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Topic priorities? A Pritority tab, sort by priority?

By KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-05-12 22:52:50.310Z

To me, it'd be nice if topics could be assigned priorities. There's a bunch of ideas and problems here in this forum, and currently they're sorted "randomly" based on latest-activity, or creation-date.

Would it be nice to have, in addition to Activity, Popular, New, an optional Priority tab, where you could see all topics, sorted in the order they're planned to actually be done?

The Kubernetes people use these priorities: (see: https://github.com/kubernetes/kubernetes/labels?page=5&sort=name-asc )

priority/awaiting-more-evidence
   Lowest priority. Possibly useful, but not yet enough support to actually get it done.

priority/backlog
   Higher priority than priority/awaiting-more-evidence.

priority/important-longterm
   Important over the long term, but may not be staffed and/or may need multiple releases to complete.

priority/important-soon
   Must be staffed and worked on either currently, or very soon, ideally in time for the next release.

priority/critical-urgent
   Highest priority. Must be actively worked on as someone's top priority right now.

To me, these priorities seem well choosen. Because there's simply no way to assign high priorities, to less important but urgent things. Which I've read is otherwise a mistake people do: if something is urgent, but not particularly important, people tend to think "Urgent!" and prioritize it before long term things that are important for real. However, the Kubernetes priority levels, "force" you to "obviously" place urgent-but-not-important things in the Backlog or Awaiting-Evidence.

I have in mind to let the priority be a 64 bit floating point number between 0 and 100. Initially, one wouldn't see these numbers anywhere — and one can assign only 5 priorities, namely those from the Kubernetes project. That'd be:

Undecided           = 10.0
Nice-Later          = 30.0
Important-Later     = 50.0
Important-Soon      = 70.0
Critical-Urgent     = 90.0

And in the distant future, it would be possible to, in the new Priority tab, drag-and-drop reorder topics, to change their relative priority — like in this video: https://github.blog/2016-07-05-reorder-issues-within-a-milestone/. Their numeric values would then be incremented/decrtemented, so they appear in the order you want.

What do you think? You see any problems with all this?


Issue trackers sometimes have both a Priority and a Severity. I think communities who want an issue severity, can implement that themselves, via topic tags.

(Severity is not so well defined what it means? Is for example a software crash bug, that happens just once every 3rd year, of Critical severity, because it's a crash? or Medium severity, because it happens almost never? However, Priority is more well defined, and Talkyard can actually do something with it — namely sorting topics, in priority order. Related: https://help.manuscript.com/8593/priority-vs-severity "Priority vs. Severity" by FogBugz)


GitHub makes it possible to sort topics by priority, but only if 1) you first create "Milestones", and then 2) add each issue, to a milestone. To me, this seems like extra work? Just having a Priority number, seems simpler. Communities who want Milestones, can implement that themselves, via topic tags?

Also, not sure if I totally like the idea of Milestones. instead, I prefer working for a few weeeks or a month, and then releasing whatever I've have had time to complete, during that time. Rather than guessing which tasks I'll have time to complete, and try to insert their topics into the correct milestone, beforehand. B.t.w., related discussions over at GitHub, where people ask for issue priorities: https://github.com/isaacs/github/issues/260 "Please allow easily assigning (and re-ordering) issues by priority", and https://github.com/isaacs/github/issues/472: "Add the possibility to set a "priority" value to issues".


Task boards, like Trello and GitHub boards, could be nicely integrated with Talkyard's topic priorities? In Trello etc, there's typically a Backlog list — and the Talkyard Priority of a topic, could determine its sort order, in such a Backlog / things-to-consider-doing-next list? If later on there'll be some integration between Talkyard, and to-do-boards like Trello.

  • 1 replies
  1. C
    Christian Scheuer @chrscheuer2019-05-18 11:17:38.085Z

    Priorities is a great feature, I generally like your thoughts without having gone through them too thoroughly though.
    I personally think tags is a more flexible and generic feature, and ultimately priorities could be looked at as a specialization of tags, which is why I would start by implementing tags (it solves more use cases, AND it might provide an implementation base for priorities to be built on top of).