Well, I understand that it is probably too late to write about it, but it is bad. Dealbreaker, in fact. Look, I understand that you want to appeal to the MindMap crowd, this is good and all. "MindMap view" may even have some uses. But it can't replace freeform Expanded view in no way.
Of course, it depends on TheBrain use mode. If you have small Brain(s) with no deep nesting level, almost every view mode will work all right. But in contrast case there is a problem.
For me, "normal" mode is good at information input stage. Make a new node, type in a note, make a child node, sibling node etc. Later, after I have dozens of nodes, I move to contemplation stage. On this stage I need to see them all, at once. Without manual arrangement of nodes it is impossible. Totally impossible.
Btw I hoped that you will allow to see more than 3 levels of nodes in Normal mode, but again - no. So, if you have big network with deep branching, you are out of luck [frown]((...

Well, I understand that programming Expanded mode is a difficult task, with all its saves, problems with arrangements, chores of deleted and modified nodes after save was made etc. But it was very good and useful. I hoped you will do it better, not just trashed it [frown]((
Thanks leolit for reminding me that the Expanded view in TB8 allows many levels of thoughts.

Recently, I asked about something similar -- Using TheBrain to display business processes (flowchart?).

Anyway, according to Harlan: "the features that we have left behind for the moment pale in comparison to the benefits offered by TheBrain 9."
See http://forums.thebrain.com/post/in-case-you-dont-have-a-calendar-8200542?pid=1293033504
leolit wrote:

...MindMap view... can't replace freeform Expanded view ...
... For me, "normal" mode is good at information input stage ... after ... I move to contemplation stage ...

funny, I could have written these words myself, except that I found the Expanded view klunky BECAUSE it was manual.
I think we agree that TheBrain still has some way to go in terms of VIEWING information, despite the new Mindmap and Timeline views.
Expanded was very useful, but could not possibly be manual beyond a couple of dozen nodes.

I have been claiming for a long time for :
  • an automatic view between two specified thoughts
  • a view (mindmap or not) that is zoomable

But we'll obviously have to wait. My long-time feeling is that there is a development slant in favour of data-input and indexing/searching, and not enough in data viewing.
It is a dealbreaker for me too, if things stay this way.


Well, I think that making Version 9 such as it is was a grave mistake. And they may pay for it dearly (((... The decision was not in the interests of the customers, but engineerial, in the interests of developers. I don't want to underscore those interests and preoccupations, they were also serious. Java is not on trend anymore, and its future is not 100% clear. Probably, there was generation change among TheBrain developers, and new ones wanted to make own version, clear, comprehendable, scalable etc etc. All that are serious reasons.

But. IF they coupled this new, rewritten-ground-up version with some really new, cool, flashy, BIG feature - what would be great. It would be real "new start" for TheBrain. But they couldn't invent such feature. Without it, what we have? Actually, TB 8.2. Okay, 8.5 (for some nice, but not really important features like Timeline, MindMap etc). With some nice minor quality-of-life changes (new "create thought" interface, faster start, better text editor in Notes...) and WITHOUT big, important feature - Expanded view. Actually, if I would get such update in V8, I would (with big regrets) roll it back and returned to previous version. But BUY it as a new program?? For a such price?? No.

I think, TB suffers from bad marketing and too narrow realization of its identity. We all know, that basically TB is "navigational database" of 1960-1970, they were later defeated and replaced by relational databases. Why? Because the search was possible only along pre-made links between nodes [smile]. But of course, TB is not a database per se, and it has modern search under the hood etc. Still, we have this controversial feature: EITHER you define good links OR you don't see the nodes you need and you have to resort to "usual" search, that defies the idea of VISUAL... What? Not search. Model, in fact. With good links in place, you can see MODEL of your conceptual space, and work with it, add parts, replace them, group them in other ways etc.

It is a VISUAL MODEL. This is a main identity of TheBrain. Of course, many people use it for totally other purposes, and it is all right. But. For all those purposes there are better tools over there. Like, they replaced Expanded for MindMap. Ha! Do they really hope that mindmappers crowd will flock to TB? Of course it won't happen! Most people who are using MM use it for presentation purposes. Just look on the most advanced MM programs, what features are they restlessly developing? All "good visual presentation" features. TB will not be able compete with them, not even in a 100 years, sorry. That goes for all other, not-model features, like lists, outlines, GTD etc. TB is too big, too clumsy, too complex for them. They try free version, get excited (because it is something new and interesting), then quickly burn out and switch to other, smaller and simpler applications. Guys! No need to run for them! You have zero chance to catch them, but you definitely lose your current core base on the way. Instead, appeal to the people who need more complex thought work done, nor just "list - GTD - presentation - ka-ching! (and some nice video from YouTube in notes )))". 

Visual. Models. Enkidu is right - visualization is the key. Different people prefer different ways of it, so there should be many ways. Yes, they are difficult to program and difficult to design. But this is the core of this program - or just rename it to something other, not "The Brain" [smile])

Right now, I think, developers are in a hard situation. They developed this version a long time (FAR TOO LONG! btw) and, of course, they want to get recognition, praises and money for their hard work. Alas. Instead, they need not to rest and relax, but (now that they have new, completely "their" version) immediately move to Version 10. It should be real comeback to the identity, with stunning new features, some of them even flashy (to show them in commercials [smile]), but it should be The Brain. The "perfect digital brain dump", or how they called it? Any number of thoughts, that can be connected in myriad ways, combined in complex structures, that could be easily viewed in differed meaningful ways, contemplating, seeking new insights and solutions.

Do you have different vision? What is it?
I'm afraid I'll have to agree with the above sentiment. With v9 , TheBrain seems to be moving away from what made it unique with features like Expanded view,  and is trying too much into becoming (yet) another conventionnal mindmapper, when we're already spoiled with plenty of excellent mindmappers that offer far more features and flexibility than TheBrain, and often for a much  lower price. I own  a few of them ( on Mac, like the excellent iThoughts, with an almost identical iOS version ) and see no reason to use TB v9 instead of them.
On the other hand, software that let you see your data VISUALLY, make new connections, conceptualize it,  is far more rare. On the Mac there is the excellent ( and sometimes difficult to use)  Tinderbox, which comes with its own qualities and limitations, and to a lesser extent Curio. And TB v8....And i think that's about it...
Polaris wrote:
... we're already spoiled with plenty of excellent mindmappers ...

Hello. It's my turn to disagree (albeit partially).
I arrived at TheBrain after years of sieving sand for the "perfect" mindmapping application. Which, in my opinion, to this day, does not exist.

What we have are zillions of MANUAL DRAWING tools.
TheBrain is unique in one thing :

- you dump almost any data into it
- IT draws the map

The problem is that :
- its drawing (the views) fall far short of functionality, and
- its presentation (the looks) falls far short of modern user interface expectations.

Personally, I don't want to draw anything.
I need an app where  :

- I put data
- I link it
- IT shows me the big picture
- IT finds any uncommon links

We have zillions of flowcharting tools, of project management tools, of FAKE mindmapping tools.
TheBrain is A FEW STEPS AWAY from becoming the strongest MindMapping application out there.
But it's GOT to dramatically increase its viewing capabilities, or it dies.

I also think TBV9 needs the expanded view back as soon as possible.

Need to be able to show things like this:


I do like the idea of uncommon links. Not sure how that would work though.

TheBrain 10:

Social WebBrain
Link/Network Analysis (http://forums.thebrain.com/post/linknetwork-analysis-8085431?pid=1292026286)
3D and VR Thought Navigation (http://forums.thebrain.com/post/seriously-cool-3d-brain-visualization-8107155?pid=1292323166)
Suggested Links when creating thought
Wander+ (http://forums.thebrain.com/post/feature-request-wander-8096313?pid=1292127374)
Brainstorming (http://forums.thebrain.com/post/feature-request-brainstorms-virtual-brains-mindmaps-8094135?pid=1292113113)
AI Integration

Please [smile]

AmbidexterMan :  great example! This is exactly what I mean! 
enkidu: of course, if automatic building of a big conceptual map will work good, it would be great! But still the possibility to modify it manually should exist. And sure, any good-working AI additions (like, proposals of lenks for the new node, highlighting of un-usual links etc) are  welcome too [smile] And the things Moltair mentioned!
We already have a lot of simple programs. Including simple programs overloaded with a lot of bloat. We need something complex and powerful.  "Simple" is not always "good". In fact, in the long run it never is ))
AmbidexterMan wrote:

Disadvantages ... !


Thank you all!  I hear the request for Expanded View loud and clear.  The request has been well documented and this particular thread is referenced to support the desire for it's return.

To quickly address some of the earlier comments about a lack of new features for v9... In addition to No Java and a Mind Map View (both of which I believe are huge improvements) let's not forget:
  • Tabbed interface - Never possible before and it's never been easier to switch between multiple Brains and even have the same Brain open more than once
  • File attachment content previews - preview a document without ever leaving the application
  • Built in web browser - again, load a URL without leaving TheBrain.  This also includes the ability to watch YouTube and Vimeo videos in TheBrain app (Those can be loaded into notes too!)
  • More to come. The long awaited/requested calendar has returned with the TimeLine. Offline access from mobile devices are on their way. Plus an all new WebBrain!...
That's just a short list, but I think a full version upgrade has never been more justified.

But to stay on topic - the Expanded View feature request is well documented.

Thank you,
I'd also like to add:

In addition to the new features Matt mentioned, let's not forget that TheBrain 9 has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and is not just a simple upgrade from TheBrain 8. With this, our engineers have had to forego the development of some of the more complex features from TheBrain 8 for our initial release of TheBrain 9 in the interest of getting TheBrain 9 out of Beta sooner rather than later.
Mr Thompson & Mcaton,

I - and many people in this forum I suspect - are from the IT world, and fully appreciate what porting an application to a new platform means.
When I make functional comments, I am in no way minimising the amount of effort put by your development. Indeed I appreciate it.

On the other hand, don't forget that, as always in software, what counts ultimately is "user perception", which is a mix of functionality and marketing. I can't help you with marketing. This thread (& forums) contribute our opinions on functionality.

kind regards
Thanks enkidu,

Some strong feedback in this thread. It's important to point out that all opinions are always welcome. Your (and everyone's) thoughts and feedback (both positive and critical) are valued and appreciated. 

Thank you,
As one of the first people to express a desire for mindmap view, and while I am pleased to see an initial effort with it, we still need expanded view.

It's not merely deep linking, which I agree is important. It is also the ability to see multiple regions in a very large topography. Sort of like being able to single out Seattle and Calcutta while leaving the rest of the world linked but largely at a 30,000 foot view.

I get that, given the change in software development between TB8 and TB9, these things take time and you have to pick and choose which features will be provided in the initial release.

An interim thing that would help while we're waiting would be a couple of user-options.

Currently, if I open two tabs on the same brain, the "meta-plex" features like the multi-select pane, the time line, and the breadcrumbs bar on each tab are independent from each other.  If the mutli-select pane is open in one tab, it isn't open on the other unless I specifically open it. And then the selections are independent.

I suggest that there be an option to toggle the meta-plex features to be the same for all tabs of a given brain. That way, it becomes easier to draw links between thoughts that are far away from each other.

In other words, I could have one tab opened to Seattle and another opened to Calcutta. The meta-plex features would then enable me to communicate between the tabs.

If you need further clarification, let me know and I will try again.

- Bal

Newsletter Signup  Newsletter        Visit TheBrain Blog   Blog       Follow us on Twitter   Twitter       Like Us on Facebook   Facebook         Circle Us on Google+  Google         Watch Us on Youtube  YouTube       

TheBrain Mind Map & Mindmapping Software     Download TheBrain Mind Mapping Software