N2 Builds 389 / 390 – Links to Evernote and New Fonts

N2 Build 389 brings some minor but nifty additions.

  • Links to evernote:// within task notes are now clickable
  • Added some more font choices (calibri, tahoma, verdana…)
Screen shot 2012-01-24 at 6.12.10 PM

how to

N2 Build 390 fixes a bug that was introduced in Build 389 where changes made on one device was not being reflected in the UI of other devices.  Changes were being posted to the cloud just fine, but we’d botched the timestamp persistence in the local cache so changes from the cloud were sometimes being ignored.

NOTE: you must logout and then login for the Build 390 fix to take effect.  (Local cache gets cleared on logout, and then rebuilt on login.)

QUICK FIX: N2 Build 391 fixes a rare edge case where a repeating task could yield spawned tasks named (untitled) on save … also related to timestampage that we missed in build 390.

iPhone, Android & iPads oh my!

Mitch started a discussion in the forums about where we stand re: mobile apps.  I thought it would be good to cross-post this here for those who want to be in the know, but might not normally participate in the discussion forums.  -Elbert

Mitchell Amihod

January 16, 2012 @ 07:26 PM via web

There’s been a lot of talk about development scheduling of the iPhone, Android & iPad version of Nirvana app. I’d like to share a bit of the thinking behind the approach we’re taking. I’ve recently come on board, and am initially working on the mobile app side of things.

For development, we’re using the Titanium Mobile framework. One of the biggest wins with using Titanium is the fact that it’s javascript powered. Nirvana itself is a web app with all the logic coded up in javascript running client side. A large portion of the code powering Nirvana in your browser can be reused in the native app. This means we don’t have to maintain the logic behind Nirvana on numerous platforms. This is a big win.

Continue reading…

Fixings to Memory Overruns

File this post under technical fyi / cya / wtf.

For the past few weeks we’ve been working out the kinks in our server-side processing of large data sets relating to scheduled and recurring tasks, which has affected a small but significant subset of users.

In a nutshell, prior to build 358, N2 relied on each client (desktop/mobile browser session) to process nightly task movement locally, and then post any changes (scheduled to next, next to focus etc) to the cloud.  Since build 358 the primary responsibility for processing tasks has been moved back to the cloud, which then pushes changes out to the client. Role reversal.

The initial worker scripts we wrote to do all of this processing were a bit over-zealous in their consumption of memory. Kinda saw this coming, and to preempt it being a show-stopper we added some client-side code to detect if there are tasks that should have been processed but weren’t, with a “manual override” that conditionally appears in your Scheduled and Focus lists if relevant.

The appearance of the buttons “Move Scheduled Items Into Place Now” or “Bring Focus Up To Date Now” is N2’s way of letting you manually invoke the routine that moves tasks into place locally, without waiting for the cloud to do the processing. In an ideal world, you would never see these buttons as everything should be automatic. But you know… it’s like when the automatic doors don’t open when you walk up to them, at least you can still push ‘em open to get through. Or something like that.

I’ve been up all night monitoring and adjusting the worker scripts, and it looks like things are finally working as intended. But for folks in timezones GMT +1 ,0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5 and -6 (ergo, the 8 hours preceding this post) you may see the “Bring Focus Up To Date” button. Just click it if you see it and you’re good to go. Also, if you’re in the aforementioned time zones you may not have received your daily email poke today. Sorry about that.

Will continue to monitor things for awhile, and if things continue to look good we’ll be able to put this issue behind us and move on… to more fun things that all this server-side processing makes possible, like calendar feeds and the like. :-)

N2 Build 379 – New Themes / Collapsible Lists

Happy New Year Everyone!  (it’s not too late to say that right?)

It’s a new year and we’ve been having a blast in Nirvana land.  There’s a lot less noise from the agency side of the house (the holiday workload was intense, but wildly successful for our clients and for us), Mitch flew down to sunny Buenos Aires last week, Elbert and Romina will join him soon to escape the brutal winter (forecast says -30 tomorrow, yikes), David’s hanging out in Mexico as usual… iOS and Android apps are on the horizon, looking to remove the beta moniker soon, and the sunsetting of N1 (take 2) will be grounds for a serious party. Life is good.

So about that build that went out a few moments ago.  The blog title pretty much says it all, but do read the release notes if you want more details re: some of the other important though perhaps less sexy tweaks/fixes.

Screen shot 2012-01-13 at 6.02.18 PM

As always, feel free to join the party over in the forums.  A lot of great discussions, suggestions, tips and tricks.

P.S. We know that there are many people waiting in the queue for access to N2. We’re working as fast as we can to open our doors en masse. Shouldn’t be much longer.

N2 Build 358 – Cloud Intelligence / Client Bug Fixes

N2 Build 358 is a rather significant arrival point. It leverages Cloudmailin for email I/O, provides the foundation for plugging in to Chargify for billing, and required some not insignificant changes to our core data structures and subsystems. Took about a week to roll this one out as it had to be done in phases. Few seem to have noticed the steps we took along the way, which means things went smoothly.

Below are some topics that merit expansion, at least for those who like to know how their toaster works.


So we fought the good fight, but after too many months of mixed results trying to get client spawned repeating tasks to flawlessly synchronize amongst multiple disconnected devices through the cloud, we’ve decided to stop with the ivory tower bs and go back to what always works… brute force server-side horse power.

So with this release your browser no longer moves tasks between lists or calculates repeating patterns when you’re offline (unless you tell it to). The default behaviour is for all of this to happen automatically, server-side, centralized, by determining when midnight rolls around for you and your timezone, and then spawning repeating tasks and moving scheduled and due items accordingly.

As such, it is important that Nirvana knows what time it is for you. Nirvana now auto-adjusts your timezone settings at login, so once you’re on build 358 be sure to logout/login to ensure we’re compensating for daylight’s savings, or the fact that you recently moved coasts, or continents, and failed to send us a post card.


On the topic of repeating tasks, what has sometimes been referred to as “phantom task spawning” is something that can no longer happen starting from this build, as all repeating task calculations are now centralized in the cloud.

BUT HERE’S THE CAVEAT!!! — If you’ve been using N2 for awhile now, and happen to have a machine/device that you only occasionally use (weekend home, spare ipod/ipad etc) and if that device still has an OLD cached copy of N2 running on it, and you access your account without first flushing the cache and updating to the latest build, that old version may try to spawn tasks like a rabbit in heat.

So we know this is kind of a pain, but try and remember to visit https://app.nirvanahq.com/reset directly (do not load the app from a bookmark first, eh?), then reload a few times until you see build 358 or better.  Yeah, we know. Sucks. Sorry. C’est la vie. Yick. Bleaach.


On the email front we started fresh again. We are now using Cloudmailin (a great service) to manage and parse inbound messages, including (in the not too distant future) attachments. What this means for you today is that we no longer choke on international characters or long emails, or experience delays between sending an email and seeing it reflected in your account. It’s pretty damn near instantaneous. We’re stoked. Plus, with cloudmailin’s help we will be able to do things like comment threads via email replies for shared projects and the like… with ease and grace.

You’ll notice we have a new domain for this… yourinboxid@nirvanahq.in — so whatever your personal N2 inbox address is, replace the .com with .in and you’re good to go.  The old addresses will still continue to work, routed through the old email parsing system.  In the near future we’d like to let people create humane aliases like david@nirvanahq.in to make life simpler.


and because I didn’t feel like creating static screen comps for Mitch and his iOS spit-and-polish, spent an afternoon retooling the mobile web app stylesheets to render tasks as multi-line w/preview text in all list views, and gosh darn it, it’s pretty cool. Better than anything I could’ve produced in balsamiq, plus it’s actually real to boot. I know I know, the mobile web app is a dawg on older iOS devices, but being able to see what you’re supposed to be doing now (almost) rewards your patience.

multi-line tasks

multi-line tasks

That, plus a long list of bug fixes and quite a few UI touchups.

As always, release notes can be found here:

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