Order from Chaos

I have been facinated with mind mapping now for about 3 years. I have been using it on a regular basis for trying to organize disjointed thoughts, make coherent sense out of brainstorming sessions, and lately for every day design documentation. For those of you not familiar with mindmaps check out the wikipedia link on the subject.

KDissert annoyed me at the time, and freemind was pretty slow. So a little over two years ago I started to play with Qt's graphics view and started a mind mapping toy. Its grown a bit over the last few months as I use it more and more every day at work.

So let me now introduce you to Flo.

Flo is a basic mind mapping utility that can be used to quickly organize brainstorms into hierarchical outlines. So far I have been able to use it on a daily basis. It has the ability to import freemind files and export Docbook, Wiki, or Text outlines. It also has an attempt at generation of PDF slides but that kind of got morphed into MyPoint. Feature wise it has the basics, undo/redo, autosave, spell checking, printing, group operations and auto layout of nodes. Qt makes it all painfully easy. The hardest part was finding an icon set that didn't suck as well as a spell checker library that ran on windows.

I admit the UI needs some help but I feel its getting close to a releaseable state. I am shooting for the end of November for a release into the wild. If anyone has any hints or mockups of what I could do with the UI feel free to send them my way :)


As soon as you put up a git repo I'll check it out :)

I've been playing with an online version which kind-of works (its a bit buggy and closed source) but certainly has some really cool features. Killer feature, naturally, is the collaborative editing.
See; www.mindmeister.com

By Thomas Zander at Thu, 10/30/2008 - 09:08

I've been using freemind and kdissert a lot lately. Freemind's UI is very unfriendly compared to a nice KDE (or at least Qt) one, but I've stopped used kdissert because I've realized I can't live without folding, and that almost never I add details to each node or branch (I use more descendants to describe the branch or the leaf, and if they annoy me, I just fold them).

However, lasts days I have floating in my mind a "dream" (because I don't have time to make it real): write a modest mindmapping tool that only uses a QTreeView to display the map, and that allows you to include mathematics using the recently-added KFormula widget.

Well, more realistically now: if you release it, and it allows folding, I will definitely give it a try.

By bugmenot at Thu, 10/30/2008 - 09:54

...but from the screenie it looks that I cannot add notes to the arrows/lines. Look at this file:


I need that all the time and it seems the only good tool that runs on Linux is CMapTools (http://cmap.ihmc.us/). That is free (beer) and Java. But the UI is really not good and it supports a hundred features I don't need. More like OOCalc when all you need is Kate.

But as long as all the other mind mapping tools do not support notes _on_ connections (so called 'concept maps') I have to use it.

By cniehaus at Thu, 10/30/2008 - 16:08

I have used Kdissert in history (isn't it now called as "semantik"?) and the freemind. But I have always missed one feature why I like doing a mindmaps in real paper.

The linking from one sub-tree to other sub-tree. It seems always to be impossible because of the structure needed for export.

In example on this screenshot what is showed on this page. I would like to get a link from purple "just a new idea" to green "new idea 2" (from left to right and vice versa). Because many times there comes situations that one idea is linked to other and it should be possible to link. But because it is not, I need to copy it to other sub-tree because of it.

By fri13 at Thu, 10/30/2008 - 18:11