dylanaddison
Why hasn't TheBrain Technologies made this software opensource yet?


http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com
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dylanaddison
well, much as another great thread in this forum implied, there is no way for us to collaborate, not even on the way the software is used. If this project doesn't shut down its sales department and start up a nonprofit organization center in each town that BrainEKP and other platforms are applied to, not only will the servers be centralized, rather than decentralized, but the surrounding communities will be effected by the crippling technological downturns that follow the madness our system produces.

another good point: wave.google.com has got to be included in the next update of this forum. we are so disconnected from each other right now. I don't even know if real human beings are reading this or just search engines.


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jostber
A good example is the Apache Derby database that is used in PB. This is an Open Source project:

http://db.apache.org/derby/






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

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Darkstar
dylanaddison wrote: Why hasn't TheBrain Technologies made this software opensource yet?

What this is REALLY asking: "Why isn't this product free? I don't want to pay for it, but I want to use all its features".

Open Source is good in a lot of circumstances--- but not from a business that depends on selling licenses to its truly unique software and sells custom application designing (BrainEKP services) for others.

As for Open Source itself--- I love open source, as I'm a coder and have no trouble using my own time to improve an open source application (hey, I just love coding, whether or not I am getting paid to do it), or just tweek it for personal needs. But having been around the open source, I know it is the single fastest way to get ripped off when you are a company.

Open source code is used by corporations and by their employees as a source of free work. When something is particularly good, it gets copied by a major vendor and then sold as their own product (IBM and Oracle both do this on a fairly regular basis)--- and then the open source team gets hassled and even sued and shut down (if the open source version starts getting "popular"). SUN itself used to do this a lot, and many foreign companies are PARTICULARLY bad about this. Foreign courts will rule in favor of their "local" tax paying corporation over some silly group of internet geeks giving their local corporations and businesses hard work and IP away for free, almost every time. A bit more legal action, and you are just gone--- no open source repository will host your project, and you are left having to host it yourself (and if it is too easily found, having to MOVE it frequently--- if you cannot be found, then you are a dead project since you are no longer getting a "community" to work on the project), go fully underground (now your project is being hosted on the same sites that are developing the next generation botnet, trojans, and other fun sites), or just give up. Most give up.

If PersonalBrain goes out of business, it MAY, at that point, be put into Open Source. But I doubt it. It's software patents would still be valuable as the basic visual layout is quite useful.

Seriously--- open source would be the death of PersonalBran. All serious dev would stop. Right now, with TheBrain developing and refining PB, is certainly not the time for it to be open source. Now, if they let it languish for 10 years, yeah, then open source would be very good.

But if you don't like it, go make a better app. It really wouldn't be that hard to get around the patents and make a better visual organizer of data--- but it would be a tremendous amound of work to get it anywhere near as feature reach and reliable as PB. Which most open source projects never get. Heck, most don't get their original creators attention for more then a few man-months of total work.
-Darkstar
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dschach
Really???  Do you write to Microsoft, demanding the same?  Adobe?  Think of all the applications you use - especially those that foster collaboration.  Do you use Skype?  Ask them to make the product open-source? 

Yes, if you don't like paying for software, make your own.  But if you can't, then you buy it.  Similarly, if you don't have your own oil rig, don't complain that gas isn't free.  And if you don't own a plane, don't yell at United or American.

This is sad to read.  Truly sad. 

And dyslucksia, if you're so good at writing real code, either make a competitor program or work for PB.  Otherwise, continue to submit feature requests, but if you wouldn't write to Steve Jobs to demand something new from OS X, don't whine about this product here.

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zenrain
Oh good. I was coming up with absolutely nothing that could be termed as constructive in response to this thread. I'm glad others could.

Quote: I write my macros on a voluntary basis to help myself and other Windows users who have to put up with the sheer bad design of much of PB.

Macros by nature work within the design of the program to automate certain aspects. This means that the very fact that we can create macros to automate certain PB functionality is owed to PB's design.

Oh, and while we are on Macros, it would be really, really nice to get menu shortcuts in OSX also. Or Applescript functionality.

Edit: Oh, and spacebar or cmd-y for attachment quicklook.

Edit: And a pony.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
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OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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Ervinn
I don't know others, but I would love to have the source code to play around with.  Probably I would find and may be able to fix some bugs, which I would send it back PB. In that case PB would benefit.
Ye, It's nice to have free software, but it is nicer to have the source code that you can look at, if something gets wrong. Or if you want a small but for you important change.

So, I think PB would benefit a if they could somehow open up to PB user community who are willing and have time to play with the technology.
They can not make it open source, they would go out of business, but may be able to give some tools or user APIs to the users to play with. Which would generate easily implementable new good ideas.

By the way, since the PB database is Derby, which is open source, isn't it possible to build on it something which could be open source.  I am thinking about a reporting tool or other user interface.

Ervin



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Darkstar

dschach wrote: And dyslucksia, if you're so good at writing real code, either make a competitor program or work for PB.  Otherwise, continue to submit feature requests, but if you wouldn't write to Steve Jobs to demand something new from OS X, don't whine about this product here.

OFFSIDES!

Dyslucksia might be considered a bit whiny by some, but he's been making a LOT of improvements, directly, to PB usage. His dilligence in going through and finding all the missing keyboard accelerators by themselves would make him a valuable asset to TheBrain's dev team, let alone his work on the various user guides and what is or is not in them. Then there's all the suggestions, good ones (and some bad ones from my viewpoint ), then the majority of PB customers.

On top of that, he has actively posted many ways that he's found to improve PB's usefulness to him, and that has helped OTHER PB users and customers to better use PB for their needs.

I don't like to see one of my favorite products, PersonalBrain, get slammed. But the truth is that PB has a poor UI. It doesn't matter how great your data engine is if you have it mounted in a poor UI that takes away the user's time and attention from finding their data to just figuring out how to get their data into your engine, or get the engine to give them the list of results they want. And PB is that--- a fine application with a poor UI. That's like your house having a kitchen that doesn't have any running water, bedrooms with no heat, a bathroom with only a tub (no shower, sink, or anything else), and a garage that doesn't have any doors (open to the outside world and an open passageway into the house), and an electrical system where you can only use power in half the house at a time. Sure, that house is in a great location, very scenic and convenient for our needs, has a fine structure overall, has a built in panic room and personal vault, can take a direct hit from a small meteorite and not even get smudged, but it needs a LOT of work to truly meet some basic standards of daily life. That's PB, as of version 5.x.

PB is neat and cool, and a tool I use every day I work (and many that I play), a tool I trust to capture and preserve data, trivial to extremely important to me, and it helps me find that data again quickly whenever I need it. However, it really needs some "basic lovin" from the devs in some basic usage areas--- let alone big things like security, linking between thoughts in different brains, user defined views, or so many other things that would help improve PB and make it much, much better.
-Darkstar
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Darkstar
Ervinn, I understand your point. I have often offered in the past to fix a bug and send them back the fix, if they'd just send me the code--- and I'd agree to sign an NDA they wanted, and any contract that all work I do on PB or RELATED to PB would be their IP and I'd have no rights to it. Particularly back when PB 3 "plateaued" and we didn't see any further fixes or advances.

But, while they might be able to get away with that with a couple of people, the more they do that, the more likely (and frankly, the faster) their code would end up being traded around. And that would shrink your license market--- which means less money to the company. At this point, TheBrain is actively working on improving PB, so we want them to get every dollar they deserve. A few people being paid to work on it full time for just 6 months will progress PB a lot further then a couple of years of it being Open Source would (there are very rare exceptions to that in the Open Source world--- although they do exist).

And yes--- with the database being Derby, you could probably find a code monkey or three that could rig something up against it. Althought TheBrain is is supposed to have "tweaked" the version they are using in PB for their own needs, so a bit of work might be required.
-Darkstar
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Dryopithecus
Asking PB to be (completely) open source might be a little too cruel.

But how about the coders in the forums work with TheBrain to replace the current 3rd party components with open source ones?

Especially the 3rd party Notes Editor, I haven't seen much improvements in the past 2 years.

See: http://forums.thebrain.com/post/show_single_post?pid=27054066&postcount=8

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jostber
All of what Dys said above. These are important points to consider for us and the PB team.

I think the main issue now is one of communication. I understand the PB Team's motivation for securing business secrets, and not communicate on those, but on the other side it's also important to communicate which way PB are heading now and in the future, and give some indication of features that can be implemented at some time. It might also be important to communicate to the forum and the dedicated PB users, if v.5.1 is going to be released now, tomorrow, next week, after the summer, for Christmas, or next year, or even if it is impossible to say any date because of challenges in the coming version. It should also be communicated if there will be a test, beta or full version so that as many users as possible are ready to participate in testing if that is wished. It could also be indicated if there are features that will not be coming, example more advanced link functionality, because of other priorities.

One thing is new features, another is bugs. I think the time when bug fixes is going to be implemented should be indicated clearly, aside from the feature lists. Bug fixes are not business secrets, and this could be communicated precisely.

And then another thing are lacking features which clearly should be in PB. Examples of those are a working print functionality, keyboard shortcuts, possibility to save searches and reports, search and replace and more. This kind of functionalites I think should be implemented in the official versions, independent of the big releases like 5.1. This is because this should be in place already in a great application like PB.

PB Team?

PS: And more Open Source in PB would be great too!








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

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zenrain
Quote: I can't believe that the Apple version contains no menu shortcuts. If you meant more keyboard shortcuts such as many have asked for, then I agree, though the job of deciding what to add and where is a big undertaking. Just filling in the mnemonic gaps and cleaning up conflicts is all that is really required. This will allow any user who feels sufficiently strongly about usability issues to write his/her own macros to customize his/her experience of PB.

I was talking about the alt+key combinations which are not implemented on the OSX version.

My other request was for applescript functionality. I'm not sure if this is possible for java applications, but it means that the developers allow applescripts to be set up for the program functionality. Then Mac users can trigger applescripts to automate program functions.

Quote: With due respect, if PB was well-designed in the first place, I wouldn't have spent hours writing these macros just to be able to do things comfortably. Just because a feature works doesn't make it easy to incorporate into one's workflow. Beside, some of the macros make PB appear to perform functions that haven't yet, and may never be, implemented in native PB.

*Sigh* I'm not a big fan of sentences beginning "With due respect" as they are often meant and generally interpreted as "I don't respect your comment and here's why."
I will say that if you interpreted my comment as discounting all your hard work on your macros, then I apologise, it wasn't meant that way. They are a generous and valuable contribution to this community and should be treated as such.
What I should have said was that I don't agree with your sheer-bad design comment as if PB was designed as poorly as you say, the macros wouldn't have a robust enough framework to function in the first place. I'm not saying the UI is perfect, and am not trying to discount any of it's current holes.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
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OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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zenrain
I believe the tie to applescript has to be incorporated into the code, so it would be something they have to manually add in.

The equivalent of the alt+mnemonics would be to allow the OS to assign the shortcut. This is built into OSX but, as I just found out a little while ago, doesn't work in PB. D'oh!

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

I agree with Jostber on the communication issue.

It would be nice to see what kind of new features they are considering in the next releases, by maintaining a new feature candidate list, with planned dates.

I don't know any PB direct competitors, so secrecy does not make sense. 

In Open Source project that is more visible.

 

I understand that it does not make sense to them to make the code open source, but they may be able to harness people better who are willing to help and contribute to the PB success without much monetary gain.   

Ervinn
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Darkstar
Actually, TheBrain is better off not telling us anything about future products, dates they are targetting (until they know it is in stone and will not change, so that means just a week or two before they hit), or what they'd do one day. Why? So no one can go dig them up later and whine about it not being included, deadlines not reached, features not included. Just makes their forums filled with unhappiness. Since this is a company forum, they want it to be happy, and show they are responsive to issues. Mostly, code issues, but still.

Sure, I know the bonuses for serious communications between them and us, their customers. But that isn't really much of a bonus when they work from a sold license issue. They've gotten our money--- until we need new licenses. It is not as if we will STOP giving them money due to us dropping a subscription we have with them if they aren't communitive about what we will see in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, a year, and 3 years for now. We bought the license, we use the product. When they release a new version of the app requiring a new license, we will then look to see if the new version is worth the cost of an upgrade (and to what version if so). Frankly, handling bugs is much more important (if they do so in a good fashion, we will be more inclined to upgrade our licenses in the future--- trusting they will continue to handle bugs in a good fashion).

And yes. I'd like to know what is around the corner and what will be in the next big version of PB. But we will find out when it is posted. Anything else--- including statements from Harlan, can't be guaranteed--- since products change between development and deployment. Just depends on what else pops up.
-Darkstar
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