Thursday, October 08, 2009

MindManager: nasty bug with task roll-up

Mindjet’s MindManager is an exotic organizational/planning mind map app for XP and, to some extent, for OS X. Definitely for corporate use -- it’s expensive, proprietary file format, completely data locked (no data freedom here!) but very pretty.

Pretty matters in the corporate world.

I use it a lot, and today I ran into a nasty bug. I assigned a set of items task/hour info, then used the “roll up” feature to summarize them at a root concept.

The rollup displayed days instead of hours. That’s ok, but MM rounded up the task hours on every item to days – and the act is not reversible.

I lost all my item-specific task data.

I don’t think this always happens – it’s too obvious a bug. I do have a very large and complex map.

Still – be warned. If you’ve found this post because you ran into the bug please leave a comment. If I get a few I’ll rouse myself to file a bug report with MM (though I’m not sure they take bug reports).

3 comments:

Nigel Goult said...

John,

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you experienced but basically MindManager handles topic task durations and dates in a very specific way.

If you imagine a main topic with four sub-topics and each of these sub-topics is a task which lasts 1 day, when you apply the task role up to the main topic you will get different results based on the date of the task.

If all the tasks are 1 day, and they take place on the same day, (possible as they could be being done by multiple resources), the task role up will give a total of 1 day.

Try the same scenario with four topics each with a different date and the main topic then rolls up to display 4 days duration....

It is also the case that tasks with durations of hours do get rolled up into days for some strange reason.

Create two sub-topics with a duration of 1 hour each and when they are rolled up they will give 1 day.

To confuse you even more, create two topics with a 1 hour duration on each but with differing dates and they will role up to 2 days duration.

It is very confusing and basically is due to the way MindManager treats tasks durations. This might be what you experienced.

Still damn frustrating though...best to just turn it off ;-)

John Gordon said...

Wow, that is odd. Great comment btw.

The disturbing part was, however, that my entries in hours changed to days as a s/e of rolling them up.

So a task that had a duration of 1 hour changed to a duration of 1 day after I did the roll-up.

After turning off the roll-up feature the subtask duration remained 1 day.

It's a very repeatable bug and happens on any map. Really not just bad design since it makes no sense at all.

I agree ... turn it off!

Hope they fix it.

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to me - all the hour tasks get translated to 1 day.

The worst bit is that as soon as you put in a duration, it sets the start and end date (which are unset by default). After this, even if you set the duration back to zero, you cannot get rid of the start and end date unless you delete the subtopic and type it in again. Very frustrating. You will earn some karma by raising this with MM...