CR942: A series of enhancement requests elated to filters and queries.

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Problem:

CR942: A series of enhancement requests elated to filters and queries.

Resolution:

  • Product Name: Starteam
  • Product Version: 2005
  • Product Component: Win32 Client
  • Platform/OS Version: NA

Description:

A series of enhancement requests elated to filters and queries:
Here are the details
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1) The term "Filter" implies including and excluding certain items. However, in StarTeam this is used whether or not there is a Query to filter those items. The term has been confusing for people.
2) The only thing you can easily select is a Filter. There is no easy way to select a Query (there is no drop-down list in the toolbar). Therefore some "Filters" are named according to the Queries they represent (e.g. "Open Bugs", "My Tasks", "Files To Check In").
3) There is no Named Sorting and Grouping option. Therefore some "Filters" are named according to the Sorting and Grouping that they represent (e.g. "By Priority and Severity", "By Responsibility", "By Status")
4) Where there is a need to have a single Query with multiple different Sorting/Groupings, you have to create multiple Filters. This is annoying, creates a long list, and creates wordy names of Filters (e.g. "Files to Check In By Locking User", "Files to Check In By Status"). This is further complicated by the fact that by this point the whole name cannot be displayed in the drop-down anyway.
5) Sometimes a compound query such as Open Bugs:((status = Open) OR (status = New) OR (status = In Progress)) is created to simplify a group of conditions that describes a common grouping of items. However, if you need to combine this query with other queries then you need to create a new query. For example, "Open Bugs Assigned to Me", "Open Bugs Entered This Week". This is tedious and error-prone, especially when combining multiple compound queries.
6) There is no way to include a reference to another Query in a Query. This would avoid some of the complications listed in 5 and would provide a more usable Query.
7) There should be the ability to include value references in the Value field of a query element. These value references could be names of other properties of the item, or they could be special values. For example, Responsibility = {current-user}, Addressed In = {latest-build}, Entered On = {today}.
8) Some queries such as "Flagged Items" would typically apply in combination with other queries. As such, they should have their own control separate from the drop-downs.

The following is a list of enhancements that would make the interface much more usable:
1) Include the concept of a Named Sorting/Grouping, and add a combobox.
2) Allow multiple Queries to be selected from the drop-down (display as "Multiple" or "User-Defined"). This would allow ad-hoc combinations of these queries.
3) Do away with the idea of a Filter, or rename it to something that makes more sense.
4) Allow query references as elements of the Query Nodes. For example, My Open Tasks = (Query = My Task AND Query = Not Closed).
5) Allow value references within Query Elements to refer to special values or other property names.
6) Make a separate control (e.g. checkbox) on the toolbar for "Display Flagged Items Only".
7) Optionally, allow any number of queries and a sorting and grouping to be added and subtracted to a visual element (maybe the toolbar?) dynamically.
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Answer/Solution:

The enhancement request has been filed and is pending a review by engineering for inclusion into future releases of Starteam.


Author: Paul Goh

Old KB# 28175
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