Attribute | Reference v2

#1

This is a nice step forward, and since the past 10 weeks or so I am feeling the momentum towards a mature platform as key barriers to usability are lifted one after one. Really getting excited.

I also want to get some clarification regarding the change to Reference though.
Previously, we used to have items ever existed in a board, as an option for a reference column.
Now, each reference column seems to only allow reference items from a single folder.

So before the change, I had a reference column that linked to the same type of items in different folders. Now, after the change, the one column was automatically split up into three reference columns.
To be more specific, a column in my folder now suddenly becomes 3 columns.

If I had a folder for apples from CA and another folder for apples from FL, I used to be able to link them in the same Reference column. Now we need one Reference column for CA apples and another for FL apples. Or else, if I only want to have a single Reference column for all apples, then the two folders need to be merged into one, plus an additional attribute to differentiate the two. And what about the 200 apples that I have already entered in each folder?

I like that now I have much fewer data to filter from when selecting reference items. And I prefer having a clean search result for Reference to flexible data structure. But again this is a limitation that affects data structure design and needs to be documented up front. It is going to be extremely hard to restructure data later if someone only to realize it will not work after a lot of folders/items are already entered (since Infinity doesn’t allow mass copy/paste/edit yet, especially for mass edit by column). And when this happens, I bet you the user will fall straight back to spreadsheet and not to return to Infinity again.

Secondly, if possible, I feel that having an option to filter folders to the Reference search result instead of hard limiting the column to a single folder for reference, a better implementation. But I respect Infinity’s choice and I’d hope Infinity has this well thought through and not to change it again later as restructuring data is very painful.

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#2

Thank you for the feedback @j11! Yes, if you had one reference field with items from multiple folders, that field will now become multiple fields/columns just as you described.

I agree that restructuring can be very painful and should be the solution if absolutely necessary - and after speaking with the dev team, this time it was.

Thanks for trusting us with this decision as well, and hopefully the new reference field will prove to be much easier to use (and a better choice for performances). :slight_smile:

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#3

What I meant to say is, whether there has been thorough thought put in place to determine the best implementation that the platform will survive for the long term. That’s what us, the early adoptors care more about, less of what it appears today. What would you have done as a business user for the “apples” example? And remember that business users are not data analysts. They are very likely to only realize the problem after they have entered a huge amount of data.

Or is Infinity only targeting people that are technical and have time to plan their data structure up front?
I, myself, probably won’t want to spend that kind of time in order to use a platform. Way too much overhead.

There has been a lot of redundant steps/folders/attributes needed to be created because of the existing structure. From your answers I am not sure if you really understood what the problems are other than repeating how it works today (for which I already knew before posting).

I can bear some functions and features being unavailable today, and do the extra steps. And I won’t ask them to be resolved immediately. But I would be quite worried to see our meaningful suggestions being dodged simply because it is easier to say “no” today. Just like the summing feature for formula columns I mentioned awhile ago.

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#4

Hello @j11, thanks for the clarification - it seems I didn’t understand your point in the first post.

Let me try to clarify it from our end as well.

First of all, we appreciate our community’s feedback and respect it above all. We are building Infinity based almost solely on our users’ requests and suggestions - we collect all ideas and then try to prioritize the features we create by what most users need. For that, we will have to disappoint some users some of the time because we also have a plan we are following, but our plans can also change if we notice some feature gaining a lot of votes and requests.

For example - API is gaining a lot of attention lately and we have decided to prioritize it very soon.

I really wouldn’t say we’re dodging suggestions, but we have limited resources and we need to prioritize smartly. However, please rest assured that saying ‘no’ for today doesn’t mean ‘no forever’ - it just means we can’t jump on a certain feature or improvement immediately as we have other tasks and priorities we’re working on.

Regarding the situation you are worried about - and that’s whether it’s going to be possible to restructure your data later, I believe we have moved in a great direction in the last few months. We have implemented:

  • Trash/Archive which allows you to restore deleted data if you realize you or somebody from your team has deleted something by accident, or if you simply change your mind.
  • ‘Move folders’ which allows you to restructure your data at any time, so even if you change your mind later or realize you’ve made a mistake with your structure - you can now change it easily.

Other things we’re preparing that will make structuring, restructuring and managing data much easier:

  • Multiple select - You will be able to select multiple items to move them, copy them, delete them
  • Save as template - You will be able to create your own templates and reuse them anytime
  • Attribute manager - You will be able to see all your attributes from one board in one place and manage them much more easily than now. Right now managing attributes is almost impossible and we know this must be improved - and it will be with this functionality.

Those are just some features I wanted to mention that are outlining the future of Infinity when it comes to data structuring and management. I really do believe we’re thinking far ahead and implementing many more features that are focused precisely on that - helping our users navigate the flexibility of Infinity (which can sometimes be overwhelming) in the best possible way.

I hope that this makes sense and that you’ll be seeing the value in the features that are to come and that I described. I also hope you do have faith in the Infinity team as we’re doing our best to keep our community happy - but as our dear community member Steve said in the Facebook group yesterday: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all of the time.” :slight_smile:

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#5

Honestly, the messaging has been in circles for awhile.
I believe Infinity sees that as well, that I have invested a lot of time trying to make Infinity work for me. So I follow the new development closely, as well as most of the workarounds, and I appreciate the good work. One day if you see me not posting questions anymore, that’ll be the day I decided to drop.

But that should not be mixed with, and is very different from not responding directly to our concerns.
I would be happy to learn that a situation is understood and Infinity would come up with ideas to address it, even if it not this month/quarter, or give me a reason why it shouldn’t be done that way. It is very different from “mehhh, that’s how it works now, use it or leave it”.

I feel there is a consistent pattern on that recently.

Multiple select + save as template + move folders + attribute manager, altogether, does it help you prevent non-technical users from getting lost with the data presented as I described?
I don’t feel my concern is understood still, if you think the above form a good combination for it.
I love Infinity, but I can’t share Infinity to my team because one mistake = hours of troubleshooting and rebuilding. Business users won’t be bothered to use it again. That is a deal-killer risk for Infinity.

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#6

I partly agree with your observations, but not so with your conclusions on them. I appreciate the time you put into infinity very much. All your suggestions I noticed so far are all useful and reasonable helping infinity to grow which makes it better for me as a user.

But I think Infinity is in a conflict right now: “Finalizing” the most important features for infinity without which there won’t be any (or a lot of) monthly subscribers - and do this asap before the lifetime-money runs out. In contrast to redistribute developing resources to run the community forum and the roadmap to the satisfaction of the community. Given that they by now have a fast responding support chat, if you have a question that you need to be sure is heard, I would suggest using the support chat.

Team Infinity is throwing out one big improvement after the other atm, so I guess they are in super focus mode on developing. They know what their next steps are they have to take. There will be another time/phase where they will open their ears again to listen to all the things we suggested in this time.

Regarding the technical difficulty of infinity: I think this is an issue of rights management which involves several different parts which all have to be addressed and improved. As you wrote as early adopters we need to

If the right management is not fully developed to fit the needs of our teams we have to vote for it and wait for it.
I strongly believe that eventually Infininty will provide me with (more than) everything I need.

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#7

I feel there is a misconception that my comments are asking for things to be done now.
So I must repeat - no that’s not what I meant.

What I feel that is really lacking recently, is the acknowledgment of a problem or an area that needs to be worked on. If it is not agreed, share the thoughts with us, so we know where this is going and I could see how I can or cannot work with it. If our comments here are seen as noises then there is no point for me to continue this route.

What I observed, is the answers to our comments are often about how it works today and not about whether the problem is understood and thought through. The question I initially raised in the thread, deeply affects both on which types of users are suitable for the platform and on the platform design - it will be really hard to make changes at a later stage. If the team truly believes the current implementation is the best then I am happy to hear the explanations. I haven’t seen that hence there is nothing for me to agree to.

Another way to look at this - I provided detailed explanation of a problem (because I already know how it works today). But I get nothing substantial back.

I established/managed multiple startup development teams and understand the need to focus - after prioritization.
And our comments here do not represent priority, hence I never expected it.

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#8

Forgot to mention… I used Stackby for some time but decided to focus solely on Infinity, because Infinity didn’t limit the reference column to only 1 source. Now the problem just repeated itself, for me.

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#9

As far as I remember, the reference attribute v2 works with only one folder because of 2 reasons:

  • to keep filtering simple
  • to solve major performance issues

I’m totally fine with current approach for now but would really like to be able to choose between one folder only and all folders in the board. However, I guess we must wait for this option because of the performance issues.

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#10

I´m not sure I really understand what you’re saying. This is what I understood, is that correct?:
When you report a problem, you would like the infinity team to

  • answer they understand (or do not understand) what you’re saying
  • tell you they agree (or not agree)
  • give you a rough estimate on when they can solve the problem and/or the priority in the roadmap

If that is, what you would like it to be, than there is a quick solution to it:
The community forum is unfortunately not the best place for this atm nor is the roadmap. I agree with you posting something here or on the roadmap does not feel like you have been heard. For example I have been providing information to turn the email and phone attributes into real (clickable) email/phone attributes. Never got an answer from the team.
Now if I want to be heard and to know that the team has heard me, I use the chat support. They are fast, reliable and get back to you with info from the dev team asap in case they cannot answer/solve your question/problem.

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