Changelog

New updates and improvements to Linear.


GitHub workflow configuration

GitHub integration is one of our time-saving features in Linear. It lets Linear manage the status of issues based on associated Github pull requests. Previously, if you had the integration enabled, a pull request would automatically move associated issues into the In Progress status once the PR has been opened, and into the Completed status upon PR merge.

We wanted to give teams more control over their workflows and now you can customize the automation by setting your own workflow status for PR open and merge events. For example, to separate issues waiting for a code review, create a In Review status for your team and associate PR open to trigger this status. You can also omit the automation for each step and configure automation for each team separately.

We also improved how multiple pull requests per issue are treated. If your issue has several open pull requests open, we'll wait for all of them being merged until we trigger the merge automation step.

Cycle improvements

Cycles are still under active development and available under Developer Preview option in your personal settings. This week we shipped several cycle improvements:

  • Weekends are now drawn to estimation chart, and also taken into account with estimation calculations
  • Several fixes to cycle progress calculation and drawing
  • Issues are associated with the cycle if the issue is created from the cycle view
  • When enabling cycles an active cycle is created instead of having to wait a week for the planned cycle to start
  • Issues in My Issues are grouped by cycle and ordered by cycle start date
  • Improvements to keyboard shortcuts when adding issues into cycles
  • Fixed workflow ordering on cycle views

Other improvements and fixes

  • Better dark mode color scheme and other style tweaks
  • @mentions and links are now more visible in comments and issue descriptions
  • Added links to toast messages when moving issues between views for easier navigation
  • Move visible default label colors and styling in lists
  • Added issue filtering options for priority and labels
  • Bulk actions for issues are now shown in more views if they share the same team
  • Fixes to toast messages when inviting new teammates
  • Fixed issue with keyboard shortcuts not always working in the issue view
  • Several fixes to action menu
  • Fixed issue saving when image upload is still in progress

Cycles

You might know them as sprints, but we decided to call them cycles to give them meaning outside of the agile methodology. Whether you work in agile ways or not, cycles provide a great way of planning and measuring iterative development cycles. Take some time each week (or weeks, depending on how long you configure your cycle to be) to plan what your team is supposed to work on next, then let Linear measure how you're executing towards that goal.

You can enable cycles in your team settings, but need to first opt-in to see Developer preview in your preferences. You'll choose how long each cycle is and what day of the week they start and Linear takes care of the rest. Cycles are automatically created and closed based on the selected schedule and any unfinished work in each cycle will automatically be moved to the next cycle.

Estimation

You can now opt in to show time estimates for your issues. Estimation complements cycles and lets your team communicate the complexity of each issue.

Turn on estimates in the team settings. You can choose between a number of ways to estimate issues. Use a linear scale, exponential scale, Fibonacci scale, or use T-Shirt sizes to describe the complexity of each issue. Regardless of what scale you choose, cycles will automatically compute the overall effort required to complete the cycle and update its graphs accordingly.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Added action to set estimates: Shifte
  • Added actions to assign the cycle of an issue: Shiftc
  • Added an action to assign an issue to the active cycle: ShiftCommandc
  • The issue lists will show the estimate and cycle of each issue
  • Issues are automatically moved out of the backlog when added to a cycle
  • Issues are automatically removed from a cycle if move back to the backlog
  • Added toasts when you move issues between active and the backlog so that issues just don't disappear on you

Backlog and Active Issues

Managing a large number of issues can be challenging if you keep them in one place. We added Backlog as the place for new issues and ideas. These are issues that have yet to be prioritized and put on your team's roadmap. Backlog will show up in the sidebar along with other issue categories. By default you'll have one backlog workflow status but you can add more of them in team settings.

When your team is ready to work on issues in Backlog, move them into Active Issues. To make easy to move issues between Backlog and Active Issues, two new shortcuts are available:

  • Move to Active Issues: CmdShifta
  • Move to Backlog : CmdShiftb

Select All & bulk actions toolbar

We added "Select All" check-boxes for each issue group which will select all issues in the group. You can (de)select individual issues by un-checking or by pressing x shortcut.

After selecting a group of issues, a new bulk action toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen to make it easier to perform common actions.

Pro tip: Did you know you can also select ranges with Shift + click?

Other improvements and fixes

  • Changed "Copy git branch" shortcut into CmdShift. to support Windows
  • Fixed archiving issue workflow states
  • Fixed opening pull requests in the desktop application
  • Improved search for certain actions in the command menu

International keyboard shortcut improvements

Keyboard shortcuts have been improved for non-US keyboard layouts. As part of the improvements, a few shortcuts were remapped to different shortcuts:

  • Copy issue ID: Cmd.
  • Copy issue git branch: CmdShift.

New version for Linear desktop application

As part of macOS 10.14.5 Apple tightened security requirements for applications. New version of the Linear desktop app has been notarized to match the requirements. If you had issues running the application before, please download the new version here: https://linear.app/download

Improved issue details bar

The UI is simplified and the drop-downs are replaced with the command menu actions.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Comment text is now included in desktop notifications
  • Rename issues from the command menu
  • Ability to copy url to the team. You can find it in the more menu by the team
  • Fix to CmdEnter / Escape outside editor
  • Fix to back button behavior in issue compose
  • Removed showing of duplicate toasts
  • Removed empty grouping headers

Grouping headers

The open and closed issue views received UI improvements in the form of grouping headers. While issues have always been sorted primarily based on their workflow status, the new headers make this a lot more clear.

Timezone

In settings, teams can now define which timezone most of their people are working from. This setting doesn't affect much yet but will be important once you can, for example, define what day of the week a sprint should start on.

On that note, don't expect too many updates in the next few weeks as we're working hard behind the scenes to build out support for our next big features: Backlogs, sprints, and projects.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Added some missing tooltips to the sidebar
  • Issue lists have better performance
  • Editing the issue title no longer has cursor problems
  • Check-boxes for issues in the list view have a larger click-area
  • Fixed exceptions when looking at issues that are over a year old
  • Cleaned up the layout of forms in settings
  • Updated icon buttons to be more consistent across the application
  • Pressing down the command or shift keys after having changed the selection via the keyboard on Safari no longer resets the selection.

New sidebar design

We re-designed the sidebar to be more compact and scalable for upcoming features. It now shows more information and teams are sectioned better. Under each team, you can find their issues grouped into open and closed views. You'll also have the ability to see all issues in a list in addition to the existing board view.

Together with the sidebar, we improved headers for better navigation and issue counts. We also added issue filters to all list views so it's easier to drill down issues based on different parameters.

Copy issue ID and git branch name

To make it faster to copy the issue ID or suggested git branch name, we added icons to the issue view sidebar for them. You'll still be able to get them through the action menu but this change should make copying easier for users who prefer to use a mouse.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Unified view components for different lists
  • App icon for iOS devices when saved to the home screen
  • Improved Slack notifications
  • New view for editing issue states

First-time user experience

This week we made major improvements to the sign in and first-time user experience: everyone in your team will now get an introduction to the command menu and other Linear features.

If you are an existing user, you can initiate first-time introduction through the command menu by searching for "welcome tutorial."

Keyboard shortcuts

Redesigned the keyboard shortcuts page with a new design and added all the supported shortcuts. Hit ? to bring up the keyboard shortcuts.

Emoji autocomplete

Typing : in any of the issue descriptions or comments now brings up the emoji autocomplete.

Slack /linear command

In addition to the "More actions" message action, you can now open the new issue dialog with /linear command to file new issues quickly from Slack.

Loading state

While we don't like seeing loading states in the app, having one for the initial load and browser refresh is necessary. We improved design with a subtle logo animation.

Other improvements & fixes

  • Updated favicon
  • Fixed bugs in GitHub integration and removed source code access from permissions
  • Fixed keyboard navigation in Inbox
  • Fixed sub-issue actions to focus on the correct sub-issue
  • Moved add team functionality to settings page

Creating new issues via email

This week we added the ability to create new issues via email. Perfect for when one of your users emails you a bug report. Simply forward it to your team's email address (you can find the correct email address in your team's settings). The subject of the email becomes the issue's title and the body the description.

Board enhancements

Boards received some love this week, too. You can now easily archive all issues in a board column using the column's drop-down menu. Perfect for when you want to archive all completed issues at the end of the week. Next to the drop-down menu, there's a nifty short-cut to creating new issues for the column.

Jump to an issue via the command menu

You can now use the command menu to jump directly to an issue if you now it's identifier. For example, if you type lin-123, the command menu will search for an issue with that identifier and let you instantly navigate to it.

Other improvements & fixes

  • Fixed issues potentially appearing in two board columns at the same time when creating them
  • Overly long issue titles now don't break layout anymore
  • Synchronization across users of the organization now works more reliably

Linear desktop app

We released our desktop application for macOS this week. It uses the same Javascript/React application we build for the web, but with the Electron wrapper you get nicer notifications, dock badge for unread messages, and most importantly: it's always on. Together with the new application we refreshed our logo (thanks @maxvoltar!) and redesigned the login page.

New settings

Settings views have been combined into one area. This makes navigating personal and team settings easier. GitHub and Slack integration capabilities are also explained in more detail.

Better notifications

We added emails for unread notifications. They are only sent if you were to miss them in the desktop app. We do want to keep your email inbox for more important messages.

Desktop notifications have been redesigned so that titles and descriptions are easier to read. Issues marked as Urgent will also require user interaction as we don't want you to miss them.

Other improvements

  • Inbox's "mark all as read" has been re-mapped to ShiftEsc shortcut and it's now also outside the Inbox view.
  • New action for adding a comment to an issue was added CmdShiftM
  • Internal links have been fixed and they will load significantly faster. You can also paste an issue ID into a description or comment and it's linked automatically.
  • Issue actions have been cleaned and un-relevant ones have been removed from the new issue view.

New features

Option to display usernames or real names

Those of us who grew up with IRC, forums and games, we love display and nicknames. To give more control over display and real names in Linear, we added a setting to prefer one or the other. If you use display names, you can still see the other user's real name in their profile by clicking the name.

Improvements

  • Improved git branch name generation by changing format and breaking at full words.
  • Better error experience for frontend exceptions and ability to reset the client.
  • User autocomplete now supports both usernames and display names.
  • New welcome email for newly signed up users.
  • Fixes related to Safari on iOS. We improved the experience for iPad but are still working on mobile phone support.