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Due Date sorting confusion: Action vs. parent Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Most of the time, when I assign due dates, I fill in the date on each action. Occasionally, I'll assign a due to a group of actions by filling in the date in the parent. I've never intentionally assigned due dates to both a parent and a child action.

A couple of weeks ago, I added two actions and assigned the same due date to each. What I didn't notice at the time was the second action was a child of the first.

The accidental parent/child relationship wasn't a problem until I tried changing the due date of the second (child) action in my "Due Soon" perspective (sorted by Due Date). The new date appeared in the Inspector, but date in the perspective (and the sort order) did not change.

I thought this was an OmniFocus database bug until I eventually discovered the unintended parent/child actions in my "Remaining Tasks" perspective (sorted by project).

It seems to me sorting by Due Date should give precedence to an action's explicit due date, not the parent's due date.

I'm reporting this in the iPad forum because that's where I changed the due date. After syncing with my OmniFocus for Mac, the problem appeared there, too.

-- Ward

[submitted as formal feedback]

Last edited by Ward; 2012-01-09 at 12:54 PM.. Reason: add iPad & Mac note
I do this intentionally sometimes when a project is generally due on a particular date but a specific event within it is due earlier.

I suppose I expect the earliest date from the event and its hierarchy of parents to apply, but I hadn't really thought about it until now.
It is implementing the conservative approach. A part of something can't very well be due after the whole! Now, when you move the due date of the child beyond the due date of the parent, it could throw up some sort of warning that you are making a change which will be effectively ignored; alternatively, I could see making a case for adjusting the parent's due date to match the child, if a warning is given and confirmation obtained. But I don't think you want to sort by the due date if it isn't the due date that will be enforced, and I don't think it is okay to blindly adjust the parent's due date to match the child's.
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
It is implementing the conservative approach. A part of something can't very well be due after the whole!
Excellent point.

I'll revise my original concern and ask that OmniFocus be more communicative when I make a mistake, in this case, setting a child's due date later than its parent's due date.

A warning would have saved my puzzling over an apparent OmniFocus bug that was really my error.

-- Ward
So here's a question building on that: if you move the parent's due date earlier than the child's, what should happen?
  • Silently "clip" due date to match parent's (current behavior)
  • Issue a warning that a child's due date will be invisibly adjusted
  • Alter child's due date to match parent
  • Crash and delete sync database :-)
Of course, there may be many affected children, which means any warning is probably going to be something frustratingly vague like the one you get when you try to delete something with hidden actions.

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