New design: "Automatically trim safety buffer" doesn't trim safety buffer

I attempted to add an auto-trimming safety buffer to my reading goal, which currently has 8 safe days.

I set the max safe days to 7, clicked update, and… nothing happened.
Thinking the page needed a refresh, I clicked over to my dashboard and back - still nothing.

I haven’t used this feature before - is this user error, or a bug?

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I think it might only apply once a day? I haven’t used the feature myself either so that’s just a guess.


It gets calculated overnight, so you’ll see the effects tomorrow.

Equally, I can see why you might expect it to apply immediately. I’ve added it as a feature card on our trello.

If you do need to see the effects today, then the safety buffer form just above max safe days can do that for you. That’s the feature formerly known as retroratchet, because it ratchets your road up to where your data is.

I use auto-trim all the time, particularly for goals that don’t need an aggressive slope, but which I don’t want to lose track of when I do a bunch of, say reading. Also for goals where I want every day to be an emergency day, I set max safe days to zero.


Ooh, yes, doing a one-time retroratchet when I decrease max safe days below current safe days would be nice. I got confused by this too the first time I used it.

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@drtall and @philip are correct, that the trimming happens overnight. It was already on Trello since someone else had been surprised by it:

It looks like @bee had some objections, I’m guessing along the lines of they’re technically two separate things and you might not always want it to happen. I moved it to the top of the Opinions/Musings column to discuss.


I certainly don’t think it should be immediate. That would ruin Philip’s use case of 0 max safe days, and it mucks up the goal whenever you have a data entry error.

IMHO this feature is in desperate need of a UI. There’s no indication that some safety buffer will be chopped on the next evening, and when it does get chopped there’s no indication that it happened (either when or how much). I don’t think making it instant is a substitute for giving it UI presence.


Definitely we need to think through the scenarios and add proper warnings, etc. Data entry error seems similar to the risk of misconfiguring retroratchet, so minimum would be to mirror those warnings.

Arguably, those warnings would make it less likely to screw up the maximum. Right now you could quietly set a zero by accident and then wonder at the runaway train you set in motion.

Why would it ruin my case of zero max safe days? Apart from setting it up near the end of a day when I might not want to wipe out the achievements so far…

The whole can of worms around events needs to be kept separate for sanity. Everything from derailment to road changes to breaks, some of which masquerade as datapoints, others of which are pretty much invisible even when you scrute the road matrix.

Aside: I searched trello before adding, of course, but failed to find that. I frequently find trello’s search function annoying since it happily retrieves done cards, archived cards, and cards from other boards. The first is understandable because that’s just a column name; the meaning is given by us humans rather than by the software. But I always wonder whether there’s a not-done card lurking somewhere in the list of results.

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Oh, I was thinking like if it was applied both instantly and continuously. e.g. you enter a data point which gives you a safety day and it is immediately re-trimmed to 0, so you will always derail.


Every action that decreases your safety buffer should prompt you, asking whether you understand what’s going to happen, and give you a way to back out of it.