This link is invalid ... circular dependency

  • Shal

    Shal - 2009-09-17

    I created a new project in OpenProj, entered a list of tasks, added durations to them, and drag-and-drop some dependency links. Saved the file, went home. So far so good.

    Now it is the next day. I open the .pod file and attempt to continue creating dependencies. However, now at almost every attempt I'm given the "This link is invalid as it would create a circular dependency relationship with other tasks". Even in cases where that is manifestly untrue.

    For example, I have a task with no successors which I'm attempting to link to another task. That other task has exactly one successor, and the successor task has no successors. Yet I get the "circular" warning and am prevented from creating the link. WTF?

    I know the successors to each task exactly because I added that column to the table view. So I can see exactly what predecessors and successors there are.

    What am I missing? How could this software fail so badly on a trivial case like this? Does anybody actually manage any real projects with this software, or are we all just evaluating with toy examples?

    I'm particularly annoyed that the error prevents the creation of the link, rather than allowing it and then marking the tasks so that you might, for example, break the circle elsewhere in the chain. But that would be assuming there actually *were* a circle. In this case though, it looks like the software, version 1.4 (the latest for Windows, from the October .msi installer) is just plain broken.

    Help? Is there anything I can do to help further diagnose (and hopefully solve) this problem?

  • Dick Burke

    Dick Burke - 2009-10-16

    I have the same problem. Don't see that anyone has come up with a solution. I tried some things, but no success yet.

  • George Dishman

    George Dishman - 2009-12-15

    I have the same problem. To add some details, I also sometimes get the error if I try to delete an existing dependency. I have had it when I succeeded in deleting a dependency and then tried to add the same link back in, however I could restore it without a problem by using "undo".

    Quite often, I can add a new predecessor to a task if I first remove any successor and after adding the new link, I can sometimes add the successor back in.

    I am trying to use this for real on a project with about a hundred tasks but it is only at the preliminary estimating stage. As a first attempt to use OpenProj, I think the program will be ditched very swiftly, but I guess I will still count in their "1,250,000 people have dowloaded this" figure :(

  • Greg Harder

    Greg Harder - 2009-12-15

    Hi George,

    Here is a link to the tracked defect in our defect tracker around this issue and I've increased the priority of this defect to High so that we can get it fixed in our next release of OpenProj here in 2010.  There was a stated workaround in the defect that if you can try and let us know if it works that would be helpful.  The workaround isn't optimal but it will hopefully allow you to continue using the product until we can get the bug fixed.

    "If I outdent the tasks of the first group, add the link, and then
    re-indent them it resolves the problem."



  • George Dishman

    George Dishman - 2009-12-16

    Thanks Greg, that has helped a bit. I was able to outdent a key task and add a link which now means the hardware development isn't complete before the contract is awarded. A number of other lesser problems were also fixed that way. However, there is a side effect, outdenting a task causes it to fall to the bottom of the list. I managed to restore the ones that worked by cut-and-paste to where they should be in the hierarchy.

    However, in one case outdenting hasn't solved the problem, although perhpas there is a real circular ref that I haven't noticed yet. Anyway, it showed up another bug.

    The task I outdented went to the bottom of the project as usual. When I was still unable to add a successor for it, I used the "Undo" function to restore the indenting. However, the affected task then moved to the right but stayed at the bottom of the page so that it is now in a different group in the hierarchy.

    Luckily I saved the project before trying to alter this task but it seems to be another separate bug on the "Undo" function.

    Thanks again for your help, it has made a big difference.

  • George Dishman

    George Dishman - 2010-01-04

    Happy New Year Greg,

    Thanks for tackling this. I've discussed it with my manager and if it would help I can supply the project file provided I do a little work to remove any commercially sensitive data. I can't post it to the public forum but let me know if it would help when you get round to investigating and I'm sure we can find a way to send it to you.

    best regards


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