Harlan
This release incorporates various minor changes and fixes, most notably support for resellers and affiliates.

Version 5.0.3.1

May 12, 2009

·         Windows: Tablet PC support for the search and create thought edit boxes is now optional and defaults to being off

o    The preference to enable this is under the General tab

o    When off, menus and other controls are more responsive

·         Supports customization for resellers and affiliates

·         Registration process includes email information

·         Fixed: The indexing libraries are not installed correctly.


Regards,
-Harlan
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tcahill
Harlan wrote:
....most notably support for resellers and affiliates.

Version 5.0.3.1

May 12, 2009

·         Supports customization for resellers and affiliates




An excellent development, Harlan! I've been convinced for a long time that The Brain product was a wonderful platform to grow a thriving 3rd party industry of VARs, resellers, and consultants. Perhaps this might lead to a certification program at some time?

I wish your business great success in growing new sales and service channels.
Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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Darkstar
Dyslucksia--- they do sell plenty of software to fix bugs. With Microsoft, we call that the next OS. With games, they are called "expansions". With apps, its called the next release.
-Darkstar
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Darkstar
Well, many of those missing bits I presume are missing because they are on a "To Do" list, but are VERY far down compared to other items--- so their limited development resources are spent on higher prioirty items.

Of course, it could be that the coders just don't use PB in that way, so they don't get irritated and therefore get motivated to sneak a few minutes (or even a few hours) to "fix" the missing feature. (This is how many of my own "missing features" or "undocumented programic attribute or detail" often becomes addressed--- it just crosses my tolerance threshold and instantly jumps to the top of the "To Do" list. )
-Darkstar
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zenrain
Quote:
The principles expressed in this article apply equally well to Microsoft and to PB's developers.


And most other developers I'm aware of.
Most software 1.x releases are for significant new features. Most .x releases are bug fixes.
Where PB differs from most non-indie developers is (at least for the 4.x version, and I'm guessing the 5.1 release) some .x releases also contain significant new features.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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Darkstar
Well, I think PB's 1.x releases are NEW LICENSED REQUIRED releases, while .x releases DO NOT require new license.

Just look: 4.0 required a new license, 5.0 required a new license--- and I just presume that 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, and beyone will ALL require new licenses.

Previous to the new Java development, version 1.0 through 3.x all used the SAME License code. Different time, different business model (obviously) and different customer expectations (I presume). Of course, back then, PB was aimed/marketed as a "general knowledge" usage tool, and not a "professional information worker" tool. Different markets, different expectations.

Of course, their ORIGINAL market was shareware, as well, so "feature gaps" were more tolerable back then. Shareware is beggarware, effectively--- just a matter of how well dressed and how well mannered. Some of that has carried through (the lack of keyboard equivalents, the useless tool that is the notes, etc), but TheBrain really needs to round out PersonalBrain with the basic features (and a less troublesome, hopefully more usable Notes) to true PROFESSIONAL standards, since that is the market dollars they are now chasing.
-Darkstar
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tcahill
Perhaps things have changed in the competitive landscape without my knowledge (stranger things have happened). I have tried to keep up to date on alternatives in the diverse functional areas that PB occupies.

With that caveat in place, sure I'm not behind which competitor PB falling is. (apologies to Yoda)  On the contrary, I have been thrilled by Personal Brain's evolving capabilities. I've asked, and Harlan has delivered.

Now admittedly, I've had to increase my dose of sedatives while waiting for the debut of 5.1. Thusly calmed, I've mused that some show-stopper of a glitch must be holding it back. We may see that several .x increments have come and gone before a new release is.

Patience, all.

Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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zenrain
The only competitor I can think of is MindManager, which last time I checked on the forums (around MM 6) were being lambasted for focusing too much on corporate use and not enough end user use.
I think when viewing any forum, you very quickly find out what everyone is dissatisfied with, as well as what is missing, and very quickly lose sight of what actually works well.

I've also found that forums represent a very very small slice of the actual user base and product opinion reflected in there is well below the true satisfaction level. This means that unless the forum is unduely negative that I take most comments with a grain of salt (including the MM example I gave above).

As far as I'm concerned, PB has been well worth the money and more importantly, time I've invested into it. Ok, it sometimes won't do xyz exactly the way I want it, but because of it's overall worth, I either work around it, or use a complementary tool.

As far as bug-ridden, I haven't noticed a larger number of bugs in the final (not beta) release than any other software I've used, and less than others.

Anyway, I've always thought that if it works for you, great, then it's worth the money. If it doesn't, then it's probably not. Only the company that sells the product really has a good feel for if it's over or underpriced. Without numbers to back it up, an opinion is, well, an opinion. Just like the ones I've voiced here.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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Darkstar

As far as I know, PB doesn't have any true competition, because PB is a "Knowledge Organizer" (aimed at the personal user). It is not a Personal Information Manager (PIM - ex: Outlook, Franklin Planner), nor a Personal Database (ex: a few million of these programs, mostly in the form of personal wikis these days such as ConnectedText, but there are other products that aren't wiki based, such as Literary Machine) or a Knowledge Capture (ex: OneNote, Evernote, Zoot) tool. It is a tool to point to some knowledge (whether an online resource via an URL or Network location, a shortcut on your machine to a tool or document, or an internal document). PersonalBrain is the card catalog to your personal knowledge library.

There are other tools that can do that for you--- with a little adjustment to how you use those tools. However, Personal Brain does it natively (by its design and user interface). Its usefulness isn't just that it holds all the directions to your various individual bits of knowledge or knowledge databases--- it's that it allows you to easily structure and organize that information in a vast number of ways--- and it also allows you to easily RE-organize that information.

Could it be better? Most definately. For the money charged for the Professional license, there is certainly a lack of basic UI features (the missing keyboard access, mass thought manipulations, very poor and troublesome Notes tool, etc), complete lack of any functional printing capability, lack of some basic information organizing features, etc.

For the money charged for a Core license, I'd find the SAME faults with the UI again--- but I'd let slide several other items outside the UI domain, as PB is quite functional as a knowledge organizing tool. (Could be even better, but that's what Professional should provide.)

For a FREE tool, it provides much more than expected. In fact, there isn't anything to complain about that I can think of, other then they don't allow you to stuff enough info into a thought (ie, attachments), and they don't let you use some different presentations of your data (ie, expanded view).

Notice the problem? It's expectations based on the price. Pricing will naturally generate a base level of "acceptability" of "program roughness" as well as expected features (undo, spell check, Notes that actually save inserted images and don't overwrite the contents of other thoughts related notes, etc) based on other commercial products priced similarly.

I think it should be obvious I love PersonalBrain. But I also understand that if you pop out a chunk of change, as a customer you have a certain level of expectations for features and usability, and PB doesn't meet up to most other apps in similar price ranges for those same elements (mostly in the USER INTERFACE, but there are other items).

-Darkstar
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jostber
tcahill wrote:
Perhaps things have changed in the competitive landscape without my knowledge (stranger things have happened). I have <i>tried</i> to keep up to date on alternatives in the diverse functional areas that PB occupies. <br><br>With that caveat in place, sure I'm not behind which competitor PB falling is. (apologies to Yoda)  On the contrary, I have been thrilled by Personal Brain's evolving capabilities. I've asked, and Harlan has delivered. <br><br>Now admittedly, I've had to increase my dose of sedatives while waiting for the debut of 5.1. Thusly calmed, I've mused that some show-stopper of a glitch must be holding it back. We may see that several .x increments have come and gone before a new release is.<br><br>Patience, all.<br><br>


This is an interesting discussion. I think it might be the awesome capabilities of our brains combined with PersonalBrain that initiates so many feature suggestions. It would be interesting to get the release model for PB explained as 5.1 is getting closer and closer. As I have understood it works this way:

1. 5.0.x versions: Fixing bugs, stabilizing application, heading towards freezing the underlying code base
2. 5.x version: Introduce new significant changes, additions and features without changing the main database and code base significantly . Can be launched in beta/release version without a long test period.
3. 6.x version: Major changes and features, can introduce large changes in code base. Might need a long test and beta phase to weed out bugs and errors in the code.
TheBrain 8.0.2.2 Slackware 14.2 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.8 / (Windows 7)
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tcahill
dyslucksia wrote:
we can attribute them all to one man's vision, a vision which has not kept pace with the times.


Seriously, when it comes to issues like this, I have some standard questions I ask myself to help make sense of it all.

1. Did the thing do what you first bought it to do? Yes.
2. Does it still do that thing? Yes.
3. Does it seem likely that it will stop doing that thing anytime soon? No.
3. Has the thing gotten any worse or better since then? Better.
4. Have you gotten more of what you've asked for from the thing since then? Yes, lots.
5. Is there something else that you would now have preferred that you'd spent your money on? No.

In summary, Harlan and his team have done an outstanding job in producing, through five successive versions, a continually improving product. PersonalBrain has helped me be far more productive than I otherwise could have been. A committee or focus-group would never have gone for something so different and unproven as PB, so Harlan gets major Kudos for sticking with it and getting it done. I hope the team are taking a well deserved rest and enjoying the well-earned results of their labours.




Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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jostber
The most easy to fix in a new version of PB should be the Notes editor, by upgrading fron EditLive 6.0 to 6.7. As for asking for patience from us users waiting for new versions, that is demanding too much.
TheBrain 8.0.2.2 Slackware 14.2 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.8 / (Windows 7)
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BHurd
tcahill, Here, Here sir!
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zenrain
tcahill, this is my thought process as well. But put in much better words than I could.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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Darkstar
dyslucksia, the rising banner was the only way the original PB had to notify the user of something without breaking out at message box. It is only in what? PB 5? That we got the messages unrolling in the top right corner.
 
Since PB doesn't use a "status bar" at the bottom of the plex, they've had to leverage other ways of getting info back to the user. Seems odd to me (considering PB is an information tool), but small development team, no point wasting that dev on such a minor thing when there's more important issues to address.
 
As for vision--- it is obvious that what you are using PB for is well outside TheBrain's expectations for PB usage. Now, maybe your usage would also be of benefit to my usage of PB, so I'm interested in you posting more "ways to make PB usage better/easier" to the devs to inspire them. So keep it up.
-Darkstar
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