June system update brings easier task management

The most recent system upgrade brings a new way to organize scheduled and always-on tasks. A new optional description field, combined with sorting, allows you to manage big herds of multiple tasks.

Under the hood there were some more, larger changes, but we’ll be announcing the details of those later.

The update

The most recent system upgrade happened on 9 June on our EU-based system and on 17 June on the US-based one.

Describing and sorting tasks

The most immediately visible change was triggered by complaints from users who were struggling with long lists of tasks; the tasks appeared on the list in the order that they were created in. That’s not a problem when there are three or four tasks, but there are people who have twenty, thirty or even more. Imagine the mess…

It is now possible to label tasks with an optional description that can be more human-readable than the command (say, “daily reconciliation script”). That is nice on its own, but the true power of descriptions is acquired when combined with sorting.

It is now possible to sort task lists by any column, including the description. That means that descriptions that start with tags allow grouping and sub-grouping of tasks. For example you can have two web apps www.foo.com and www.bar.com and a set of related periodically run management commands. Now it’s possible to write a description for each of them starting with [foo] or [bar], so after sorting, tasks related to each web app appear next to each other on the task list.

The rest

There were, as always, multiple small changes under the hood that make our system more reliable, efficient and less buggy.

But there are two big changes that we need to do some final checks on before blogging about them – we’ll keep you posted!

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