations and reference linking/highlighting from the Whiteboard View, then reference or even Embed that Whiteboard in another Whiteboard to e.g. derive plan of action, inter-referencing/connecting info and stages of work, while keeping them clean and separate. Again look at what Obsidian Canvas can already do, it handles a lot of this in a really slick, intuitive, and smooth way. Drag and drop of notes (.md) onto canvas, quick connections between notes, live edit, etc. all make it very fast and pleasant to work with.

Some other existing (but young) apps like Heptabase are doing good work in this area, as are a number of other relatively small tools. But the vast majority are fairly specialized. For example Heptabase leans too much into the canvas approach for general company use IMHO. There are also older Mindmap tools, etc., but none have both robust database/structured content tools and robust whiteboard that works tightly together, that I’m aware of (maybe TinderBox but that’s Mac-only). Heptabase is starting to do this, but their database functionality is very early on and pales in comparison to Fibery (and probably always will), plus as I mention it is really focused on the canvas view, somewhat to the detriment of database functions, regular page interaction/editing, sharing, etc.

Anyway, I hope after this next dev cycle that you’ll have bandwidth to give all this some dedicated attention because I think it is a critically necessary capability for next-level insight generation based on and connected to structured knowledge. You need to be able to reference and visualize existing knowledge and generate new knowledge that is only possible in, or at least best supported by, a canvas-like view, and then be able to reflect that information back into structured data in some way. You need to be able to record your insights, your generated new information, back into the database(s), etc. And in my view any annotation-like or otherwise unstructured markup (e.g. sketching, etc.) should take a back seat to providing spatial mechanisms for manipulation of structured data and other objects with associated meta data that has semantic meaning. I.e. connecting lines between objects that have semantic meaning are dramatically superior to and more important than simple visual connections.

I’m happy to see there is some other support here as well, notably from @njyo and @jondkinney though I know others have echoed similar hopes in the past.

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The one like I can give this is not enough to express my agreement to your detailed and thorough case for a better whiteboard. Many thanks, @Oshyan

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That’s a great post and I’m glad to see you talking about whiteboards. I know this post of mine didn’t get much traction, but in case you didn’t see it:

This was a huge need of my team (still is) and I think it could allow for a revolutionary way to visualize a software architecture, and have many other uses.

Hope that we do indeed get some movement on improving whiteboards!

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Awesome post Oshyan! I agree with everything you write. It’s impressive how you can articulate it so clearly.

Would be a real game changer. I know Fibery doesn’t want to be ‘the tool to replace them all’. But it does move in that direction :smirk:

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I think Zolt’s Obsidian Excalibrain should also be mentioned here.

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Thanks for the support everyone! I do spend a lot of time thinking about what could/should be next for knowledge management in general, and testing various tools, so hopefully that helps bring some broader perspective on the possibilities here. :slight_smile:

Yes, Excalibrain is definitely cool and potentially useful. I am unsure how much “programmatic” visualization it makes sense to have, vs. more manual instantiation + arrangement. It seems clear some programmatic-type stuff is valuable, e.g. entity trees. Ideally some general support for programmatic entity instantiation that could be plugin-driven, one day… :grin:

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Zolt make Obsidian really powerful
Not only Excalidraw, also Excalibrain

  • You can imagine Excalidraw ⇄ Canvas in Obsidian ⇄ Whiteboard in Fibery
  • But the real definition things on Ontology’s excalibrain ⇄ Name relationship of connections in 4 directions (using Compass Framework). the way we build Reference 2.0 in Fibery, i dont know how much part align with this, but this plugin in Obsidian make everything layed on and see all the relationship in the right way

Some update here - this bug was fixed :slight_smile:

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