The team has been enjoying the summer by taking some well-deserved time off, and our skeleton crew has mainly been focusing on performance improvements, bug fixes, and other small improvements over the past weeks.
This release brings new features to help fast-growing teams manage added complexity without losing efficiency.
We build in public at Linear and put care into talking to users and getting feedback. We talk to hundreds of customers each week through our Slack community, Twitter followers, and to users who send in bug reports, requests, and questions through our in-app help modal which routes to our Front Inbox which we use for customer support.
We like to link to customer conversations in Linear issues so that we can keep track of requests and get back to customers when issues resolve. As we grew, we found it harder to do that. We weren’t alone as we learned a lot of our customers faced this same problem: they had Linear issues filled with links to customer conversations. Some also had started building separate Triage “teams” where they would file all new issues, then clean up, prioritize, and move them to the appropriate team.
So we built this user experience into Linear: Triage. All new issues from integrations, or members outside of your team, now go to a special team inbox called Triage. These issues have linked attachments back to the customer support tools where they were created.
The product team can choose how they triage issues but we’ve built in a simple workflow you can follow, too. Use keyboard shortcuts or the menu to accept an issue to the backlog, escalate it to the current cycle, merge, decline, or even snooze the issue for later. Declining an issue prompts you to leave a comment explaining why and you can keep an issue in the Triage inbox while you wait for more information.
To enable Triage, visit Triage section under your team's settings.
Working with your customers is a critical part of building a high-quality product. As companies scale, many customer requests are piped into customer success tools such as Intercom. This is why we're excited to add Intercom to Linear's growing set of integrations for customer support.
With the Intercom integration, your customer success teams can now quickly file bug reports into Linear from within Intercom and link feature requests to existing issues. New issues can be created directly from the Intercom interface and then triaged by your product team. We create links between the Intercom and Linear issue and show the issue's status and assignee in the Intercom sidebar. This makes it easy for your support team to view and comment on the Linear issue or share status updates with customers, and for the product team to reach out with follow up questions to the support agent or customer.
We also added an automation which re-opens and updates Intercom conversations after the issue has been resolved (or canceled), so your customer success team can get back to the customer to update them on the progress. The integration makes it easier for your product team to prioritize their work based on customer needs and build a tighter feedback loop with your customers.
Inspired by many of the new email tools, we've added snoozing of issue notifications to Linear's Inbox. Not all notifications require immediate action, or you might want to wait for more information, so now it's easier to get to Inbox Zero by snoozing notifications. Just hit h to snooze the notification for an hour, until tomorrow or until one of the other predefined options. You can also snooze notifications until the next cycle starts. Notifications are automatically un-snoozed if there are new comments or other activity in the issue.
We improved and simplified merging of duplicate issues. Now when you merge an issue into another issue, the duplicate issue's source attachments (e.g. Zendesk ticket) are moved to the canonical issue. This means that as you merge new duplicate issues into the canonical issue, all user reports are tracked in one place. If you have enabled customer support automation with Zendesk, all the relevant discussions will be reopened when the issue has been resolved. To keep things simple, we removed the ability to mark issues as duplicate from the canonical issue: you can only take the action to merge an issue from the duplicate issue, not the other way around.
Linear offers multiple ways to order issues in lists through view options, from manual to automatic. Historically we have defaulted to priority ordering and pushed issues without priorities to the top of the list to encourage you to set the prioirity. This week we added a new team level setting which lets you decide if the issues without a set priority are shown first or last. To change the setting, find the Priorities section under your team's General settings
There's one aspect of the layout of the application that we haven't been too fond of since the beginning: The way the issue page renders on larger screens. We didn't want to make the issue content column too broad to keep the issue content readable, so we extended the issue details pane to the side of the screen. But this never looked quite right on on larger window sizes. We've been putting off fixing this as we have bigger changes planned for the issue page, but this week we finally decided to fix it and not wait for a bigger redesign.
We're now centering the issue content when your window size grows beyond a certain size. The issue details panel will also grow proportionally with your screen size, giving you more room for all the labels your issue might have.
Today we’re launching a timeline visualization of your project roadmap in Linear. You can now plan, manage and track what needs to get done this month, quarter, and year, visually. With the roadmap timeline, see a high-level view of not just the projects in your organization but also the progress teams are making toward them and estimates for when projects will complete. It's a smart timeline synced to actual issue data that helps you avoid flying blind.
Viewing projects in the context of time gives you a better understanding of what’s going on and when projects will complete. It’s also easier to plan for dependencies, such as when someone will free up to work on a new project, and spot projects that are falling behind or where teams may need more time or to adjust the scope.
Draggable project bars let you quickly make changes to your roadmap. Move the project to adjust the start date, extend or shorten the project length, and move the project up or down on the roadmap to reprioritize the work compared to other projects. Any updates made on the timeline will sync across the workspace. Especially early on in the planning phases, you'll have a lot of back-and-forth discussions on projects. The timeline view makes it easier to collaborate live since everyone can see the same view, understand the visual design intuitively, and any changes update near instantaneously on everyone else's screen.
While a project is active, we'll generate an estimated completion date and show the projected date range on the timeline. These are the same estimates you see on project graphs and we calculate them using remaining issues and historical project velocity. A purple estimate shows up if the project has no set target date to give you a hint of when the project might complete, and a red estimate means the project is or is projected to take longer than the defined target date. The predictions take some time to generate after the project begins since they require recent project data, so you may need to wait a few days before it shows up. This live forecast gives you realistic and up-to-date information that you can use when making decisions on scope and planning.
✨ ProTip: To see a specific project's graph without leaving the roadmap, press the Space to launch peek while hovering over the project on the list or timeline.
Roadmap Timeline is available as a Linear Preview feature while we polish the last details. To enable it for your organization, press ⌘K and search for Timeline.
Over the past two months we received reports of slow performance affecting some of the larger Linear workspaces. We looked into the issues, and even made some changes to speed up the app, but determined that fixing the problem would require deeper work. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been heads down implementing fixes and planning larger changes to Linear's architecture to support the long term scalability of the service.
Unfortunately what makes Linear extremely fast for most users can also make it slow for others if we scale faster than expected, which we did. This stems from technical architecture choices we made to build Linear and their trade-offs. This didn't come as a surprise to us and we anticipated having to make changes sometime in the future, but not so soon and especially not after customers hit performance issues. We do our best to work on these issues before they can become a problem for an end-user.
This week we shared a pre-mortem that explains Linear's architecture, the performance issues these customers were hitting, and the steps we're taking in the near and short term to address them. While your workspace might not be affected, we wanted to share the document with all of you as we work through these challenges. If you hit performance issues, now or in the future, we'd like you to reach out so that we can fix them. The good news is that thanks to this work, Linear has gotten significantly faster for all users in the past two weeks. We consider speed a core feature of the product and will continue to treat it as a top priority as we scale.
attachmentsForURLquery now returns a paginated list of results instead of an array
attachmentIssuequery has been deprecated. Please use
Today we're rolling out the new search experience which features a more accurate search that searches over issue titles and descriptions as well as expanded functionality.
This new search experience replaces, improves, and consolidates all of our previous search options. It's your new go-to place to quickly find an issue with keywords or by typing its ID, for example,
LIN-123. Search terms are highlighted in the list of results to make relevant issues easier to find. Search now also surfaces archived and recently deleted issues. Your recent searches will show up on the search start page, too.
Search is designed to be quickly accessed using the / keyboard shortcut. You can use the new button in the main sidebar which replaces the previous search input box. You can also type
search in the command line to launch it.
Another addition is that we show recently viewed issues on the search start page, which are a convenient shortcut to open an issue. This new feature also comes with a new key binding OI. Try it out!
idis being deprecated, but will return the first attachment with a matching URL for a transition period.
This week we've been focusing on larger upcoming functionality, so we only have minor fixes and improvements.
Working with your customers is key to high-performing product teams. As companies scale, much of the customer requests are piped into customer success tools such as Zendesk. This is why we're excited to add Zendesk to Linear's growing set of integrations.
Your customer success teams can now quickly file bug reports into Linear from within Zendesk and link feature requests to existing issues. We also added automation which re-opens and updates Zendesk tickets after the issue has been resolved (or canceled), so your customer success team can get back to the customer to update them on the progress. The integration makes it easier for your product team to prioritize their work based on customer needs and build a tighter feedback loop with your customers.
On this Thursday, April 22nd we experienced a prolonged outage. The outage started at 7:25am UTC and lasted for roughly 3 hours during which time Linear was unavailable completely, or in offline mode which caused change syncing to be delayed.
The outage started due to an automatic vacuum process in one of the key tables in our Postgres database. We were getting close to running out of transaction IDs and Postgres forced an autovacuum on us even though the functionality was disabled for the table. Because we are running a managed Postgres instance on GCP, we weren't able to stop the autovacuum process and were forced to wait for it to complete. Once that issue was resolved, we encountered additional issues when trying to bring services online, due to the large number of clients trying to connect at the same time.
We are still investigating the exact details around this and plan to write a longer and more detailed post mortem once our investigation is ready. If you're interested in learning more, follow our Twitter for updates.
UPDATE: Post-mortem is now available
We love launching big new features, but we also love making smaller quality-of-life improvements. This week we focused on smaller improvements across the application. Here are a few highlights.
You can now restrict your OAuth applications to your own workspace by making them private. This is helpful if you have internal applications which rely on Linear as the data source and you need to support authentication for different users. Many services, like Retool, also support OAuth as an API authentication method out of the box as our implementation follows the standard patterns.
We have changed Linear's command menu (Cmdk) to now support opening a specific issue if you write, or paste, its ID to the menu. It even works with our git branch names so you can copy branch names from your terminal and quickly open the issue in Linear. This new implementation replaces issue search inside the command menu which we decided to remove as it was clunky to use and regular search (/) works better for that use case.
Inspired by a user suggestion on Twitter we replaced a sub-issues icon with the status of sub-issue completion in the sub-issues list. This should make it easier to scan and visualize progress. Thanks @maximmart!
Last year we announced auto-closing and auto-archiving of issues. Now we are extending the auto-archive feature to projects and cycles.
One of the core principles behind the Linear Method is to "keep a manageable backlog." This applies to issues as well as cycles and projects, and adding sensible automation to help you achieve this lets you focus on the things that really matter.
If a project or cycle has been completed more than X months ago (this time period is configurable) and all the issues inside it have been archived, the project or cycle will also be archived. The feature is automatically enabled for all teams that have auto-archiving for issues set up. If you want to enable it for your team or change auto-archiving settings, navigate to Settings > Team > Workflow.
We made it possible to delete issues. Sometimes issues are created by mistake, and it makes no sense to keep them in the system. You can now delete them by pressing ⌘⌫ (or ⌦ for Windows and Linux users). Deleted issues will be available in the "Recently deleted" view which you can find through the command menu. Issues are permanently deleted after 14 days.
As part of this change, we removed the option to manually archive issues. We found that most users used the archive as a trash can for issues that they wanted to delete. At the same time, auto-archiving puts older completed issues inside the archive, which meant the archive served two disparate purposes.
We wanted to make the concepts around archiving and deleting issues more straightforward. We think that the archive is something that Linear should manage for you while deleting issues is your own choice.
As your company grows, you'll likely need to restrict access to a portion of your issues. For example, one team might be working on something that is supposed to be a surprise to the rest of the company, or the team might be forced to sign NDAs with an integration partner and keep details of their work hidden even from the rest of the company.
Whatever your reason to hide some issues from the rest of the workspace, you can now create private teams and have more fine-grained control over who can join the team.
When you create a private team or make an existing team private, you become the owner of the team. Only the team owner and workspace admins can invite users to private teams, and only active team members can see issues in a private team. To control access, we have a new members section under team settings.
A couple of months ago, we launched importers in preview, allowing you to quickly import your issues, labels, projects, epics, and more from Jira, GitHub, Asana, and Clubhouse directly into your Linear workspace. Since then, we have continued to improve the importing experience. You can now customize how you would like to import issues and team members, as well as see a preview of what data will be imported with the new migration assistant.
If you are an admin, visit your workspace's import settings to get started.
Speed is a feature. While we try to pay attention to performance when adding new functionality, regressions and unoptimized codepaths do happen. Now and then, we look at critical aspects of the application and refactor, or re-architect portions of our tech stack to become more performant.
This time around, we took a look at startup performance for pre-warmed clients. With pre-warmed, we mean clients that spin up for a subsequent time and thus already have all the workspace data stored in the local database. Pre-warmed startups account for most sessions, making it a great candidate for us to sink our teeth into.
We concentrated our efforts around the following:
This resulted in a big improvement in startup performance and memory consumption, especially on Safari and other browsers and our desktop applications. On our own workspace, which has around 4000 issues and hundreds of projects, we saw the following improvements:
We have improved code bundling by targeting only modern browsers, better dead code elimination, and code splitting. We've also made sure to preload code before it's needed. This means we load around 50% less code (30% when compressed). This results in ~10-30% faster page load times from a cold cache, depending on network speed.
Keyboard shortcuts are frequently used and loved by our power users. They let you control all of the common (and much of the less common) functionality of Linear and make the application a lot faster to use. To get more users using keyboard shortcuts, we've redesigned our keyboard shortcuts help screen and made it searchable. You can press?to bring up the help window, or you can press the Help & Feedback section at the bottom of your sidebar and then select Keyboard shortcuts.