Since announcing many of the new features of JIRA 4.2 at Atlassian Summit 2010 (see Keynote Day 1 @ 68:31), we have had tons of customers eager to get their hands it. After releasing three Early Access Previews, we received an incredible amount of feedback on the new and improved user experience, much of which we incorporated into the final product (stay tuned for more on that later).
For any of you who have not played around with the milestone release, I’m happy to let you know we have just upgraded our own public bug tracker, jira.atlassian.com, to the latest JIRA 4.2 Beta. So, I encourage you to check it out and let us know what you think.

Check out JIRA 4.2 on jira.atlassian.com?

JIRA 4.2 builds upon many of the usability improvements we made in JIRA 4.1 for issue tracking by further improving the view issue screen and adding the following functionality:

  • Issue search page – We have simplified the search pane on the left side of the issue search page and added expandable sections for more detailed searching options. We have also made the entire pane collapsible for additional real estate when working through a list of issues.
    As you move your mouse over the list of issues, you will notice each issue row is highlighted making it easy scan the list and read values across every column.
    When returning to the search results after drilling into a particular issue, you will notice a marker to indicate where in the list you previously left off.
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  • Operation dialogs – All common issue operations, whether performed from the search results or the issue itself, now use a dialog box instead of loading a whole separate page. This means less clicks when triaging a list of issues.
    This great time saver applies to all of the most common operations inlcuding assigning, commenting, labelling, linking, logging work, attaching files and transitioning workflow.
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  • Keyboard shortcuts – All of the navigational keyboard shortcuts introduced in JIRA 4.1 now work on both the issue search and the view issue screens. That means ‘j/k’ move up and down the search results, ‘Enter’ drills into an issue, etc.
    Plus, every operation mentioned above can be perform without ever touching your mouse. The most common actions have direct keyboard shortcuts, like ‘a’ for assign, ‘e’ for edit, ‘l’ for label and ‘m’ comment.
    Every other operation is reachable by simply typing ‘.’ followed by the name of the action or transition. The handy auto-complete will quickly narrow your choices to help speedy navigation. For example, to attach a file simply type ‘.’ to bring up the auto-complete control, and then ‘fi’ to quickly select “Attach File”.
    For a full list of keyboard shortcuts, just type ‘?’ at any time.
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You can have a go at these features right now on our public bug tracker instance.
There are loads more great features and improvements in JIRA 4.2. We expect to make the public beta available very soon, so stay tuned to the JIRA Blogs.

What do you think?

We’d love more feedback, so let us know what you think about the JIRA 4.2 Beta.