This is a read-only archive. Find the latest Linux articles, documentation, and answers at the new Linux.com!

Linux.com

Feature

Can open source software free your mind?

By Sean Michael Kerner on September 13, 2004 (8:00:00 AM)

Share    Print    Comments   

How do you organize all those little notes and ideas that you have spread out all over the place in a way that you can actually use them and make have them make some sense? That's one of the goals of a class of software known as mind mapping. Once the realm only of high-priced commercial applications, there is now at least one open source option. It's called FreeMind and it's licensed under the GPL.

Wikipedia defines a mind map as "a picture that represents semantic connections between portions of learned material." Instead of a linear approach, where you write a bunch of stuff in no particular order on a piece of scrap paper, a mind map organizes ideas from a central theme into a tree-like branch structure, sort of like a table of contents but much more fluid and dynamic in that the map "folds" and can also be linked in non-linear ways. The general premise of mindmapping software is that it will help you to organize, link, and integrate thoughts. Mind mapping software can be used for brainstorming and conceptualization, where you've got ideas you need to put down, structure, expand and connect.

FreeMind is a Java application; you need to be running Java 1.4. It's available for Windows, Mac OS X, and *nix platforms with simple installers (a .exe for Windows, and on *nix, freemind.sh). The core documentation is readable in a mind map format, so right from the get go you can be exposed to this different way of looking at ideas. I'm used to simple README-type documentation, so it probably took me longer to scan the FreeMind docs to figure out what I was supposed to be doing than it should have. The File Mode on FreeMind allows you view any local folder structure as a basic mind map as well (though I'm not sure why you'd want to do that).

One the most daunting things I face everyday is a blank screen that needs to be filled with content. I'm used to just spewing a jumble of thoughts into a text editor (or the aforementioned scraps of paper that I never can find) and then afterwards starting the process of organizing those thoughts and ideas into a structure that makes sense for whatever project I'm working on. With FreeMind, the process forces you by the very nature of how the mind map is created to connect your ideas as part of the process.

FreeMind starts with the same blank screen that a text editor starts with, so if you haven't got anything in your mind it's not going to automagically provide you with inspiration.

Adding content is a simple matter of having a start point (root) and then adding branches and then nodes. A reasonable array of style and formatting tools is part of FreeMind so your mind map doesn't need to look like an org chart or simple table of contents. These styles range from the simple "fork" (much like a dash) and bubble to a full-blown "cloud" that can engulf the style of an entire branch of your map. A map can also include local or external links and can import data from other sources (e.g. from other mind maps or directories on your local hard drive). The mind map also "folds," which is a fancy term for expandable (and contractible) menus, or in this case tree/branch structures.

FreeMind includes an Export to HTML feature, which essentially turns your mind map into a standard hierarchical text structure. If you want to preserve all the hard work you've done and show and share the mind map that you've created on the Web, you should use instead the FreeMind-browser applet, a separate download, which allows your maps to be shown in all their glory. You cannot edit the mind map through the browser applet, however.

FreeMind currently lacks the ability to export a mind map in an image format, and doesn't have a direct mechanism to print PDF files either. Perhaps most seriously though, FreeMind does not have any undo functionality.

>From a practical point of view, FreeMind does allow you to try out a different way to structure and visualize content, which for some may be interesting in and of itself. By visualizing your content and its various connections in a fluid way you may be able to gain a better grasp of it all.

However, it's important to note that FreeMind is not a content creator. It does not integrate with any sort of project management or code versioning (CVS) tool. It also currently does not have any sort of permission- based Web-editable map functionality, which makes Web collaboration on a FreeMind map using FreeMind tools impossible.

Though the FreeMind project shows promise, it is definitely lacking in a number of critical areas. There are a few other open source mind mapping application out there, but none of them compare favorably to FreeMind. If you're willing to open your mind to non-free software, there's always the commercial mainstay Mind Manager, which claims to integrate well with other office productivity tools and project management applications.

Of course if you really want to free your mind, you could always seek out a pointy-eared humanoid and suggest a mind meld.

Share    Print    Comments   

Comments

on Can open source software free your mind?

Note: Comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for their content.

Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 03:41 AM
Come on!. This is yet another case of Open Source copying the commercial software and driving them out of business. Can you morons think of developing something original rather than make life tough for the commercial programmers to compete with bull-sh*t free software?

#

Absolutely!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 04:19 AM
Can you morons think of developing something original. .<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.

What, you mean like web servers and clients, email, the internet itself (TCP/IP, UDP/IP), chat, <A HREF="http://www.nat.org/dashboard/" title="nat.org">implicit query</a nat.org>, DNS, etc?

Many fundamental advances in computers are a direct result of free software. In every case, they have generated more wealth than they have destroyed.

As a programmer, I'd rather program free software than proprietary software. I've found it *easier* to find work during this economic downturn than my proprietary-only brethren. And really, outsourcing destroys more US jobs than Free software development.

Not that outsourcing is necessarily bad, either.

#

Re:Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: tsg on September 14, 2004 04:36 AM
It's called the free market. Thanks for playing.

#

Re:Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 04:57 AM
Good, then you can give me access to your bank account so that I can withdraw money from your account - I should have freedom of taking your money....it's what free markets are all about.

#

Abraham Lincoln said...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 05:46 AM
Better thought to be a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Guess what... lol, your posts make me happy. Adapt or die.

#

Re:Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: David D. Scribner on September 14, 2004 05:02 AM
"Can you morons think of developing something original rather than make life tough for the commercial programmers to compete with bull-sh*t free software?"

I hope you're not referring to the commercial application Mind Manager as being "original", though your comments make it sound like you might very well work for the company that produces that application.

Although I have tried neither of the apps mentioned in this article, but since you bang on the FOSS app as being "unoriginal", they both seem to embody the element of an old, old DOS application I used back in the '80's called Tornado Notes (which I understand is still alive, though now known as InfoSelect from MicroLogic, and has incorporated graphics).

It was a free-form database (flat-file, back then, and may still be) that allowed a user to place their ideas in notes that could be easily tied to others if chosen, and was great for those impromptu ideas, brain storms or even shopping lists... literally allowing the user to document what they needed as it came up, and tie it in with literally whatever else they chose to, easily recalling it and any other data it was tied to in a split second.

So, with that concept in mind, just *what* commercial application could you be referring to that is claiming originality to this concept? You can't be thinking Mind Manager, as that seems to be a take off of Tornado Notes/InfoSelect as far as I can tell. If that *is* the case, then what do we have? Oh no, a *commercial* program that is ripping off an idea from another *commercial* program, and possibly putting them out of business. My word! The horrors! Can't commercial vendors come up with anything original! We have to put a stop to this right _now_!

In other words... Come on! Get real! And as the other poster replied, there are literally scores of commercial applications that started their life by “ripping off” someone else's ideas used in a free application or other commercial applications. Quattro Pro ripped Lotus 123, Mirror II ripped CrossTalk XVI, pcAnywhere ripped CarbonCopy, which in turn ripped Remote, and MS Windows, GEM Desktop and Geoworks Ensemble ripped Apple OS, who ripped XEROX Palo Alto... should I go on, or is your brain working again?

#

Been there, done that: 1968 demo

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 15, 2004 07:45 AM
Speaking of reinventing the wheel:



On December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, presented a 90-minute live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, they had been working on since 1962. The public presentation was a session in the of the Fall Joint Computer Conference held at the Convention Center in San Francisco, and it was attended by about 1,000 computer professionals. This was the public debut of the computer mouse. But the mouse was only one of many innovations demonstrated that day, including hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking, as well as shared-screen collaboration involving two persons at different sites communicating over a network with audio and video interface.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...


The above summary only gives slight mention to one of the apps involved, a hierarchial outline manager that bears a slight resemblance to the parent article. Recommended:


<A HREF="http://sloan.stanford.edu/mousesite/1968Demo.html" title="stanford.edu">http://sloan.stanford.edu/mousesite/1968Demo.html</a stanford.edu>

#

Re:Been there, done that: 1968 demo

Posted by: David D. Scribner on September 16, 2004 04:44 AM
Excellent link! I've added it to my other "historical computing" bookmarks, and will continue to peruse the site... lots of valuable info and insight to be found here. Thanks!

#

Is competition acceptable?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 05:13 AM
Granted, I am about to make a big assumption based on inferences from your above statement. so, correct me if I am wrong. However, I am curious for your point of view.

Based on your statement, if Company B releases a closed product that competes directly with a closed product from Company A, for an equivalent price, this would be acceptable to you.

If Free Software Group B relases a Free Software product that competes directly with a closed product from Company A, this is not acceptable to you. This is bad.

What if Company B releases a closed product that competes directly with a closed product from Company A, for half the price, would that be acceptable to you? At what point is the cut-rate price of Company B low enough that it is not competition but unacceptablly "make[s] life tough for the commercial programmers" at Company A?

In other words, let's suppose you are selling lemonade for $0.50 a cup. Now, let's suppose my father owns a lemon tree grove so the lemons cost me nothing and I set up a stand next to yours. What artificially high price should I set for my lemonade to make sure I don't "make life tough" for you and your little business? $0.40? $0.25? What if I just want to help people quench their thurst so I give my lemonade away for no cost, am I just being mean? Do the people now getting the lemonade for no cost think I am mean? Are you saying it is somehow unethical to provide no cost goods to the public because I am putting you out of business? Since when is it MY job to maintain YOUR business model?

Go rent "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" starring Gary Cooper. (http://imdb.com/title/tt0027996/) It's a little movie about a simple guy that inherits a fortune and decides to give it all away to people suffering in the Great Depression. Greedy people then attempt to stop him from giving the money away because, well, he must be crazy.

If you were in that movie, you would not be cast in the role of Mr. Deeds.

PS The 2002 movie remake "Mr. Deeds" starring Adam Sandler is a poor representation of the original. Gary Cooper is a much better actor, besides.

#

Re:Is competition acceptable?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 05:46 AM
OK since you've actually put some thought into your response, I'll answer you.

It's hard to compete with Free but if there was a price on the open source solution - even $10, then we closed source programmers can say, hey, here's what you get for $10 and here's what you get for $100 if you buy our stuff. If it's free, you have no idea what people will go though to make it work.

Let's forget about price and let's compete on features and technical points ok?.

As for your question: Since when is it MY job to maintain YOUR business model?

You're right, nobody deserves anything. But when you remove the profit motive from any business, you know that everybody loses.

I really want to question the open source efforts, is it purely out of spite or is there something seriously lacking in the commercial software?.

#

Re:Is competition acceptable?

Posted by: llanitedave on September 14, 2004 06:58 AM
There *IS* something seriously lacking in commercial software. It's called "quality".
There are two thinkers who have arrived at the conclusion that "Free" software is better than proprietary software -- Richard M. Stallman and Eric S. Raymond. They have approached the issue from diametrically opposite directions, philosophical and analytical -- no one will accuse them of being political bedfellows. Yet from each independent point of view, they have realized that "Free" software is the way to go. They aren't spiteful -- just wanting the best software solutions possible.



I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with their arguments.

#

Price cannot be forgotten

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 07:31 AM
If you can compare $10 to $100 you can compare $0 to $100. It can, in many cases, make perfect sense to spend money on a solution over a no cost solution. You just have to provide the value in service or functionality that justifies the cost. Why do people buy Red Hat Enterprize Server for $1,000+ when they can download Fedora Core or Debian for no cost? Because they see value in the money spent.

The profit motive is not just important, it never goes away. Free Software development just provides a different profit than money. An independent developer does it for reputation, fun or to improve the world. A business might release or sponsor Free Software to gain good community reputation or free publicity. There many reasons that people and companies do Free Software, all of which provide a percieved benefit to the proponent.

Now, let's talk about other losses.

Employees at a small company are using an outdated, no longer supported office suite and the company wants to upgrade. Ignoring server and back-end database issues, a proprietary option for 35 seats is might be $300 each or $10,500 total. License cost to roll out OpenOffice.org is $0. Now, multiply this Free Software effect for other programs needed: database severs, file servers, operating systems and even little programs like label makers. With the money not spent on licensing, the company can save 10's of thousands of dollars which can be re-invested in the company. This has to be a compelling factor for the small business to consider when choosing between proprietary and Free Software solutions.

The money that would have been spent on the proprietary license does not disappear from the economy as a whole. It gets redirected to other uses like hiring another employee, doing advertizing, or whatever.

Granted, if the only choices were proprietary, the money would stay in the "software segment" of the economy, helping to maintain the percieved value of software. Hardware has already gone through a cycle of commoditization. The dominance (monopolies) of the large software companies has slowed the value errosion for software but that does not mean it has the "right" to remain.

Your objection also depends on a common fallacy. Because propietary programs have companies that market them and make them very visible, it is assumed by many that if you are a programmer, you work on programs that are licenced to others. This is not true. The vast majority of programmers write software that either never leaves the company that pays their salary or is embedded into a tangible product as part of that product. Such programmers will still be needed and valuable even if "retail" software is marginalized by competing Free Software solutions. In other words, as a programmer doing what I currently do, my employer would still need my services and skills even if we deployed and used only Free Software applications. In fact, if my employer used only Free Software solutions, my situation would be better (Profit sharing!).

Obviously licensing cost cannot be the only reason to use or not use proprietary software. But I cannot agree that Free Software will kill the market for software programmers.

#

Re:Is competition acceptable?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 08:08 AM
"If it's free, you have no idea what people will go though to make it work."

But if it has a cost you have a better idea on what it takes to make it work? I don't see how the price can predict ease of installation or use. I have seen Free Software and free software that was very easy to use and worked very well. I have seen software that cost in the middle 6 digits to license that never worked right after 1.5 years of trying. Cost != prediction of successful use.

"Let's forget about price and let's compete on features and technical points ok?"

You lost the discussion about price so now we should just ignore it? Sorry, can't do that. You have to show why expensive software is worth the money spent. That is the proposition one chooses when one decides to charge for a software license. It cannot be just ignored.

"But when you remove the profit motive from any business, you know that everybody loses."

Everybody?
- The proprietary vendor lost a sale so he looses.
- The Free Software user gets functionality he wants for no cash out of pocket. How did he lose?
- The Free Software developer gets another satisfied user to validate his efforts. How did he lose?
- The economy just became more efficient because money that would have been spent on inflated software values can now be used elsewhere. How did it lose?

#

Re:Is competition acceptable?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 08:59 AM
"I really want to question the open source efforts, is it purely out of spite or is there something seriously lacking in the commercial software?."

Well, speaking for Free Software, which may actually cost you money to get, what is lacking in what you are calling commercial software is a certain group of freedoms which Free Software provides.

Now, if you can compete with Free Software in providing those freedoms, I would like to hear about it.

A Nony Mouse

#

Re:Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: Joe Barr on September 14, 2004 05:17 AM

Sometimes I feel bad for proprietary programmers.

They live in such abject fear and terror of the unknown. I mean, what would they use as an excuse for sloppy work, overpriced crap, and egregious licensing terms if the stupid twits didn't have free software to blame it on?

Especially those VB programmers who are not clever enough to get a job at MacDonalds.

#

Re:Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: Preston St. Pierre on September 16, 2004 01:38 AM
These, Mr. Barr, are the same people who fear "drugs" because "drugs are bad" without ever knowing a single fact about drugs.

These are the same type of people who hate all black people because their skin is a different color.

These are the same type of people who killed millions of people in the name of religion.

These are people we most definitally do not want to be associating with.

#

Adapt or die...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 05:41 AM
you have a choice.

#

Re:Adapt or die...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 05:56 AM
Or how about I sue you for
- stealing my intellectual property
- dumping
- copyright infrigement
- patent infringement
- monopoly (yes open source can be a monopoly - just think of it in reverse terms as MS's monopoly)

#

Re:Adapt or die...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 07:17 AM
1. When did I do this?
2. Dumping what?
3. Again, when did I do this?
4. I think patents are wrong as I believe censorship is wrong. Telling me I can't use my computer this way or that way cause you got an application into patent office first, I think, is asinine. It's one thing if you did the work and you don't want me to use it, but if I do my own work, I don't think you should be able to stop me from using it OR sharing it. I am working actively to end patents, btw, so people like you can't gobble up all the mindshare.
5. Does this mean toll-free highways interfer with toll highway's rights to do business then? I think calling OSS a monopoly is similar to this type of sitution.

So, thanks for accusing me of stealing when you know don't know who I am. It reminds me of a current lawsuit ongoing with SCO... something about accusations of IP theft and copyright infringement without any proof or crime.

Anyways...

I play online games from time to time, and we have a saying to those that are lagging out...

"If you lag, leave, don't whine about it."

You are lagging and now you are whining. Adapt or die (or leave the market to find a new profession).

Again, the market is changing, so you to have to change. If you do not, then if you fail it is your own fault.

But in all of this, there isn't any reason why proprietary software cannot exist with OSS. You are just pushing FUD. Programmers, IMO, will do a whole lot better in a mixed market than in a wholly proprietary one. I don't know why you are so hell bent on making it all proprietary, but if your solution was the best one, than you would have to give up TCP/IP for starters and start paying someone for use of their networks. Remember AOL and Compuserve prior to the net? That's what it would be if we gave up free software and went strictly proprietary.

And for the last eight years of using GNU/Linux, I don't remember complaning once about how everyone ignored Linux and noone commercial developed for it. So we put up instead of shutting up. Now you have competition, HA! Tough for you. Not me. It would seem to me business is booming on my side, how's it going on your side?

#

Re:Adapt or die...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 07:49 AM
> Remember AOL and Compuserve prior to the net? That's what it would be if we gave up free software and went strictly proprietary.

Which wouldn't have been a bad idea in hind sight. The Internet is infested with all kinds of crap that would be there if people had to spend hard cash!. The Internet used to be cool back in late 1980s and up to 1994 (that's when Netscape announced Navigator and from then on it was downhill). You wouldn't remember it - since I see you spouting off adapt or die like a rabid Linux bigot.

#

Thank You....

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 08:16 AM
"You wouldn't remember it - since I see you spouting off adapt or die like a rabid Linux bigot."

Why would being a rabid Linux bigot spouting off adapt or die make it so I wouldn't remember? Especially considering since I was the one who brought it up... hmmm...

But you are more than welcome to revisit those models if you wish. You will fail miserably, but go a head and try.

As for being a bigot, it seems I was the one saying lets have everyone at the party instead of just proprietary. Which, I have already said, I think a mixed market of OSS and proprietary is better than either pure OSS or pure proprietary. So your reply makes you a hypocrite then. Nice<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

The truth is you are here to troll and astrotruf, so please, keep talking us up so we can get our nightly amusment.

#

Re:Adapt or die...

Posted by: llanitedave on September 14, 2004 12:46 PM
Was the web really "better" back then? Well, there was less porn, less spam, and fewer viruses. But there was also less information, less access to interesting topics, and fewer connections with friends and relatives. And what we DID have was more expensive and slower, and fewer people had access to what was there.



Gee, don't you also miss the days of poll taxes, Jim Crow, and lynchings -- when America was optimized for YOUR exclusive little clique, and those unwelcome ethnics could just be frozen out?



As far as viruses and spam -- get rid of Internet Explorer, and your browsing experience will improve tremendously. Those "unoriginal" open-source browsers (an early version of which Internet Explorer is an "original" (yeah, right) copycat of) don't have all the spam, virus, worm, and crashing problems that your favorite crap proprietary software does.



As for me, I have multiple tabs open, one showing an NOAA satellite loop of hurricane Ivan in all its glory, another pointed at GROKLAW, another picking up facts on astronomy, one more with a file on my hard drive open where I'm testing a javascript program in progress, and this one here where I'm responding to your ignorant grousing. Oh yeah, and my wife is right behind me on HER computer getting ideas for crafting projects, and I just finished checking my emails through a program that's NOT Outlook -- and I've had no spam on that program in days.



Is my on-line experience diminished because I'm not using a proprietary system?


You're playing in the wrong sandbox, buddy.

#

Re:Adapt or die...

Posted by: flacco on September 14, 2004 03:03 PM
Or how about I sue you for
- stealing my intellectual property
- dumping
- copyright infrigement
- patent infringement
- monopoly (yes open source can be a monopoly - just think of it in reverse terms as MS's monopoly)


please do, it would be *extremely* hilarious.

#

Obvious Astroturf Score 3/10

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 05:44 AM
At least you can spell.

#

Re:Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 05:48 AM
Design a vastly better version under closed source.
Go on. I DARE you.

idiot.

#

Where's the Competition?

Posted by: llanitedave on September 14, 2004 07:07 AM
Actually, from my reading of the article, it doesn't appear that Free Mind is either a copy nor in competition with any similar-concept commercial application. It is apparently a work in progress, and being open source, it's certainly susceptible to being copied, extended, and improved upon by a proprietary application that wants to compete with it. If someone really needs more functionality than Free Mind provides, they are free to extend it themselves, or to pay for someone else to, whether by hiring a programmer or buying an off-the-shelf commercial version that "integrates". I really don't see how this product legitimately threatens any quality, actively developed commercial software package, nor does it threaten to cost anyone a job. It merely sets a minimum standard for functionality.

#

"originality" nonsense - google says otherwise

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 08:56 AM

Did you even bother doing a <A HREF="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=software+idea+mind&btnG=Search&meta=" title="google.com">simple google search</a google.com>?



WTF should open source be treated to a different standard from closed source when it comes to originality?



In any case computer science and software engineering researchers have been writing and open sourcing mind/idea support software for decades, long before commercial software got in on the act.



The "only commercial software is original" meme is nonsense. The only people who propagate it a commercial software vendors who are out of touch with software research and marketing 'droids with an agenda. Commercial software is sometimes good at packaging but rarely is it original in concept.

#

Re:Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: flyfishin on September 14, 2004 10:04 AM
Looks like the OSS developers are filling a niche, cross-platform mind-map software. I don't use Windows so the commercial product mentioned is completely useless to me. Also, if the OSS software is really "bull-sh*t free software" then no one will use it and developers of commercial software have nothing to fear.

#

Were you referring to "Bravo!" - I mean, MS-Word?

Posted by: Leon Brooks on September 14, 2004 01:12 PM
Or QDOS - I mean, MS-DOS? Or Spyglass Mosaic - I mean, Internet Explorer? Or SyBase - I mean MS SQL Server?

Or Vermeer's HTML editor? Bruce Artwick's flight simulator? Forethought's slideshow program? Or Wang's OLE? Or Cooper Software's BASIC compiler? Or Lattice's C compiler? Or OneTree's SourceSafe program? Or Digital Equipment Corporation's MICA variant of VMS, perhaps better known today as MS Windows NT? Or Dynamical Systems' Windows kernel improvements? Atomic Games' Close Combat? Fox Systems' database? Shapewear's Visio? Or Microsoft's clone of Quicken?

Innovation? Hah! When are we going to see some from the biggest closed-source house in the world?

#

Good reply, but

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 05:27 PM
wasted on the troll cause he isn't here to actually debate, but here to full fill a sick need to push buttons.

He's the kind of guy who pisses people off and doen't get included into activites because he's so annoying. But gets super angry at the mess he created, but it too stupid to realize he is the problem and not others, then excalates matters even more because he's mad and the emotion justifies him in his mind.

The perfect person to get paid to come here and stir up sh*t.

BTW Troll, I'm laughing at you cause you are so transparent.

#

Tony Buzan did this on paper long before...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 15, 2004 07:35 PM
Tony Buzan made mind maps popular several decades ago on paper, so creating mind map software is NOT original.

However, you do have a partial point. FreeMind is free (as in freedom) software, and available at no cost. Further development, documentation and support requires someones time. Where does this time come from?
a) voluntary effort
b) paid time

The FSF encourages making money to support development, see
http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/selling.html.

They could add "make money to support users of free (as in freedom) software", but they will probably not do this, as a great part of the free software community is about voluntary effort, which is a good thing.

I said you had a partial point, because competition is fact every producer must cope with, lest they have a monopoly. Many none-free producers have products they offer at no cost. They do this to attact customers, thus making it easier to advertise for products or services that costs money. According to you, they are morons, because given at no cost what another competitor charges for, is bad for the competitor. According to me, they are smart business people.

#

Re:Can Open Source think of being Original?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 25, 2004 04:57 PM
This is the first time I read commercial softwares invents something concerning mind mapping and brainstorming.

This is the typical shortcut of proprietary software editors : They think their software and the method are the same thing.

The first mind maps were created during the 70's, long time before any sofware implements them.

Please be honest, or at least modest<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

M

#

Waaah, waaah, waaah...

Posted by: absurdist on September 14, 2004 04:44 AM
Gee, I'm sorry you might actually have to work for a living, rather than releasing a product with disclaimers and EULAS full of holes big enough to drive a truck through (all in your favor, of course), and thinking you should be able to milk that forever.

Jesus... I'm starting to sound as pissy as you are.

#

combine tools freely

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 07:01 PM
Perhaps not too original (or is it?), but you can combine tools much more freely (perhaps FreeMind with <A HREF="http://www.vimoutliner.org/" title="vimoutliner.org">http://www.vimoutliner.org</a vimoutliner.org>) and so "originality" is in the next level (YOU, the author of your own thinking). At least part of it is.

#

Mind mapping

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 14, 2004 10:43 PM
The concept of mind mapping is widely known and established in knowledge management and information science circles. FreeMind and MindManager are merely ways of automating the process of creating them.

I've been using FreeMind for six months now, and I think it's a great little app. You can even export your mindmaps into collapsible DHTML lists.

My only wish is that it continues to evolve; I think the project has been in hiatus for some time now.

- <A HREF="http://www.silentblue.net/" title="silentblue.net">quanta</a silentblue.net>

#

Transform FreeMind to MindManager

Posted by: Michael S. Scherotter on September 17, 2004 10:59 PM
For those who want to try MindManager with their FreeMind files, I have made a simple XSLT transformation that converts the FreeMind XML files to MindManager XML.
See <A HREF="http://www.mindjet.com/us/devzone/x5/mm5_object_model_reference/XML.html#Topic684/" title="mindjet.com">http://www.mindjet.com/us/devzone/x5/mm5_object_m<nobr>o<wbr></nobr> del_reference/XML.html#Topic684/</a mindjet.com> for the macro and transformation.

Michael S. Scherotter
Business Solutions Architect
Mindjet LLC

#

Can Closed Source think of being Original?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on September 18, 2004 12:35 AM
Maybe this is the question that should actually be asked?<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... as others have pointed out<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... mind mapping - brain storming etc is an old concept<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... I would hate to count the number of commercial applications which have evolved from open source projects or free ideas garnered from universities etc<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...

#

This story has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.



 
Tableless layout Validate XHTML 1.0 Strict Validate CSS Powered by Xaraya