Well I have been mumbling for a few weeks now about this "Flo" project and so far I have gotten a ton of encouraging feedback. For those of you who don't know what Flo is, here is a gentle introduction.
Flo is a multi-platform mind mapping program. I have been interested in mind mapping for some years and have written an application that can help express mindmaps and translate them into various document formats. Mind mapping for those of you who don't know about it is a way of brainstorming. One of the main ideas of Flo is to take these brainstorms and create outlines and various documents. Mind maps can be used for everything from project planning to designing software test cases. Pretty much anything that can be expressed in an outline can translate into a mind map quite painlessly. The main advantage of a mind map is that it is easier to reorder and reorganize ideas in a visual fashion before applying them to something more rigid like an outline.
Flo on Ubuntu Linux
So now on to the features! Flo has quite a few small features that I have added as I needed them for work. One big problem with me working on it for two years now is that a lot of little undocumented features have slipped in that I have used once or twice and then forgotten. These features need to be debugged a little bit, but in my opinion they are useful still. Here is a taste of what I have so far.
So as you can see its got a lot of little features that make it usable for every day use at this point. I am finishing up the documentation of the whole application and it should be available in the next few weeks.
Now most importantly how to get Flo! If you are using a Debian based system you can just add the following to your /etc/apt/sources.list file: deb http://apt.geiseri.com/flo/apt/ $YOURDIST contrib Where $YOURDIST is one of the follwing: sid, etch, lenny, feisty, gutsy, hardy, or intrepid. I have amd64 and i386 builds. PowerPC builds are pending on me getting a new hard disc for my system. Jaunty will be available as it is updated. I have a basic spec file present for SuSE and Red Hat based systems, but I have not been able to get automated builds for those dists done. If someone wishes to provide me builds I will more than gladly post them. If you are stuck on windows you can also download an installer here. Mac users are out of luck until I can fix a problem that causes Flo to crash when you move multiple objects. I think this is manifested as a performance problem on Win32 and Linux, but its fatal on MacOS X. The main webpage is at http://trac.geiseri.com/wiki/FloMain.
Lastly, I consider this a Beta release. I use Flo every day and have stopped adding new features. I will finish the remaining todos and finish the documentation and hope to release the final version on the 1st of December. Until then please everyone take it for a spin and crash it any way you can. I want to release something solid here. Please give it a whirl and have fun!
The easy-to-use mindmapping applications are needed. This looks like it would be learned easily by any aged person and could be used thats why on schools etc.
btw, is there possiblity to "link" (not actually linking but making a symbolic link) "newidea 0" to "newidea 3"?
I get many times situations where same thing comes up in different place and it should be linked to other thing in other tree, but in all other mindmapping tools it is impossible. So I need to write it second time to difference place. Instead that it could be a cool to have automatic link so when clickin it, you would get reminded the other tree thing too.
mesh vs start
What I dislike about most mindmapping programs is that they follow the "star" paradigm, so there is one central idea and every other idea is subordinate. This is a hierarchy. But the real world is a mesh, not a star. Let's take Linux as an example. I would like to have a node nmap for the command. This would be connected to netstat, because you should understand as well the differences as what those commands have in common. Both would be associated with networking. Networking would be associated with "Network Troubleshooting" and "Network Troubleshooting" would again be connected with nmap and firewalls.
You could easily derive such a mindmap from a wiki - a wiki article would be a node and links would be the connections between them. BTW, what do you mean by "Wiki outline support"?
By this, I could give my trainees an excellent overview about what I am going to teach them in Linux.
Flo vs Semantik
I'm just wondering how Flo compares to Semantik (and/or its KDE3 predecessor KDissert) from Thomas Nagy. What I'm concerned about the most is:
* since both are KDE mindmapping-like tools for generating, what are the differences between them
* import/export from and to KDissert/Semantik
* export to ConTeXt (a more modern TeX macrolanguage that supports Unicode natively (oposed to LaTeX))
* KDissert has the ability to make a link between two "ideas" that are not in a parent-child relationship — is that planned for Flo as well?
* I use KDissert also as a study help, because it shows more (and formated) text on mouse-over of the "idea" — I think this is similar to your "Adding custom text notes to each idea."
I'm still on KDE 3.5 (until 4.2 hits stable) and use KDissert quite often and am looking at what would fill my needs on KDE4.