shakennotstirred
After my initial use of PB, I've been very impressed with the applications capabilities for cross linking information.  However, I can see that when adding a great deal of thoughts, you run into a interesting problem in keeping the visual nature of the program useful.  As an example, if you use PB to track information on Contacts, you might have a number of different types of thoughts linked there such as related projects, interests, activities, events, etc.   Another example would be Projects, where you have things such as contacts, actions, organizations, products, etc. linked to the projects.   The problem when you have a lot of these sub-items linked to a person or project, is that the display can end up very cluttered.   Of course the solution which I've read on the PB web site for clutter is just to create subcategories linked to the main item.   Unfortunately, if I use the above examples, let's say I have 200 contacts in my brian, not only do I have to create those subcategories over and over for each contact, but then I've got 200 thoughts with the same name like "Actions", etc. 

Now the PB folks are heading in the right direction with the ability to define "Link Types" and even allowing items to sort by link type.  However, I would suggest taking that a step further and provide an option to display the link types as virtual thoughts to present a very clean and organized view when you need it, or turn it off when you don't.  So this would show a Project or Contact (or anything else you wanted) with virtual thoughts such as Actions, Organizations, Events, etc. as children under those thoughts, and then the individual actions, etc. would display as child thoughts under their respective virtual thoughts/categories.  This would also avoid the issue of having lots of sub-category items cluttering up your searches and reports.

[Edit: Note this could also apply to Thought Type as well as Link Type for even more flexibility]



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jroeterd
Hello,

I was having the same problem as you describe. I did not even think of having link types as virtual thoughts as a kind of virtual grouping in the plex.

I have for example France as a country in my PB and linking different vacation places in France and also Wines from France clutters up the plex. Virtual grouping between the thouht France and the details (the wine-thoughts and place-thoughts) in the form of link-types as "wines from" and "vacation places in" would be very nice.

Great suggestion.

Greetings,
Jroeterd

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jostber
I'm with you on this, fine suggestion.
TheBrain 8.0.2.0 Slackware 14.1 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.7.0_25 / (Windows 7)

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shakennotstirred
Thanks for the good words, and hopefully the PB folks are looking at this one.  Since the Plex can already display the Link type when you mouse over it, I'm hoping it won't be that much of a stretch to just to take it to the next level here
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twospoons

Why stop at just link type?  What I would really like to see is the ability to define additional attributes to links and thoughts (instead of just a name and color).

Wes
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tca02006
How about being able to filter links somehow (with the "Reports" tab?) both
(1) by type, and
(2) by relative importance/strength (some rating system)
so that the only links that show up in the plex are of the types desired or with importance/strength greater than or equal to a desired level. Do you think this could be a good way to filter out the clutter?

Importance might also be a good way to filter thoughts (not just links).

Come to think of it, I've also been wanting to rank my thoughts on a different scaled category: from most abstract to least abstract (or most concrete).  So it might be helpful to have the option to create any number of scaled categories by which you can not only organize by type but also rank your thoughts and links.
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rhodes

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Filtering by links was discussed recently by Adathome (Ad Schevers) here:
http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=4802302

As you can see, Harlan has expressed his intention to implement this at some time in the future.

As for assigning weights to links, I still think the best thread on this is the "think tank" one by Jim (Spacenexus) here:

http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=2393702

If you search the forums, you may find many of your questions have already been discussed in some detail. 

Alan Rhodes
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ivos

I have tried to find the best thread for this idea/note which mainly relates to link-type filtering. Maybe I should start a new thread. But ...
I tried to use PB more times and I love it. There isn't a tool like this for organizing ideas. On the other hand, I never started using it for a really serious work. The main problems are:

1.      The first problem starts when the number of thoughts and especially links was increasing (let say hundreds). Our natural brain just hide in such case the connections irrelevant for that moment. (If you are preparing e.g. a technical specification for a purchasing a cars you really don't need "links" like what persons drive these cars or what color had these cars when you saw them last time etc.) The corresponding feature in PB is filtering thoughts and links. In the newest version thoughts are implemented, links not. Implementation of thoughts filtering turned me back for thinking about using PB seriously.

2.      The other problem comes at the moment, when the content put in PB should be used outside PB. I am talking about the point, when you need to write a document or prepare a presentation. Practically it means, that you need to SELECT what you want to tell and CREATE A TREE LIKE STRUCTURE. In other words create a PATH you will go through the selected points. And at that point is PB, very unfortunately, unusable or at least very uncomfortable (yes, having Word on one half of screen and PB on the other and using Copy/Paste is still possible :-(  ). The good news is, that this problem could be solved using filtering according link-type very easily and quite comfortable. You can just create a new link-type let say “document_1” and creating links with this type, you can do the structure of your document. Using filter link‑type=document_1 you can just see the document, you created and using a filter link‑type≠document_1 you can continue work on your knowledge base in PB. Let me note, that e.g. using a quotation of an famous writer in your presentation about let say PB actually doesn’t make an important link between PB and this writer. And creating a Brain full of links like that will make the Brain unusable (structure where all thoughts will be connected with each other has no information value equally to a structure without any connection at all).
Yes, the last “tiny” step is to export the created structure into a document (e.g. doc, odt, rtf, html, ...). If this is the last problem, then probably a transformation for XML output would be an acceptable solution. Even if I should prepare it myself.  

If I can use all my votes for at least link-filter I would do it.  All other are nice to have.

 

Our brain put the ideas into network, what makes it very effective and creative, but first we have to communicate, we have to projection it into tree structure.

 

 

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rhodes

Hi ivos, welcome to the forum. Here are some of my ideas on this:

1) Quote: Implementation of thoughts filtering turned me back for thinking about using PB seriously.

Can you be more specific about why you don't like the way PB implements thoughts filtering? It seems you wish for a better way to hide irrelevant thoughts. The way to do this is to hide not links, but thoughts, though it's interesting to speculate which would work better to exclude thoughts, filtering by thoughts or filtering by links. Filtering by links would open up a whole new ball game. Certainly a lot more development needs to be done on links.

If the thought is not visible, neither are its links to other thoughts. I agree that Reports filtering is not the ideal way to hide thoughts (by turning the filter on or to inverse), since doing this immediately ties up Reports from being used for anything else concurrently.

 If you search the forum you will find previous requests for using Reports to filter links. 

2) Have you tried PB's Export options, e.g., Exporting to Folders? See this thread:
http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=4796030. This may answer your needs.

Alan Rhodes
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ivos
Hi and wow for such quick reply.
  1. There are sure many ways, how to make the thoughts filtering better but I wanted to say, that thanks the implementation of thoughts filtering I am now back to thinking about using PB again. In other words, it put PB back into the game for me. The question for me is, if this is enough or if I should wait until link type filtering will be done as well.
    Quote: If the thought is not visible, neither are its links to other thoughts. That's right, some of the work is done by thought type filtering, but not all. Just more examples, where link type filtering is the only reasonable way:
    • You will have a CRM network of your partners and you are interested in ownership-based structure. So you can't filter out thought type "company" and more over you really don't want to see a picture, where almost all companies are linked together because of link types "is customer of" or "is recommended by" etc.
    • You will search for a new job, so you will create a Brain/network of Personal agencies, employers, friends, ... And you want to apply for a job. The first question is, if you can, because of, maybe some personal agency sent your CV there and it has an exclusivity. So you are only interested in link type "has got my CV from Personal Agency" etc. etc.
  2. As you could see, I haven't even started with a serious work around how to get the thoughts out of PB. This I see as a less important and somehow solvable (if nothing other XML will work). The problem is what to export and creating the structure. One but very important particular need is to define a path.
    • Imagine you have a Brain with everything you know about IT and you should prepare a presentation about mind mapping SW. Or you should prepare a course about it. The big part of work is what to say and what to say not and in which order... 
    • Or imagine, that your company has pretty good knowledge about such SW like SAP is and you want to make a help and training portal for end users. You can build a company KB on BrainEKP and (intentional logical jump) very easily create a help and training portal for the end users. But the interface must be very easy. Incl. very small number of items on their screen. Again the key is filtering, filtering and again filtering.
Quote: Filtering by links would open up a whole new ball game.
I completely agree but IMHO it would kick PB to completely different level.  - Maybe I would even start selling it with this functionality. ;-)
My first touch with mind mapping SW was MindManager. With this functionality PB would get benefits of both approaches.

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jostber
The "More Power To Links" community is growing!

TheBrain 8.0.2.0 Slackware 14.1 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.7.0_25 / (Windows 7)

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rhodes

Quote:  So you are only interested in link type "has got my CV from Personal Agency"

There are two problems with this approach. One is that for it to work, the link type label ("has got...") must be visible without your needing to hover over it. The second is that links are necessarily dispersed (scattered), so may appear anywhere and of course this duplicates the label in every link.

A better alternative here might be to create one sub-parent named "has got my CV from Personal Agency", and attach the relevant child thoughts (or maybe parents if you wish to go from bottom to top). This has the advantages that the meaning of the link relationship is seen only once, in the parent's name, and that being a Thought, this name is visible all the time, instead of having to hover over it, give it a special color/thickness, etc.

This is still no substitute for assigning link labels independent of link types, which we need to be able to do.

Alan Rhodes
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jostber
Here is an interesting post on links from way back:

http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=1822410&highlight=labels

and here:

http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=1978480&highlight=labels


TheBrain 8.0.2.0 Slackware 14.1 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.7.0_25 / (Windows 7)

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rhodes

jostber, thanks for your research, in which Harlan does appear to support further link development.

From your first link:

Quote: (Harlan: ) PB4's underlying storage is built to support additional functionality for the future so that we will be able to support different link labels depending on which thought is active. This will allow greater flexibility obviously.

From the second:

Quote: (Harlan: ) Adding full notes and attachments to links is something that we have planned for and laid the foundation for in the current release, however it's not yet possible. You can either use the link labels to add information (but only text) or you can create an intermediate thought to store it in the meantime.

2007 was a long time ago, relatively speaking. It would be nice of him to give us an update and timeline on this.

Alan Rhodes
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jostber
I also wonder what this means? Are we adviced not to use link labels?

Harlan wrote:

...

For formal systems, link labels should really not be used as link types allow for greater scalability.



TheBrain 8.0.2.0 Slackware 14.1 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.7.0_25 / (Windows 7)

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