GitHub Issues Introduces New Features

GitHub new featuresGitHub provides code hosting and version control services to millions of developers. With over 200 million repositories, it is among the largest development platforms where people write and share code easily. It continuously aim to be the most advanced software development platform in the world and so regularly releases new features. GitHub recently announced new beta features within GitHub Issues, its built-in issue tracking, project planning, and task management system, which is included in all account types.

New features on beta

GitHub users can sign up in GitHub’s site to get access to the new features. Personal and organizational accounts are eligible to join the beta. Once approved for access, participating users will get an email with the steps they are to follow. The new features include a project table, custom fields, keyboard-driven command palette, improved task lists, and issue forms.

Projects

GitHub’s Projects is available in limited public beta requiring users to request access. It is a customizable tool for planning and tracking work. Like a spreadsheet, the project tables integrate issues and pull requests on a flexible canvas where users can easily customize the layout by filtering, sorting, and grouping issues and pull requests. This makes it easy to prioritize work across repositories. And Projects provides up-to-date information with bi-directional sync. When an issue or a pull request changes, the project shows that change, and with any change in the information about an issue or a pull request on the project tables, that specific issue or pull request will reflect that change.

GitHub Projects

Switch views

GitHub allows users to view projects from different perspectives. They can instantly switch between table view and board view. Users can view a project through a table layout:

Or use a board view:

Or filter, sort, and group by any field for a more focused view of items:

Furthermore, users can save their preferred views to share with their team. Soon, they will have a new timeline view to choose from in addition to the table view and board view.

Custom fields

Users can also add custom fields to track additional information and metadata. These can be priority, story points, dates, notes, or links. For instance, they can add a date field to track target ship dates, a number field to track task complexity, a single select field that dropdown values for task priority, or a text field for a quick note. Users can add emojis to the field values as well. And they can easily change custom field values from the issues sidebar.

Command palette

The command palette is a handy tool so users do not have to memorize keyboard shortcuts. By pressing the Cmd+K keys for Mac or Ctrl+K keys for Windows, the command palette comes up allowing users to quickly filter, sort, group, and manage views. Options include changing the layout, showing or hiding fields, reordering fields, reordering rows, sorting, grouping, filtering, and saving views.

Task lists

A new improved task list is currently in public beta and available to everyone. Developers use task lists to break the work for an issue or pull request into smaller tasks that they can track through to completion. The improved feature allows users to tackle complex issues more easily, track their status with progress indicators, and convert tasks into their own issues with easy navigation in their hierarchy. A task list added to the body of an issue helps users track the team’s work and the progress of the issue, which appears on various places in GitHub. If the task references another issue and another user closes that issue, it will automatically mark that task’s checkbox as complete. And users can easily convert any task requiring further tracking or discussion into an issue with a hover and a click.

Issue forms

There are many ways to create an issue in GitHub, and one of them is using issue templates, whether for a bug report, a feature request, or for tracking. The new issue forms allow users to create issue templates with customizable web form fields. They can now use optional and validated fields and values to better manage bugs, features, and general requests. So, anyone submitting a report can include specific, standard, and structured information. Issue forms are in YAML language using the GitHub form schema.

GitHub Issues going forward

GitHub Issues provides users a new way to plan their work, track issues, and discuss the things they build. Depending on feedback, general availability of features in beta will evolve but the software will continue to add improvements and new functionality. Aside from the new project timeline, future roadmap features will include role-based Projects permissions, copy/paste and bulk operations in project tables, and expanded support for draft issues.

The tools promise to give developers and software teams immediate insight into their projects where they spend much of their time—in GitHub.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

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